Show MoreMacbeth: Shakespeare's Tragic ViLLain
From nobLe hero to dead butcher', we witness the destruction of a man's character.
How did the destruction come about?
What was actually destroyed was Macbeth's mind. He lost his conscience, his morality, and any connection with goodness. What he achieved by his overwhelming ambition wasn't exactly what he had intended to achieve. And so, he became more determined while his ambitions grew stronger. He couldn't digest the fact that he was winning yet actually losing. He had become king but he didn't receive the respect, honour and love that Duncan had had. He wanted to prove to himself, to his wife, to the witches, to everyone that he was capable of and rightful in being king. But he…show more content…
She accused her husband of unmanliness and cowardice, and she got the right reaction that she had wanted from him. Hearing his wife's words and seeing how strong and superior she was, Macbeth was ashamed of himself and wanted to prove that he could be a man and that there was nothing lacking in his character. However, when their goal had been accomplished, it was as if Lady Macbeth and Macbeth switched personalities. At first Lady Macbeth is happy and satisfied, but later on she realizes their mistake as things start to go wrong. She becomes overwhelmed with guilt, regret and shame. She has her downfall before Macbeth does. Lady Macbeth is aware of the fact that they are going to fall, but she does not want to face it. Because of her earlier facade of superiority, purposeful determination and confidence at the beginning, she does not want to prove her very own self wrong. Also, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth seemed to be growing apart. Lady Macbeth had become so weak and ill, suffering from hallucinations, that she had in some way already given up. Whereas, Macbeth became as confident as ever, believing himself invincible, keeping in mind that "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth." Lady Macbeth's mental and physical condition deteriorates and she commits suicide as she knows, ahead of time, that they will lose and she does not want to face defeat. So Lady Macbeth has her downfall as well as Macbeth. We don't feel too
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a story of regicide and a warning against black magic. It’s easy to see Macbeth as the primary antagonist, because he becomes the face of the cast of villains, and the focus of the main characters’ anger. Macbeth, though, was not a maker of his destiny. The true antagonists lie behind him in both Lady Macbeth and the three witches.
The three witches are the most obvious villains. To see this, we have to look at the time in which this was written. Shakespeare wrote his plays in a time where black magic was considered taboo. People were deathly afraid of it and the sentence was death for anyone who practiced it. Shakespeare wanted to appease his audience, therefore he invented the witches as the main driving force of villainy.
Macbeth was the hero of Scotland at the beginning of the story. It’s why he was presented with the title of Thane of Cawdor and Glamis in the first place. In the beginning, Macbeth never entertains the prospect of becoming king or killing his monarch in King Duncan. It’s the witches who leave these toxic thoughts to fester in his mind.
It would be easy to argue Macbeth could have easily ignored the witches. Although he willingly collaborated with them, it could be argued his loyalty to his family and his country would have overwritten the words of the witches. Macbeth does initially refute the idea of killing Duncan. It’s only when Lady Macbeth convinces him he does it.
Lady Macbeth uses all the powers at her disposal to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan, including questioning his manhood. To further cast Lady Macbeth in the shadow of an antagonist, Shakespeare causes her to die because of her own guilt. When she begins sleepwalking and rubbing her hands together, it’s clear her guilt has overtaken her. Her admission of guilt is an example that she herself knows she did wrong, although she never admits this on stage before her suicide.
The issue with Macbeth is once he kills Duncan he would find it impossible to return to what he was before. He had no choice but to become king and rule the country. Some people may argue the killing of his former friend Banquo is an example of the villainy that lays beneath Macbeth’s character, but this is not the case.
By this point, Macbeth is an inescapable position. He has reacted like humans do in such situations, by entering a form of survival. He knows he has to be harsh to maintain himself. The presence of the ghosts and his subsequent madness demonstrates he always feels guilty and he never revels in his new position. In many ways, he despises what he has become and he doesn’t thank Lady Macbeth or the three witches for the parts they played in his story.
Overall, Macbeth has been directed by powerful forces influencing him. After he kills Duncan, he has no choice but to keep up the charade, because he knows if the truth was ever known he and his family would be executed.