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Filled to the Brim with the Milk of Human Kindness

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Jeffrey Cheng English III honors Period 11 4/1/05 Filled to the Brim with the Milk of Human Kindness Behind every man's actions, there are driving forces-impetuses that push a man into performing the things he does. Some men go to all ends for happiness and joy, while other men work for hours at a time for fame and money. However, in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth, the tragic hero, is pushed into his actions neither by money nor happiness. His driving force is none other than his evil, ruthless wife, Lady Macbeth who thrusts him into murdering the most beloved King Duncan. Macbeth, who was very much so a loyal subject, did not want to commit murder, but was tempted by his wife to carry out actions that he eventually regretted. As revealed throughout Act I of Macbeth, Macbeth really had no thoughts of murdering his king. ...read more.


The truth was that gentle Macbeth was tempted, even in a way forced by his wife, Lady Macbeth, to kill the king. Lady Macbeth wanted her husband to steal the crown so that she could see glory and fame too. In fact, she knew that her husband was too kind to commit the murder. In a soliloquy, she even said, "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be/ What thou art promised. Yet I do fear thy nature;/ It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness/ To catch the nearest way..." (Act I, scene v, lines 15-18). Lady Macbeth knew that her husband would not do such a treasonous thing without a bigger driving force. So once again, she tapped into his weakness and exploited it. She tempted his vaulting ambition and ridiculed his manhood by saying, "What beast was 't then/ That made you break this enterprise to me?/ When you durst do it, then you were a man;/ And to be more than what you were, you would/ Be so much more the man..." ...read more.


This big contrast between the way Lady Macbeth responded to the murder and the way Macbeth responded to the murder shows just how big a difference there is between these two characters. This difference portrays how much Macbeth wished he had never committed treason. He wished that his influential wife had not coerced him. As shown through the events that took place before, during, and after the assassination of King Duncan, it is seen that Macbeth truly was a good man who was manipulated and pushed into evil deeds. He did not intend to commit murder, but he was driven by his wife, and eventually did something that he greatly regretted. Macbeth, unlike most other men, was not pushed into his actions by lifeless objects such as money and materialistic gain. Macbeth, unlike most other men, was manipulated by something far worse than fame and glory. Macbeth, unlike most other men, was trapped and coerced into murder by his ruthless wife, Lady Macbeth. ...read more.

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