Blindness in Macbeth

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  • Topic: Macbeth, Lady Macduff, Macduff's son
  • Pages : 6 (1970 words )
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  • Published : July 12, 2010
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Blindness Has Consequences

When a character in a tragedy fails to see what they really are, or who other people around them really are, tragedy, normally consisting of death results. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare many characters fail to see the truth that is themselves, or another person. The play reads, “I think not of them:

Yet when we can entreat an hour to serve,
We would spend it in some words upon that business
If you would grant me the time.”
(Act II, I, 25-28)
This quote stated by Macbeth shows blindness in a simple way. He like most of the other characters in this play is blind to his character which is expressed in this statement. Macbeth attempts to say he has no interest in the supernatural, and then he says to Banquo that they will discuss the weird sisters afterwards. Macbeth is blind to his eager and growing interest in the prophecies of the witches, which like many of the other characters leads to his fatal fall. Other characters within the play underwent losses based on the fact they believe others think and behave as they themselves do. The three other characters whom portrayed blindness throughout the book were Duncan, Lady Macbeth and Macduff.

In the book Macbeth, Duncan may have arguably had one of the more obvious blindness’. It is easy to support the fact that Duncan had blind trust in Macbeth’s character, because he truly believed that Macbeth’s inner thoughts and personality were expressed fully through his outer actions. Since Macbeth appeared loyal, by slaying Macdonwell Duncan believed he was honourable and loyal, Macbeth single handily stopped the rebellion led by the former Thane against Duncan, which caused him to rethink his choice of Thane, and re-assign the title to Macbeth. The play reads, “No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive / Our bosom interest: go, pronounce his death/ And with his former title greet Macbeth.” (Act I, ii, 73-75) These lines in the play express Duncan’s deep trust in the loyal character of Macbeth. Duncan has no reason to believe that Macbeth is disloyal because Macbeth has done nothing to harm him. Showing that Duncan is actually blind to Macbeth’s true character, he is blind to the aspiration he posses and the inner thoughts and plans he has brewing within his mind. Duncan shows his misplaced trust in Macbeth multiple times, but only the reader understands that the growing power Macbeth is receiving, due to the gaining of trust from the king will result in a fatal tragedy for Duncan’s character. Duncan puts what seems like a huge amount of trust in a man whom the play seems to expresses that he knows very little about. Duncan knows Macbeth is honourable, but he does not know about Macbeths growing ambitions to climb the social ladder step by step. Duncan sets himself up for trouble; he gives Macbeth the option to get everything he wants, by making him the Thane of Cawdor and by making plans to spend the night at his castle the same night that Macbeth was given an up rise in the social scale. The play reads, “From hense to Inverness, / And bind us further to you.” (Act I, iv, 48-49) These lines are important because we now know that Duncan has the intentions to be at Macbeth’s place for the night. We the readers know about the ambition that Macbeth has to become king, but Duncan is unaware. He is also unaware of the plan that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are stirring around in their heads. By Duncan putting his utmost trust in Macbeth’s character, and giving him a promotion right after assassinating the forming Thane caused Duncan’s fatal death on his own terms. There was no reason for Duncan to believe otherwise, so therefore Duncan’s blindness to Macbeths inner character proved to be fatal in the end, causing Duncan to have the breathe taken from him.

As well as Duncan undergoing a fatal end for not seeing the truth that Macbeth is, Lady Macbeth portrays blindness as well, but her...
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