Which version of Macbeth do you prefer?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Macbeth is a good man, but commits evil deeds. The guilt he feels slowly reduces him to nearly nothing. Where once he yearned to be king, at the end, all he wants is the peace of death.When the nobleman Macbeth comes across three witches after a battle in which he has earned great honours, they have great prophesies for him. On hearing that he will become king he gets so caught up in what they say that his loyalty and goodness mean nothing. Macbeth follows the bait of the witches and asks them to explain how this great prophecy may happen. This is the point were the root of evil starts to grow in Macbeth. Though before he had vague hopes that he would become king, it is here with the witches that he really starts to dream and plan the actions that will destroy him and send him to hell.Macbeth and Lady Macbeth agree to murder King Duncan. Duncan was a much respected man, a loved leader and a cousin to Macbeth, yet Macbeth decided to kill him so he could take the throne. Before the murder we see Macbeth alone, and thinking over the many reasons why he shouldn’t kill Duncan. The good man in Macbeth can see that this murder will be a terrible sin. While Macbeth’s guests and the King celebrate their victory, Macbeth is planning to do exactly what the traitor Macdonald did, and betray his King.

Despite being tempted, the good man in Macbeth chooses not to murder Duncan but when Lady Macbeth hears that he doesn’t want to carry out the murder, she is enraged. She tells him he looks like a child. She makes him feel absurd. She insists that he shows his love for Lady Macbeth by being true to the plans they made. It is then that Macbeth decides to kill his king, even though he knows it to be wrong. We know Macbeth is tempted when standing in the corridor he sees a “dagger” leading him to Duncan’s chamber. In a brutal manner, Macbeth murders Duncan, but we can see that Macbeth fully understands that he has done great evil. After murdering Duncan, Macbeth carries with him the blood covered dagger. Macbeth knows that this murder has changed his life forever. He knows he will go to hell for what he has done Lady Macbeth tries to calm him down and takes the dagger back to the chambers and wipes the blood on the guards that are drunk and unconscious. She leaves the daggers next to them. Macbeth is so terrified at what he has done that he can’t go into the room where the dead king is laying. If Macbeth wasn’t a good man, this murder would have meant nothing to him. If Macbeth did not value his eternal soul, he would not have been afraid of the sight of his sin.Macbeth shows his guilt and regret when a little later he hears a traveller knocking at the gate he says “Duncan hear thy knock and awake”. Macbeth wishes he could turn back time and have Duncan alive again. Immediately after Duncan’s death, Macbeth knows that the crown is not as valuable as his peace of mind. Once Macbeth is crowned King he starts on a string of murders. Out of fear he must kill to keep himself out of danger. He sends two men to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. Later he sends his men to murder Macduff’s “pretty ones” and everybody in his castle. These thanes are as dangerous as they are good men. He fears they will oppose him if they get a hint of his guilt. Though Macbeth has them murdered without another thought, because of these actions Macbeth has horrible, guilty nightmares. In waking and in sleeping he sees ghosts. He sees Banquo sitting at the table with his face covered in blood, looking right at him. At this sight Macbeth breaks down screaming and shaking. This is the fear of a good man, who realises he has sinned and deserves to be punished.In the end Macbeth loses the love of the thanes. His wife goes mad and kills herself. His peace of mind is lost because of the horrible mistakes the once noble Macbeth made. When Macbeth finally dies he seems to accept that he has destroyed everything. He can only find peace from this nightmare by being killed by Macduff. Macbeth is a good man who destroys everything by giving in to guilt, greed and the evil that tempts him.

No comments: