Act 1 Scene 5 Macbeth

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The given excerpt from Macbeth is situated in Act 1 Scene 5 of the play. In this scene, Lady Macbeth reads to herself a letter she has received from Macbeth. She resolves to convince her husband to do what is required to seize the crown. A messenger informs Lady Macbeth about the king’s forthcoming arrival and Macbeth’s too. As she awaits their arrival, she delivers a soliloquy after which she resolves to put her natural femininity aside and do the soiled deeds to seize that crown she eagerly wants. Towards the end of the scene, Macbeth enters; consequently, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth conjure up a plan to kill King Duncan before the night ends. As the extract progresses, it brings about important themes in the play such as the ambition in the characters of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth and what it leads to, it also presents equivocation and the theme of natural order in the play.

Ambition in Macbeth, through the witches’ prophecy leads to his eventual rise to the throne. It is important to see how Macbeth’s aspirations were driven by the witches’ prophecy as in the previous scenes he was depicted as a brave and loyal general who proved his deserved respect and loyalty to King Duncan time and again; and later he went to take the throne through the murder of King Duncan which eventually led to his demise. Macbeth writes in his letter that the witches me him ‘ in the day of success’, which shows that Macbeth was already on a high after winning a battle and proving his loyalty to Kind Duncan. However, his conviction that they had ‘more in them than mortal knowledge’ shows that the fire of ambition has already been ignited in him. The mere fact that he wants to believe and wants to make Lady Macbeth believe in the witches’ prophecy shows that he has started dreaming of becoming the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth writes that he ‘burned in desire’ to fulfill his curiosity by asking them questions. This desire is not just the desire he had to ask question to the witches but also...
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