Which version of Macbeth do you prefer?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


In Shakespeare’s Macbeth we saw a good man turn to evil as he strived to become king of Scotland. He then, in turn, suffered as he felt the guilt of the murders he committed. We saw Macbeth lose the respect of his peers. He lost the close relationship with his wife and most importantly he lost his peace of mind as he sank into evil.

In the beginning of the play, we saw in Macbeth a noble man respected by his peers. He was celebrated as a “worthy gentleman” by the bloodied captain as he helped win a great battle in defence of his king. It was after this, that he met up with three witches and began to believe that he deserved more rewards than the king was prepared to give him. Macbeth gradually lost his good reputation as anyone who got in his way of becoming king, bloodily and mysteriously died. People started to get suspicious and spoke about him darkly. Soon rather than calling him “brave Macbeth”, he was mocked by the thanes as a “dwarfish thief in giant’s robes”. Macbeth was a respected man with a reputation as a good man. He had a good life but he yearned for more power and suffered as he grasped for honours that were not his. His peers turned against him when he acted sinfully.

Macbeth and his Lady were very close but as Macbeth continued along his bloody path they began to drift apart. As the play opened they were almost of one mind. They spoke obscurely, so as not to arouse suspicion, but they clearly understood the other’s intent. They knew exactly what each other was thinking. After Macbeth killed Duncan things changed in this great partnership. They stopped confiding in each other. They became isolated from one another as they tried to protect one another from the great guilt and fear that both felt. Slowly they drifted apart and lost each other amongst the various bloody events of their gloomy lives. The loss of this partnership and closeness was another terrible loss for Macbeth. From this point on he had to shoulder all the guilt of his crimes without anyone to confide in.

Macbeth lost his peace of mind as he suffered great guilt for all the terrible murders he’d committed. Macbeth became fearful and suspicious that his thanes suspected him of these great sins. He heard them talking about him and imagined that they knew he had killed Duncan and many others. He knew that he was guilty and therefore he convinced himself that everyone could see the evil in him. Though Macbeth sat on the throne, he knew that it was not rightfully his. The guilt devalued his possession of the throne and he called it a “barren sceptre” and “empty crown”. With the guilt, Macbeth also suffered hallucinations. He saw Banquo, his friend and the man he had killed, all bloody with cuts. These hallucinations were a sign of Macbeth’s guilt. He knew he had done wrong. He just couldn’t stop himself as he had wanted to be king so badly even though he knew that it would cost him a very high price. He suffered and the “golden round” was no more than a hollow, metal, meaningless adornment.

Macbeth did great evil and suffered greatly for the crimes he committed. This was a sign that he was a good man and that he knew the difference between good and evil. He lost everything he ever valued and his dream turned into a nightmare. When death came, he almost welcomed it. He lost his reputation as a noble man and the respect from his peers. He lost his wife and the close relationship with her. Finally he lost his peace of mind and lived looking over his shoulder to make sure he didn’t get found out. Macbeth was a moral man who suffered greatly and as a result, at the end, his life wasn’t worth living.


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