Which version of Macbeth do you prefer?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Even though Macbeth has killed many people and done much evil he has the instincts of a man who knows right from wrong and as a result, suffers greatly. His evil actions kill his ability to have peaceful sleep and instead nightmares fill his mind.

As soon as the vile murder of Duncan is committed, we see Macbeth regrets his actions. Having murdered the king he rushes to Lady Macbeth and tells her he is horrified by what he has done. As he does so he is disturbed by a knock at the castle door. On hearing that knocking he says he wishes that knocking could wake Duncan. He wishes he had never committed the gross murder. He wishes that Duncan could be alive to hear the pounding at the door. After Macbeth has killed Duncan he cannot go back in the room as he is frightened of what he has done. He is frightened of the consequences. He knows that he is doomed to hell for what he has done. His fear shows that he really understands what is right and what is wrong, but at the same time he knows that he has to try cover up the crime or he will suffer the same fate as the traitor Macdonald.

Guilt is the reason why Macbeth orders Banquo to be killed. Macbeth knows that Banquo is too good a man to keep quiet about Macbeth’s ambitions. Macbeth knows that if Banquo speaks everything will be exposed. Then his next great sin the murder of Banquo begins to haunt him. Macbeth’s guilt makes him see Banquo’s bloody ghost accusing him of evil and sin. Macbeth knows he does great evil and he recognises he has sinned. It is because Macbeth feels guilt that he suffers greatly.

At the start of the play, before Macbeth kills so many people, he is a noble and respected man. The king calls him “valiant cousin”. Macbeth is a good man loved by all the other thanes. During the battle Macbeth killed many of his king’s enemies. In reward of his loyalty, King Duncan gave Macbeth the title Thane of Cawdor, but knowing that he will never be king drives Macbeth to do so much evil.

After Macbeth kills King Duncan we see how regretful he is from how much he suffers. From that day onwards Macbeth never gets any sleep or has any peace. Even while Macbeth is sitting down in the safety of his castle and amongst friends, he has flashes of the bloody murder he has committed. When he does get his couple hours of sleep he isn’t in peace, as nightmares snake into his mind to make him re-live Duncan’s bloody and cruel murder. These are the nightmares of a man who knows good from evil.

We see how greatly Macbeth suffers after the evil actions he uses to get the titles, power and acknowledgement he yearns for. After he kills Duncan, Lady Macbeth tells him to go put the daggers back in the room where Duncan’s bloody body lies. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he can’t go back in there because he is scared to see what horrible murder he has committed. We see how regretful he is because even though he found a way to kill his own king, he can’t go back to the crime scene. It’s the same guilt we see, and the same suffering from the evil he has done, when Macbeth orders for Banquo to be killed. He orders Banquo to be killed because Banquo is an honest man who will turn against Macbeth if he finds out what evil Macbeth has done. When Macbeth is asked to sit down with the other thanes at the table he sees Banquos bloody ghost. That ghost is the image of his guilt and horror.

At the end of the play Macbeth shows courage and some of the never-say-never attitude that once earned him great honours and respect. All the thanes and soldiers have come for Macbeth’s head. All his friends have run away and have fled. Macbeth does not beg for mercy. He stands there ready to accept his fate.

Macbeth kills many innocent people, his best friend and his own king and in doing all this evil we see him suffer greatly throughout the play. After he kills Macbeth he does not get one minute of sleep or peace. Macbeth suffers greatly because he is a moral man who was tempted to do great evil.

By Giuseppe.

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