“Shakespeare’s Macbeth invites us to look into the world of a man driven by a ruthless ambition and tortured by regret”
Macbeth, A tragic hero, a lost sole, merciless murderer. Whatever you may see him as, you must acknowledge that firstly he is solely driven by his own vicious ambition which leads to his demise.The effects of Lady Macbeth and the Witches are only implements of which Macbeth’s conscience uses to get him where he needs to be.
Secondly, Macbeth is tortured by regret and remorse even before he begins his spree as tyrant.Macbeth’s weak mind is unable to handle the regret of killing another human being, he is manipulated by outward forces but evidently is stricken with the guilt of his decisions throughout the play. These two sources will be why we may feel sympathetic for Macbeth in the end.
We first hear of Macbeth as a honorable and worthy soldier, who would risk his life for his country in a split second.
He is also perceived to be violent and malicious, but this can be overlooked because of the heat of battle and built up anger/rage is put into these fights.Macbeth seems to be on the track to glory and victory in both aspects of life.Then this ambition that is built up inside of him is ignited like a match, when he speaks to the witches of their futures.This small flame, which Macbeth has not realized has been unleashed will turn into something uncontrollable.Macbeth is quite disorientated by the meeting and wonders if he can be king, just by chance or does he have to believe in the foretelling and do something himself to accomplish such a goal.”This supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, why hath it given me earnest of success, Commencing in a truth.”
The thoughts of killing Duncan come to Macbeth’s mind once again, as his ambition gets the better of him and Macbeth now feels it is time to receive a push from Lady Macbeth, so he has the strength to go through with such a horrible deed he cannot compare.”Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs, Against the use of nature?” Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have obviously spoken about killing Duncan for their own ambitions because when lady Macbeth reads the letter she is not shocked, surprised or taken aback
by what Macbeth is suggesting in it.
Macbeth receives the push he asked of Lady Macbeth and now they are preparing for Duncan to come to the castle.At this point we are wondering what lady Macbeth’s intentions and ambitions are.Lady Macbeth can sense that Macbeth is not at ease and tells him to “look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t”. As Lady Macbeth is welcoming Duncan, Macbeth in the meantime is fighting against his conscience on the decisions he is making.He is feeling guilty already from his thoughts and convinces himself he cannot possibly kill the honorable and noble Duncan, who if killed the gods will be unhappy and consequences will come of it. He confronts Lady Macbeth about the issue and is shut down immediately.
Lady Macbeth feels that her husband must do this deed.She chastises and makes him feel inadequate, this eventually makes Macbeth change his mind about killing Duncan and his Ambition sparks again.Macbeth then hallucinates a dagger with blood on it, which leads Macbeth to Duncan’s room. Macbeth kills Duncan and Macbeth’s quilt and remorse is evident when he is speaking to Lady Macbeth in that he is speaking uneasy and he is disturbed.This shows us that Macbeth is more than just a monster and does have morals of his own. “Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!” Macbeth is also imagining noises from all around and his remorse and regret are shining through the a blazing flame of his ambition.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth act shocked and in dismay at the occurrences of the night.Macbeth’s remorse was obviously still affecting him as he was overcompensating for his regret towards his actions.Lady Macbeth was also able to see that Macbeth was struggling, so she made the decision to faint in front of the others there to take away attention from Macbeth.Macbeth’s ambition seems to be quite useless in terms of after he has done his deeds towards his goals which is unfortunate seeing as he is drowned in a pool of regret, remorse and guilt. Macbeth needs to communicate with Lady Macbeth to try and remove this guilt from his shoulders or stop what they are doing for the sake of their lives, but each time he tries to do so. lady Macbeth will chastise him, questions his manhood and call him a coward.
This causes Macbeth to take it eventually to do everything himself and not include his loved one in on his plans(killing Banquo and his son).Lady Macbeth can no longer control Macbeth as he is solely running on the Quite large flame of his ambition, which cannot be tamed by regret or the chastising of Lady Macbeth. This ambition of his can only grow from here.But is Macbeth really a ruthlessly ambitious tyrant.
Macbeth has lost control of his emotions and sense of morals. He is now turning into what both lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself had feared. A tyrant, who cannot be stopped except with the tip of a sword.He kills his best friend Banquo too make sure of his suspicions.Macbeth has a feast to celebrate, but during the feast Banquo’s ghost appears before Macbeth’s eyes.Macbeth goes into a frenzy.Lady Macbeth tries to explain that he has had this problem for a while, but the guilt and remorse that has built up inside Macbeth, is now coming to pass.His remorse towards all of his decision makes us feel sympathy for him, even though he may not necessarily deserve it.
He then seems lost for the rest of the play. He seeks refuge with those who lighted his ruthless ambition in the first place, The witches.He gains fake confidence from the witches, he thinks he is invincible in a way. Macbeth truly becomes this tyrant of ruthlessness when he kills Mac duff’s family who had nothing to do with the ordeal.This is truly terrible as is the fact. He is living in the same space as Lady Macbeth, but they never seem to be together or communicate, which is why they have broken down all together.Soon after Lady Macbeth kills herself.When Macbeth first heard of her illness he merely told the doctor to cure her and continue on with life.This shows his disregard for Lady Macbeth even in her condition where she needs him the most.His ruthless ambition has gotten the better of him again, too which he will have more guilt upon his shoulders for not helping her.
In the Closing scenes we see the Macbeth that fought for honor, hope and loyalty.But before he shows that side, he does quite a heartfelt speech about how life is merely a shadow, a candle blowing in the wind.This scene really does make us feel so sympathetic for what has happened too the promising Macbeth and his wife.Macbeth has been ridden with remorse and regret for a great deal of the play, but should we feel sad for the tyrant who has caused such trouble and horror. Or should we feel anger towards him and his ruthless ambition which destroyed Lady Macbeth’s future and many other. I think Macbeth’s ambition is ruthless and it is the sole power that drove him to do what he has done, and yet he is still a man who we feel sorry for as he regrets every step of the path he has taken.
Cite this Shakespeare’s Macbeth Character
Shakespeare’s Macbeth Character. (2016, Nov 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/shakespeares-macbeth-character/