Login
Password

Forgot your password?

The Trajedy Of Macbeth

This article has been generously donated to InfoBarrel for Charities.
By Edited Apr 13, 2016 0 0

The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a play depicting the process of corruption and final demise of the once valiant thane Macbeth. His turn to the dark side is arguably from the influence of the evil, crooked weird sisters. They predict and prophesy his fate and say it in such a way that he acts to try and fulfill it. Macbeth does hideous acts to carry out the witches' bidding. When he does, the prophecy is fulfilled in a way different than the reader, or Macbeth expects. There is a difference between what the witches say and what they really mean because they equivocate their speech while giving their prophecies. The witches use equivocation to describe Macbeth's fate. Equivocation is a technique invented by Henry Garnett for the Jesuits to meet in private without lying because of anti-Catholic oppression. They tell half-truths or tell the truth in a confusing way. This is what the witches do to Macbeth in this play.

During the first prophecy the witches encounter Macbeth and his best friend Banquo. The witches give Macbeth three titles; the first is Thane of Glamis, which is a straightforward title because it is one Macbeth already bears. (I, iii, 49) The second is Thane of Cawdor, which makes Macbeth curious because Cawdor still lives. (I, iii, 50) The last is king. (I, iii, 51) The title king gives off an image of a great ruler running a country and dealing with all the complexities of such. It is a noble honorable position that everyone looks up to as the head of the country, dealing with the issues to earn their approval. When Macbeth does become king, this is not the case. By the time he is crowned at Scone he assumes the role of a leader much different from the character Macbeth is introduced to the reader. Macbeth understands this and realizes that this is not what he expected or wanted. During his reign there were dark times in Scotland because of the unrest that lingered after Duncan's "mysterious" death.

The witches also make prophecies for Banquo too. They tell him he will be less than Macbeth, but greater. (I, iii, 66) They also tell him that he will be happier and more sad than Macbeth, and that he will father kings but not be one himself. (I, iii, 67-70) He is sadder and less than Macbeth is because he will not ever raise to the position of king, and will soon die by the hands of his best friend. He is happier and greater because he still retains his moral integrity and dies a noble death, and his decedents will reign with the positive image that a king connotates.

After Macbeth is crowned king he becomes increasingly paranoid about the witches' prophecies about Banquo, and more importantly his son Fleance. He goes to the witches a second time and demands more future telling. (IV, i, 50-61) They foresee his coming to them and plan to, once again, equivocate the meaning of his fate. They show him three apparitions. The first is an armed head. It tells him to beware of Macduff. (IV, i, 74) This one does not equivocate because Macduff is the person who kills Macbeth. The second apparition however makes the first one seem like an indirect equivocation. This apparition is a bloody baby. The baby tells Macbeth not to fear anyone born of women. (IV, i, 81) It seems to Macbeth and the reader that this means he is invincible to any living human creature as all are born from woman. This also questions the true meaning of the first apparition telling him to beware of Macduff. Macbeth himself even questions this. (IV, i, 85) What the apparition really means is that his perpetrator is not born naturally. The third apparition is a crowned child holding a tree telling Macbeth he should not fear until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane hill. (IV, i, 95-97) It appears as though Macbeth has nothing to fear because an entire forest would have to gradually make its way to his castle, which would take generations to occur. What it actually means is that the English troops attempting to oust Macbeth for his wrongdoings would use tree branches to hide their numbers.

The prophecies of the witches, and the half-truths they contain literally drive Macbeth crazy. He follows the devil's temptation seeking to find one thing but finding another thing much less appealing than the first. The witches avoid the fine print with their scheming equivocation. Macbeth gets to a point where he resolves to keep following the witches with the false hope of things turning out alright. He realizes it never will and traps himself in a corner. The witches draw false plans of reality because Macbeth never obtains his dream.

Arguably from the influence of the evil, crooked weird sisters. They predict and prophesy his fate and say it in such a way that he acts to try and fulfill it. Macbeth does hideous acts to carry out the witches' bidding. When he does, the prophecy is fulfilled in a way different than the reader, or Macbeth expects. There is a difference between what the witches say and what they really mean because they equivocate their speech while giving their prophecies. The witches use equivocation to describe Macbeth's fate. Equivocation is a technique invented by Henry Garnett for the Jesuits to meet in private without lying because of anti-Catholic oppression. They tell half-truths or tell the truth in a confusing way. This is what the witches do to Macbeth in this play.

During the first prophecy the witches encounter Macbeth and his best friend Banquo. The witches give Macbeth three titles; the first is Thane of Glamis, which is a straightforward title because it is one Macbeth already bears. (I, iii, 49) The second is Thane of Cawdor, which makes Macbeth curious because Cawdor still lives. (I, iii, 50) The last is king. (I, iii, 51) The title king gives off an image of a great ruler running a country and dealing with all the complexities of such. It is a noble honorable position that everyone looks up to as the head of the country, dealing with the issues to earn their approval. When Macbeth does become king, this is not the case. By the time he is crowned at Scone he assumes the role of a leader much different from the character Macbeth is introduced to the reader. Macbeth understands this and realizes that this is not what he expected or wanted. During his reign there were dark times in Scotland because of the unrest that lingered after Duncan's "mysterious" death.

The witches also make prophecies for Banquo too. They tell him he will be less than Macbeth, but greater. (I, iii, 66) They also tell him that he will be happier and more sad than Macbeth, and that he will father kings but not be one himself. (I, iii, 67-70) He is sadder and less than Macbeth is because he will not ever raise to the position of king, and will soon die by the hands of his best friend. He is happier and greater because he still retains his moral integrity and dies a noble death, and his decedents will reign with the positive image that a king connotates.

After Macbeth is crowned king he becomes increasingly paranoid about the witches' prophecies about Banquo, and more importantly his son Fleance. He goes to the witches a second time and demands more future telling. (IV, i, 50-61) They foresee his coming to them and plan to, once again, equivocate the meaning of his fate. They show him three apparitions. The first is an armed head. It tells him to beware of Macduff. (IV, i, 74) This one does not equivocate because Macduff is the person who kills Macbeth. The second apparition however makes the first one seem like an indirect equivocation. This apparition is a bloody baby. The baby tells Macbeth not to fear anyone born of women. (IV, i, 81) It seems to Macbeth and the reader that this means he is invincible to any living human creature as all are born from woman. This also questions the true meaning of the first apparition telling him to beware of Macduff. Macbeth himself even questions this. (IV, i, 85) What the apparition really means is that his perpetrator is not born naturally. The third apparition is a crowned child holding a tree telling Macbeth he should not fear until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane hill. (IV, i, 95-97) It appears as though Macbeth has nothing to fear because an entire forest would have to gradually make its way to his castle, which would take generations to occur. What it actually means is that the English troops attempting to oust Macbeth for his wrongdoings would use tree branches to hide their numbers.

The prophecies of the witches, and the half-truths they contain literally drive Macbeth crazy. He follows the devil's temptation seeking to find one thing but finding another thing much less appealing than the first. The witches avoid the fine print with their scheming equivocation. Macbeth gets to a point where he resolves to keep following the witches with the false hope of things turning out alright. He realizes it never will and traps himself in a corner. The witches draw false plans of reality because Macbeth never obtains his dream.









Advertisement

Comments

Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB History