Topics: Macbeth, Murder, William Shakespeare Pages: 5 (1798 words) Published: January 13, 2013
In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth's corrupt ways and mind causes him to do evil doings and actions. In Act four, he shows many visions of malevolent doings. First, he visits the witches. Then, he plans the murders of Lady Macduff and her son. Next, Macbeth makes Macduff and Malcolm question their thoughts about him. Also, Macbeth vows that he will not be hasty in his moves any longer. Finally, he acts as a foil towards Malcolm. In Act 4, Macbeth's corrupt ways and mind causes evil doings and actions. In this, mysterious play, the main character, Macbeth, being his insane, corrupt, self, prefers to be in the presence of evil (the three witches). He visits the mystical sisters wanting their advice, help, and guidance, and he is saying it by, "I conjure you by that which you profess—“Howe'er you come to know it-, answer me.” Through this imperative of “answer me”, we are shown a commanding tone being used by Macbeth, so from this point we soon unveil that he has become more accusatory. Also the use of the imperative shows that he is now more confident commanding and uses a more aggressive tone when speaking to the witches. The witches respond to his demand by saying that “we’ll answer” and they will listen when he speaks. Shakespeare uses stichomythia in this part, which aligns Macbeth further with the witches. Also on the Jacobean times witches would be associated with evil, so Macbeth is aligning himself even more further with the witches, as he speaks to them, the way they speak to him, he has now become fearless. As Macbeth’s character is presented as becoming more evil as the play progresses, in act 4 we are presented with horrific imagery from the witches “pour in sow’s blood, that hath eaten” which is contrary to human nature, this is seen as a reminiscence to Lady Macbeth’s character, so instead of a mother murdering her child she is now eating it. This highlights Macbeth’s evilness and creates an eerie atmosphere, as in the eyes of the Jacobean audience it is seen as evoking feelings of ghastly imagery. So through the witches’ portrayal we are shown that Macbeth is now even more evil than lady Macbeth. Through this imagery Shakespeare conveys Macbeth’s equivocal nature, and sets him up as a character that, as a result of the witches prophecies continues to degenerate. When the first apparition appears, Macbeth is questioned by the desolate power in which he sees. "Tell me, thou unknown power. Afterward, the first witch replied by saying that he can read Macbeth's thoughts, so there is no reason to speak, and advised Macbeth to listen to him. Banquo, being frightened of these "hags", stayed away, no matter what they said, while Macbeth did not, and any sane person would not visit such treacherous witches or do anything that Macbeth has done. In this act, Macbeth learns that the one who will defeat him wasn't born the right way from a woman. Shakespeare uses the stage direction “thunder” to give a sense of an ominous event, and thunder denotes impending evil before the second apparition is revealed. “Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn. The power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth,” When Macbeth revisits the witches, one of the apparitions has told Macbeth to “Beware Macduff, Beware the Thane of Fife.” So, Macbeth once again orders murderers to kill Macduff family. The using of other men to do Macbeth’s own dirty deeds shows that Macbeth is politically strong but mentally weak. Even so, Macbeth still has a glimpse of humanity. Even though “Birnam wood has come to Dunsinan”, Macbeth rather “die with harness on our back”. Than flee. Although this is partly because of Macbeth believing in personal invincibility “no man of woman born shall harm Macbeth”, it is also because Macbeth is still a true soldier. But this is not what we approach in A4.1 when Macbeth proves he has no conscience” and sleep in spite of thunder”, where he refers to his old guilt, also the use of the image sleep...
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