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Macbeth as Victim.

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Introduction

ENGLISH LITERATURE: MACBETH AS VICTIM Macbeth begins on a bloody note: a battle rages from which Banquo and Macbeth rise bloodied, but heroes. They are the generals of Scotland; the country's future is in their hands and in their blades. However, when one clutches once to such power, it is hard to let go. Macbeth cannot let go. Macbeth also ends on a bloody note: Macbeth's head is cut off and presented to Malcolm, his replacement. Peace is restored through war; bloody injustice is righted finally with bloody justice. What falls between these two notes-the beginning and end of the tragedy-is a symphony of treachery, deceit, and murder most foul. The images of nature gone awry spread all through the play-from the gardens that have turned to weeds to the horses that have turned to cannibalizing each other-for murder of one's king is so unnatural that the entire landscape, all that is natural, is affected. Macbeth, by killing Duncan, is himself made an enemy of nature. Macbeth murders sleep, the ultimate embodiment of peace and nature, when he murders Duncan. ...read more.

Middle

(4.1.92-94)." However, these predictions are only true in part. Macbeth never suspects that Macduff's caesarean birth could constitute a birth separate from woman, and he never could have imagined that Malcolm's troops would carry limbs from Birnam Wood to disguise their numbers. Macbeth is tricked by the weird sisters into believing that he is nigh invincible. It is logical to assume, then, that though Macbeth is far from innocent, the sisters share a large part of the responsibility. The person most responsible for Macbeth's foolish rise to power is his wife, Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is the sole reason that Macbeth acts on the weird sister's prophesies. Even before she speaks to him, Lady Macbeth has sworn that her husband will take the King's place by murdering his lord and kinsman. It is her decision that Macbeth take power, not his own, and her plans that mean the end of Duncan. Lady Macbeth is in control from her first introduction; Macbeth himself is just a tool in her hands. Lady Macbeth feels that she has to take control, for her husband will never take the requisite steps. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth even tries to defend his manhood against his wife's attacks, "prithee, peace! I dare do all that may become a man; who dares do more is none (1.7.45-47)," but he is never successful for Lady Macbeth is simply too strong in her will. No matter how courageous Macbeth is on the battlefield, Lady Macbeth's words can unseam him from the nave to the chops at any moment when he is at home. Macbeth is a victim, of his wife and the weird sisters as well as of his own ambition and weak mindedness. His ambition is his tragic flaw, and his redeeming quality is his true nature. When Macbeth is finally stripped of all pretenses, of his crown and his wife, his predictions and his protections, he is nothing but a warrior, and thusly he faces Macduff the final time, as a warrior. Macbeth reclaims much of his lost honor in his final scene because he reclaims some of his lost self. Macbeth is not free of any responsibility, far from it, actually. However, the knowledge that others motivated the vile murders that so often are heaped entirely on Macbeth reveals much about his character. Macbeth is not a bad man, he is just na�ve. ...read more.

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