Fear motivates many people to act upon matters, right or wrong. This emotion has been important in many events in both works of literature, and in the real world. It has forced military geniuses into retreat, and influenced them to plan another method of attack. Fear can be both a positive and a negative acting force in one's life, a quality that can motivate one to success as well as to downfall. In the play Macbeth fear was a major motivating factor in character's actions. Macbeth was fearful of being caught and having to pay for the wrongs he had done this led to the murders that followed he killed King Duncan. Macbeth's actions were also partially driven by fear of the witches' last prophecy, about the line of kings spawning from Banquo. He was afraid this would come true attempted to prevent it from happening. Lady Macbeth was also plagued by fear as made apparent by the constant washing of her hands while sleepwalking and her speech during her troublesome sleep. Her fulfillment by the direst cruelty and pure evil has worn off, leaving her somewhat of a basket case, ridden by fear and guilt as a result of her actions. After Macbeth kills Duncan, he is too scared to even carry the daggers back into the king's chamber. When the king's body is discovered, he kills the two guards that were in Duncan's room, and places the blame for the murderous deed upon them. His fear forces him to act this way in order to make him seem innocent. Macbeth's fear of being caught acts as an indicator of his guilt; however at first none of the other characters are able to realize this. As Lady Macbeth becomes consumed by fear and guilt, she is slowly losing her sanity. This is a result of her not being able to handle what she has done to Duncan. In one scene, Lady Macbeth is trying to wash out what she sees as being blood on her hands, even though she is sleepwalking, though the doctor and woman in the room dare not blame her for anything, for fear of being accused...
...280: Essay #1
Due: Thursday, October 11th
Word Count: 930
Macbeth is filled with symbols that work to shed light on the nature of the play and the inner workings of its characters. In The Well-Wrought Urn, Cleanth Brooks confidently and effectively argues the image of the babe as the most powerful symbol in Macbeth by both comparing the babe to other symbols within the play, showcasing the babe as a symbol of superior importance, and representing it as a marker of Macbeth`s future. Brooks` arguments regarding the babe are indeed paradoxical, which I intend to prove throughout my own argument.
In Macbeth, Brooks states that the babe acts as the most powerful symbol in the play, of special importance as it "demonstrate(s) for Shakespeare how obsessive the symbols were." (Cleanth Brooks pg. 31) He does this by first analyzing the other symbols at work in the play: the symbolism of clothing, cloaking & darkness, the significance of "manliness", planting and growth. Brooks uses these minor symbols to gain new insights into characters, whereas the babe is more often used to explain plot. An example is Macbeth's pride in his new dressing clothes: "Macbeth here is proud of his new clothes. He is happy to wear what he has truly earned." (Brooks 35) Brooks is careful to not just present Macbeth's emotion (happiness), but to showcase the emotions to shed light on his character. We now know that...
...Act 2, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Macbeth is one of the most violent and intense scenes of the play. This scene is essential to the plot because it produces and develops Macbeth’s character as well as showing the first signs of guilt. It also presents a powerful and different side of the duo, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after the death of King Duncan. He successfully uses a range of evocative language techniques to develop and explore the ideas of being a victim of fate, guilt and the issue of masculinity presented in Act 2, Scene 2.
In 2.2 the dialogue between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth reveals information to the audience about the aggressive nature of their relationship. The ideas of being the victim of fate and the issue of masculinity are linked together in this scene. Lady Macbeth and the Witches see Macbeth as the perfect victim of fate. He has no power of control over Lady Macbeth’s or the witch’s commands. Lady Macbeth’s imperative voice compels Macbeth to arrange the murder, what to do with the dagger and most famously when she orders him to wash his hands, “Wash this filthy witness from your hands”. Although Macbeth performs the deed, it is Lady Macbeth that is orchestrating the attributes. Macbeth being a victim of fate, issues of masculinity overpowering his judgment, leads him to be tormented by his guilty and...
...MacBeth - Analysis of FearFear, this motivates us to do many things no matter if they are right or wrong. In the
Play Macbeth it was fear that was the main motivating factor that influenced the
outcome of the play. This can be proved by the subsequent murders that followed
after Duncan's, why were these committed? Because Macbeth was scared of being
caught and having to pay for the wrongs he had done. Also look at Lady Macbeth,
he constant washing of her hands, sleepwalking and other behavior like this. All
done out of fear, and like her husband fear of being caught. The final piece of proof
I offer is Macbeth's actions, they were all due to fear, not only of being caught but
of the witches' prophecies, he was scared of them coming true and tried to stop
them from happening. This whole play was inspired by fear and what it and do to a
To begin, we'll address Macbeth's subsequent murders, following Duncan's. For
Macbeth, he's just killed the King of Scotland and blamed it on his son. It worked
and he became King, however he remembered the witches' prophecies. They
claimed that Macbeth would be King, but it would be Banquo's children that would
follow after him. This made Macbeth very angry, he risked everything to become
King and after him none of his...
...The Role of Masculinity in William
The female gender usually does not have qualities traditionally associated with males. In the play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth is one character who’s masculine qualities are greater than her feminine qualities. Lady Macbeth’s self-masculinization inevitably leads to her death. In the play, Lady Macbeth’s masculinity leads to her selfish ambition, diminishes her female qualities that were traditionally seen in women in the Elizabethan Era, and leads to her domination of her husband by manipulation. Therefore, Lady Macbeth’s masculinity in Shakespeare’s Macbeth overwhelmingly and inevitably leads to her demise.
