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"Macbeth" is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare

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Introduction

"Macbeth" is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare and regarded as one of his greatest works. It tells the story of Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, who was initially depicted as "valour's minion", the "valiant cousin" of King Duncan of Scotland. The king himself called him "worthy gentleman". By the end of the play, Macbeth's downfall is complete and Duncan's son called him "this dead butcher". In the play, Shakespeare explores how "chance" events can uncover hidden forces and can uncover hidden flaws in a personality. Macbeth had fatal flaws of ambition and total ruthlessness. When the witches, his wife, both instruments of darkness, and the chance arrival of Duncan put temptation in his path, Macbeth pushed any feelings of unease aside, and set off on a series of murders that finally destroyed him. Macbeth, therefore, is responsible for his. In 1603 Shakespeare's company changed its name to the King's Men when James I became its patron. No sensible playwright would have criticised the king, but Shakespeare would now have particularly wanted to flatter him. James would have liked Shakespeare showing that God appointed kings and that action against a rightful king was a crime against God. Shakespeare shows that chaos and disorder struck Scotland when Duncan, God's choice of king was murdered by Macbeth. James would have approved of audiences seeing this, to turn them more against gunpowder plotters and anyone who opposed him. ...read more.

Middle

But the ambition in him had been awakened. He could not resist it, he wanted to be king however he got there. After Malcolm was named Prince of Cumberland and heir to the throne, Macbeth decided that chance would not make him king. He saw Malcolm as an obstacle to the throne and felt that the only way to become king was to do something, almost anything to get past the obstacle that was in his way. His ambition was driving him onwards, tempting him to be utterly ruthless Macbeth's letter to Lady Macbeth about the witches' prediction sparked off plans and thoughts about murder. She felt that her husband was "too full o' th' milk of human kindness", and would be too noble to do anything remotely bad to get what he wanted, even if it meant that he would miss out on whatever it was. She too had ambition and Macbeth's chance meeting with the witches uncovered it and showed her hidden ruthlessness too. Unlike Macbeth, she did not have enough ruthlessness to kill Duncan, despite her taunts to Macbeth that she would kill Duncan, or anyone else "had I sworn as you have done to this." She did not like the idea of killing Duncan as he "resembled my father as he slept". The first time Macbeth properly thought of murdering Duncan he thought that he would not be able to do it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth did not have to murder Macduff's family after he had fled to England, but he did. By murdering Macduff's family, Macbeth sealed his own fate as Macduff wanted revenge on Macbeth for murdering his family. At the end of the play, Macbeth was seen as a "usurper" of the kingdom of Scotland. He was thought of as a "butcher" because of the many people that he had murdered. One of Duncan's sons, Malcolm was crowned King of Scotland. Macbeth is spoken of with disgust and contempt, he and his "fiend-like" queen are loathed by all. His own selfish greed and attempts to make the witches' prophecies not come true made him think only of murder to get what he wanted; absolute power. Macbeth did not have to do any of the things he did, but he listened to the witches and Lady Macbeth, both "instruments of darkness", even though he did not have to. Banquo said "And oftentimes, to win us to our harm...Win us with honest trifles, to betray's, In deepest consequence". In effect; the forces of evil encourage us to bring about our own destruction by giving us accurate information about things that are trivial, and misleading us on important matters. Macbeth did have temptations put in his way, but it was his own ambition and selfish greed that was responsible for his downfall. About the Author/Author Notes: For my English GCSE. ...read more.

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