Реферат: Macbeth Tragic Drama Essay Research Paper In

Macbeth Tragic Drama Essay, Research Paper

In the tragic drama Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare in 1606 during the

English Renaissance, the hero, Macbeth, constantly declines in his level of

morality until his death at the end of the play. Because of his change of

character from good to evil, Macbeth’s attitude towards other characters,

specifically Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth, and the witches, is significantly

affected. The first of the four characters is Duncan. Since Macbeth interacts

with Duncan only a minimal amount before Duncan’s death, Macbeth’s attitude

towards him changes very rapidly. Before Macbeth hears the witches’ first

prophecy, he is very close to Duncan, and would never even think of doing

something against him. When the thought of murdering Duncan crosses his mind

immediately after he finds that he has just been named Thane of Cawdor, he

cannot believe he «yield[s] to that suggestion / Whose horrid image doth

unfix my hair / And make my seated heart knock at my ribs» (I, iii,

133-35). In scene 5 of act 1, however, his «vaulting ambition» is

starting to take over, but partly because of his wife’s persuasion. He agrees

that they must «catch the nearest way» (17), and kill Duncan that

night. On the other hand, as the time for murder comes nearer, he begins giving

himself reasons not to murder Duncan: First, as I am his kinsman and his

subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, Who should against his

murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. (I, vii, 13-16) When Lady

Macbeth enters, though, she uses her cunning rhetoric and pursuasion techniques

to convince Macbeth that this is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the right thing

to do. He then tells her that «I am settled.» (79). He is firmly

seated in his beliefs that killing Duncan is the right thing to do-until he

performs the murder. He is so horrified by this act that for a moment he forgets

where he is or whom he is with. We learn from this murder that Macbeth truly had

faith in the king and was very loyal, but under the forces of his wife’s

persuasion and his own vaulting ambition, he is put in the evil frame of mind

for just long enough to kill Duncan. This murder does permanently alter him from

his moral state of mind, however, and he soon does not feel much remorse for

murdering Duncan. The Second of the four characters towards whom Macbeth’s

attitude changes is Banquo. Before he murders Duncan, Macbeth is a very close

friend to Banquo, and they are almost always together. After the murder,

however, Macbeth senses suspicion on Banquo’s part. He realizes that Banquo’s

«wisdom that doth guide his valour / To act in safety» (52-53) will

cause Banquo to want to turn Macbeth in for his crime. Macbeth knows he must

also get rid of Banquo since, according to the prophecy, the throne will pass to

Banquo’s sons otherwise. Macbeth starts showing his extreme hatred towards

Banquo while he is convincing the two murderers that killing him is right: Macb:

Both of you Know Banquo was your enemy. Murderers: True, my lord. Macb: So is he

mine; and in such bloody distance That every minute of his being thrusts Against

my near’st of life; (III, i, 114b-118) Finally, Macbeth actually shows signs of

relief when the murderer calls him to the door during his banquet and tells him

of Banquo’s death: Macb: There’s blood upon thy face. Murderer: ‘Tis Banquo’s

then. Macb: ‘Tis better thee without than he within. (III, iv, 12-14) Macbeth’s

last statement, «Tis... within», means that Banquo’s blood is

better on the murderer than in Banquo, showing that Macbeth is, in truth, happy

that Banquo has been killed. the killing of Banquo by Macbeth shows extreme

selfishness; he cannot bear to see even his best friend’s sons succeed him on

the throne. However, a more important reason that Macbeth kills Banquo is

because of Banquo’s suspicion of him, and what Banquo will do to him once he

finds out for sure that Macbeth has commited the murder of Duncan. One can see

that Macbeth becomes extremely harsh if he wants his way. He will go to horrid

extremes just so that he does not have to live his kingship in fear, but instead

«to be safely thus.» (III, i, 49) Lady Macbeth, the third character,

interacts with Macbeth a considerable amount, and influences him greatly. He and

his wife as a pair are dangerous because his ambition combined with her

bloodiness can cause fatal situations. In Macbeth’s letter to his wife, he calls

her «my dearest partner of greatness» (I, v, 8), and later, when he is

talking to her in person, he calls her «My dearest love» (I, v, 54b).

Shakespeare shows their close relationship until they have started falling into

a state of near-despair after the murder of Banquo and Macduff’s wife and son.

At this point, they have started to seperate a great deal. In act five, scene

five, Macbeth hears the «cry of women» and not even noticing that it

is a woman’s cry, let alone that of his own wife, asks «What is that

noise?» (7b). He feels so little towards her that when he is informed that

she has just died, he remarks that «She should have died hereafter»

(17), meaning that she would have died anyway. His loss of feeling towards his

wife most likely is caused by his distraction and present state of mind. Had his

mind been calm and relaxed, not distracted by anything, he probably would have

reacted to this news with more feeling. However, his whole personality has

changed, and perhaps death does not faze him any more because he has committed

five murders since the beginning of the play. The way Macbeth acts toward the

three witches changes significantly as the play progresses. In act one, scene

five, Macbeth tells his wife in his letter to her that the witches «have

more in them than mortal knowledge.» (2), and he puts great faith in their

prophecies; after all, of the witches’ three so-called «prophecies»,

«Two truths are told» (I, iii, 126b). He depends on the witches for a

long time, even after he murders Banquo. In act 3, scene 4, when he remarks that

«I am in blood / Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,»

(136-37), he knows that he must consult the witches again because «More

shall they speak;» (134), and he is «bent to know» (134) what he

should do and what his future holds. He then sees the three apparitions that the

witchs have conjured up especially to torture him. This causes him to become

enraged at the witches and damn himself in the ironic phrase in which he damns

«all those that trust them», (IV, i, 139, «them» meaning the

witches. Macbeth’s change in attitude towards the witches shows that his nature

is to befriend those who bring him good news, but he separates from them once he

finds that even though he trusted them, what they said was not in his favor. He

supposedly befriended the witches simply because he thought they could tell him

his future. It was a false relationship. Macbeth starts out a heroic man of good

doings, but his whole attitude completely changes because of the murders he

commits. His relationships with many characters are broken or become weak. He

starts trusting no one and hating – or killing – everyone. His wife may have

started him on his killing streak, but he was the one to finish himself off.

Macbeth got what he deserved.

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