Macbeth: the Mind of a Murderer

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1194
  • Published : December 20, 2005
Open Document
Text Preview
The Mind of a murderer is one of the most intriguing, malicious, and frightening ideas that can be portrayed by a writer. Authors across the globe have tried to grasp their hands on the line that a murderer crosses when making his first kill. One of the most complex murderers in literatures history is Macbeth of Shakespeare's Macbeth. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is introduced as an ambitious, valiant warrior who cares for both his country and his people. Soon after the beginning of the play, Macbeth is corrupted by the prediction of the 3 witches that he will soon be king. As the play progresses, Macbeth is driven to kill Duncan, and from there he hires 3 murderers to kill Banquo and Macduffs wife, along with everyone in his house. It is a common theory that from the beginning, Macbeth was corrupted and insane, wanting nothing but power. However, Macbeth was never insane- only paranoid after his first kill. Through the course of the play, Macbeth goes from a noble warrior to a paranoid murderer- and this paranoia is what drives him to kill.

Macbeth's first step in committing murder is when the witches predict his rule over Cawdor and the thought of killing King Duncan initially crosses his mind. "All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter," (Act 1. sc. 3 line 53), with this prophecy begins Macbeths thoughts of murder. Bewildered yet captivated by these words, Macbeth begs to hear more just before the witches vanish. As soon as Ross informs Macbeth that he is Thane of Cawdor (as the witches predicted), Macbeth begins to think of what he can to help the witches next foretelling come true. Soon after this, Macbeth wonders whether he will have to perform a murder in order to gain the position as king. At this point, