A subject’s loyalty to his king is one of the thematic concerns of Macbeth.The plot of the play hinges on Macbeth’s betrayal of Duncan, and, ultimately, of Scotland.Lady Macbeth and the three witches are extremely wicked, but they are also stronger and more imposing than the men around them.
A subject’s loyalty to his king is one of the thematic concerns of Macbeth.The plot of the play hinges on Macbeth’s betrayal of Duncan, and, ultimately, of Scotland.Lady Macbeth and the three witches are extremely wicked, but they are also stronger and more imposing than the men around them.Tags: Summer Essay WritingMiddle School Math Problem SolvingNationalbibliothek Frankfurt DissertationenAssignment On EnvironmentN Research PapersHomework Help Services
Our initial impression of Macbeth, based on the captain’s report of his valor and prowess in battle, is immediately complicated by Macbeth’s obvious fixation upon the witches’ prophecy.
Macbeth is a noble and courageous warrior but his reaction to the witches’ pronouncements emphasizes his great desire for power and prestige.
The stage directions indicate that the play begins with a storm, and malignant supernatural forces immediately appear in the form of the three witches.
From there, the action quickly shifts to a battlefield that is dominated by a sense of the grisliness and cruelty of war.
Their famous line “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” is a prominent example (1.1.10), but there are many others, such as their characterization of Banquo as “lesser than Macbeth, and greater” (1.3.63).
Such speech adds to the play’s sense of moral confusion by implying that nothing is quite what it seems.In his description of Macbeth and Banquo’s heroics, the captain dwells specifically on images of carnage: “he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops,” he says, describing Macbeth’s slaying of Macdonwald (1.2.22).The bloody murders that fill the play are foreshadowed by the bloody victory that the Scots win over their enemies.Just as Lady Macbeth will prove to be the antithesis of the ideal wife, Macbeth proves to be a completely disloyal subject.In Act 1, scene 7, for instance, Macbeth muses on Duncan’s many good qualities, reflects that Duncan has been kind to him, and thinks that perhaps he ought not to kill his king.His reaction to the prophecy displays a fundamental confusion and inactivity: instead of resolving to act on the witches’ claims, or simply dismissing them, Macbeth talks himself into a kind of thoughtful stupor as he tries to work out the situation for himself.In the following scene, Lady Macbeth will emerge and drive the hesitant Macbeth to act; she is the will propelling his achievements.These remarks manifest Lady Macbeth’s belief that manhood is defined by murder.When, in Act 1, scene 7, her husband is hesitant to murder Duncan, she goads him by questioning his manhood and by implicitly comparing his willingness to carry through on his intention of killing Duncan with his ability to carry out a sexual act (1.7.38–41).Her violent, blistering soliloquies in Act 1, scenes 5 and 7, testify to her strength of will, which completely eclipses that of her husband.She is well aware of the discrepancy between their respective resolves and understands that she will have to manipulate her husband into acting on the witches’ prophecy.