Macbeth, had many possible choices he could have made in regard to the many murders that were committed throughout the course of the play

Authors Avatar by natalis (student)

IB Lit and Language

27th October 2011

Condemned to Choose

                Every human being is free to choose his or her own actions and intentions. Every person must determine their own values and make choices. Even if one chooses not to decide, they have in fact, made a decision. Every person is condemned to make choices. Even though we are free to make our own choices, we are also held accountable for our choices. Macbeth, from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, had many possible choices he could have made in regard to the many murders that were committed throughout the course of the play. Macbeth allows himself to be persuaded to murder, he ignores his morals and purposely looses touch of humanity, and puts his own thirst for power above everything else. He is responsible for his decisions and is therefore morally responsible for the murders in the play as he.

                 Initially, Macbeth refuses to kill Duncan, due to his own moral reasoning, but he allows himself to be persuaded by Lady Macbeth. Macbeth starts off by talking to himself about the kinds of precedents he will be setting if he follows through with the murder and he explores the repercussions of the plan if it is put in action. He starts by talking about what the impacts of his actions will be. “But in these cases we still have judgment here, that we but teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague th’ inventor: this even handed justice commands the ingredients of our poisoned chalice to our own lips” (1.7.7-12) In this passage Macbeth has his first moral consideration that when you commit a violent crime in order to gain power, you are teaching others that it is acceptable to gain power. It is this flawed logic that, in the end, hurts the instructor. He also considers this idea that no human is an island. Your choices impact everyone, and justice levies an appropriate punishment for your actions.  As Keller points out in his journal article “The Moral Thinking of Macbeth”, Macbeth’s first moral consideration is “To undertake an evil deed is to give that deed authenticity, to assign it a status in the world of values and the world of deeds dependent on those values. To act is to assign value to the deed; to value a deed is to commend it as worth doing, by others as well as by oneself. Thus, evil action is in part known as such for its power to rebound upon the doer.” In short, Keller states that Macbeth is anticipating Satire’s idea that “in choosing, one chooses for all humanity”.

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After expressing why he would be foolish to follow through with the murder, Macbeth convinces himself, that Lady Macbeth is correct, even though he knows she is not.  Even though he expresses concerns with the plan, he allows himself to be reassured by Lady Macbeth (1.7.58-78), and he allowed Lady Macbeth to corrupt his moral standards with her ideas of what men should do (1.7.36-60). After this discussion of social standards and morality, Macbeth decides to “bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat” (1.7.79-80).

Macbeth continually ignores his own code of ethics, and in the end loses his ...

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