Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth And Metaphysics

Shakespeare: Macbeth

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The Three witches in the tragedy Macbeth are introduced right at the beginning
of the play. They tell Macbeth three prophesies, he will be Thane of Cawdor,
Thane of Glams and King. These prophesies introduce him to ideas of greatness.
Macbeth will eventually follow through on killing king Duncan. This brings into
the play, idea of fate and the role with which it has in the play. The witches
could foretell the future, they can add temptation, and influence Macbeth, but
they can not control his destiny. Macbeth creates his own anguish when he is
driven by his own sense of guilt. This causes him to become insecure as to the
reasons for his actions which in turn causes him to commit more murders. The
witches offer great temptation, but it is in the end, each individuals’
decision to fall for the appeal, or to be strong enough to resist their
captivation. The witches are only responsible for the introduction of these
ideas and for further forming ideas in Macbeth head, but they are not
responsible for his actions throughout the play. Lady Macbeth is shown early in
the play as an ambitious woman with a single purpose. She can manipulate Macbeth
easily. This is shown in the line "That I may pour my spirits in thine
ear". (I,V, 26) Before the speech that Lady Macbeth gives in act one scene
five, Macbeth is resolved not to go through with the killing of the king.
However, Lady Macbeth says that it would be on his manliness and his bravery if
he didn’t. This then convinces Macbeth to commit regicide. Although Macbeth
has the final say in whether or not to go through with the initial killing, he
loves his wife and wants to make her happy. She is the dominating individual in
the relationship which is shown in her soliloquy, “This have I thought good to
deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose dues
by rejoicing by being ignorant of what greatness is promised the. Lay it to thy
heart, and Farewell.”(I, V, 7-10) Once Macbeth kills for the first time, he
has no choice but to continue to cover up his wrong doings, or risk loosing
everything he has worked so hard for. In the end, it all comes to Macbeth
himself. Everyone is responsible for his own destiny. This is an essential theme
in this tragedy. Macbeth, chooses to gamble with his soul and when he does this,
it is only him who chooses to lose it. He is responsible for anything he does
and must take total accountability for his actions. Macbeth is the one who made
the final decision to carry out his actions. He made these final decisions and
continued with the killings to cover that of King Duncan. The killing of Duncan
starts an unstoppable chain of events in the play that ends with the murder of
Macbeth and the suicide of Lady Macbeth. In the beginning, Macbeth had all of
the qualities of an honorable gentleman who could become anything. This is all
shattered when his spirit overrides his sense of honorability. Although Macbeth
is warned as to the validity of the witches prophesies, he is tempted and
refuses to listen to reason from Banquo. When the second set of prophesies
Macbeth receives begin to show their faults Macbeth blames the witches for
deceiving him with half truths. While the witches are not totally responsible
for the actions of Macbeth, they are responsible for introducing the ideas to
Macbeth which in turn fired up Macbeth's ambition and led to a disastrous and
unnecessary chain of events.
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