The Tragedy of Macbeth, a play by William Shakespeare is a tragedy of death and dishonesty surrounded by the noblemen of Scotland. The two main characters are Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis and his wife Lady Macbeth. The play focuses around the conflict in Scotland at the time between the King and rebellious Scotsmen. After hearing about his prophecy from the three witches, Macbeth stops at nothing to accomplish his goal. Macbeth eliminated anyone that is in his path, even his dear friends. Macbeth is facing obstacles in his public life as well as in his private life. In his public life, he is a brave and respected nobleman who has the trust from others as well as King Duncan. In his private life, he ultimately comes face to face with death because of his greed and desire. His private life differs from his public life in many ways; his private life consists of poor decisions as well as greed and guilt, this eventually leads to the downfall of Macbeth. Macbeth is an ambitious nobleman who has a tendency to self-doubt; however he is also a two faced, selfish murderer whose gone mad hungry for power.
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Macbeth demonstrates himself in public to have fair character at the start of the play in difference to his foul self later on in the play. Macbeth characterizes a character of loyalty and heroism that proves the fairness of his character. In the play Macbeth exhibits two different faces; he portrays a different personality in private and in public. Macbeth’s ambition is his true tragic flaw, it causes his downfall. Macbeth speaks to himself saying, “â€¦On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, / For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; / Let not light see my black and deep desiresâ€¦” (1.4.50-56). Malcolm, the son of King Duncan, is proclaimed Prince of Cumberland this means he is also the heir to the throne of Scotland. Macbeth is willing to push all his principles aside. He knows that murdering King Duncan in order to become King of Scotland is wrong. This is why he says it is necessary to conceal his “black and deep” aspirations. Macbeth also citied that, “â€¦To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself / And falls on th’ other” (1.7.25-28). Macbeth confesses that the he only thing that is motivating him to kill King Duncan is his ambitions. Macbeth’s conscience bothers him throughout the story it is prohibiting him from forgetting all he knows about right and wrong. Here, ambition portrays as something ugly and dark. Macbeth quoted that, “Away, and mock the time with fairest show/ False face must hide what the false heart doth know” (1.7.81-82). Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are going over the plan to kill Duncan. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth to go out there and entertain their guest and make them feel like their having a splendid time. They do not know that this is all part of their plot to kill King Duncan. Macbeth is concealing his true identity and his true intentions. His ambitions ultimately lead to his catastrophic downfall.
In private, Macbeth exemplifies a sly and selfish person. Macbeth’s private self is influence by the three sister’s prophecies and by Lady Macbeth in his purpose to kill. Lady Macbeth accuses Macbeth of being weak and not having the “guts” to kill King Duncan. Macbeth replies to her saying, “I dare do all that may become a man; / Who dares do more, is none” (1.7.47-48). Macbeth is saying that he can only do what is right for a man to do and if he dares to do anymore than he is not a man at all. He does not want to do anymore, but he is pressured by Lady Macbeth. She even questions his manhood. She thinks Macbeth is “â€¦too full o’ the milk of human kindness” (1.5.16). Macbeth is mentally weak; this is how Lady Macbeth easily influences him. Her strength encourages him at the start. Lady Macbeth insisted that Macbeth, “Look like the innocent flower, / But be the serpent under it” (1.5.67-68). Macbeth is acting innocent like a flower, but underneath that innocent flower be the serpent that is waiting to attack. To King Duncan, Macbeth is his innocent and loyal friend, when actually he is the enemy and a venomous man. This shows that looks can be deceiving.
Macbeth is mentally a weak character that undertakes a drastic psychological change through the play. However, Macbeth then realizes what he has done and becomes guilty. He continues his murderous acts to persuade his dream of becoming King of Scotland. His guilty conscience causes him to hallucinate. Macbeth begins to think that he cannot sleep, “Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep” – the innocent sleep,” (2.2.33-34). Macbeth believes he cannot sleep because he has killed an innocent. Macbeth’s conscious sees Macbeth an evil person now and the “evil Macbeth” will only continue do evil actions. Macbeth believes that he still has the blood of King Duncan on his hands, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” (2.2.57-58). The blood on Macbeth’s hands symbolizes his guilt on him for murdering Duncan. Macbeth thinks that the whole ocean would not be able to wash away evidence of his guilt. His private life and doing causes him to feel guilty he quoted, “I am in blood / Steeped in so far that, should I wade mo more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er” (3.4.136-138). Macbeth is saying that the situation is already at a bad standpoint and he would like to get the situation over with because he is sick of waiting and living in guilt. He realizes that finding out other bad thing would not make the situation worse because he would still be standing in the same situation. He ends up with a blameworthy sense of right and wrong. His private life consists of poor decisions as well as greed and guilt; this eventually leads to his downfall.
In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macbeth ultimately faces obstacles in his public life as well as in his private life. At the end of the day he comes face to face with death because of his greed and desire. His private life differs from his public life in many ways; his public life consists of loyalty and honor in contrast with his private life that consists of poor decisions as well as greed and guilt, this eventually leads to the downfall of Macbeth. This shows that Macbeth, an ambitious nobleman can also be a two faced, selfish murderer who stops at nothing to become king and gain power.