Throughout the play, Shakespeare constructs Lady Macbeth to be more masculine than feminine. She is mentally stronger and more cunning than Macbeth, and is able to manipulate him in their marriage. Physically, she wants to be more masculine and does not want to display her female qualities. Therefore, Lady Macbeth is more masculine mentally and physically.
Lady Macbeth’s ambition results in her inevitable death. The first way in which Lady Macbeth’s selfish ambition leads to horrific incidents is by her determination to kill the King. When Lady Macbeth receives the letter from Macbeth stating the witches called him “the future king”, she starts talking...
...the element of sleep in Macbeth, one of the darkest and most powerful tragedies written in the early 1600’s. In the play, Shakespeare tells the journey of Macbeth and Banquo’s encounter with the Three Witches who predict their futures. The Three Witches prophesy that Macbeth will someday claim his title as King of Scotland. This prophecy leads to his obsession with power, which causes his inability to sleep and guilt for his actions. William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth utilizes the motif of sleep to demonstrate the theme that sleep awakens the guilty from rest and summons them to suffering the consequences.
One way in which Shakespeare utilizes the motif of sleep to demonstrate the theme that sleep awakens the guilty from rest and summons them to suffering the consequences occurs through Banquo’s inability to sleep. In Act II, scene i, the setting begins with Fleance pondering why his father, Banquo, has not gone to bed yet. Banquo goes on to tell his son about his sleepless nights because of something or someone restraining him from sleeping. Tired and restless, Banquo wearily states, “Hold my sword…Merciful powers retrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature give way to in repose,” foreshadowing Banquo’s obliviousness to his own fate and other disturbances that will appear intensely throughout the play (Macbeth II. i.4-9). The significance of this scene in the play shows that Banquo feels somewhat...
...characters. In the play, Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are developed through the use of clothing, sleep, and blood imagery.
Through the use of clothing imagery, Shakespeare exposes and develops the character of Macbeth. In the beginning, Macbeth is seen as loyal soldier of King Duncan. When presented with the title of Thane of Cawdor, he says "Why do you dress me/ In borrowed robes" (I.iii.115). This changes, however after the witches' prophecies awaken his ambition to be king. "Throughout the entire play, Macbeth is constantly wearing new clothes (titles), that are not his, and that do not fit. Hence, his ambition. This ambition, as we see, is what leads to his demise"(Planet Papers. Pars 2). This is proven through Banquo's words, "New honours come upon him/ Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold/ But with the aid of use"(I.iv.160). After the witches' prophecies tell Macbeth that he will be king, Macbeth is overcome with ambition, and he kills Duncan so he can take over and be king. Apparently, Macbeth is trying to fit into clothes/titles that do not belong to him, because he does not deserve them. He is not fit to be king. " Now does he feel his title/ Hang loose about him/ Like a giant's robe/ Upon a dwarfish thief" (V.ii.23-25). Although, Macbeth changes ranks...
...order? This is what Macbeth had to solve within himself, his internal conflict.
Ladies and Gentlemen, an overriding theme of conflict is established within William Shakespeare’s tragic play “Macbeth”. Conflict. What is conflict? We simply define conflict as the struggle between opposite forces or different opinions between people. Though it doesn’t always have to include two or more people, it can be within oneself.
In the opening acts of the play, internal conflict is explored through the character of Macbeth. He struggles to be loyal to his king, Duncan, which Macbeth expresses in his words (Act 1 scene 7) “first as I am his kinsman and his subject”. Duncan had entitled Macbeth to be Thane of Cawdor, as he was seen as a great soldier, who was rewarded for his loyalty and for defending his country and King against a treacherous rebellion. However, he is corrupted by evil in the form of three witches and their supernatural prophecies that Macbeth was going to become King of Scotland, this then ignited his ambition. The motif of darkness and evil is suggested when he says, 'Let not light see my black and deep desires.' Macbeth’s aside, tells his inner most thoughts and internal conflict to the audience. He speaks in rhyming couplets to emphasize the importance of his driving ambition and the dramatic exit after his aside heightens the conflict.
Shakespeare cleverly uses soliloquy’s to...
...society’s expectations of gender roles in his play, “Macbeth”. Gender provides the main source of conflict in the play through the distortion of traditional gender roles, the apparent contrasts between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, and manipulation through gender.
Throughout the play many characters act in opposition to their expected gender roles. The best example of this is Lady Macbeth. As a woman, supporting character, we expect Lady Macbeth to be gentle and compromising. She is quite the opposite. When Macbeth sends Lady Macbeth a letter announcing Duncan’s stay and discussing the witches’ prophecies, power-hungry Lady Macbeth sees this as an opportunity. “Hie thee hither, /That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;/And chastise with the valour of my tongue,” she says to herself upon reading the letter.(1.5) Lady Macbeth’s confidence in manipulating her husband establishes her as the dominant partner in the relationship. Typical 17th century societal rules dictate that men should “rule” over their wives so this is an obvious reversal. Instead of being the generous hostess Lady Macbeth is expected to be, she takes advantage of her guests. When Duncan chooses to stay at the Inverness, she convinces her husband to instead kill him and take the throne. She advises Macbeth, “Look like th’ innocent flower,/ But be the serpent under’t.”...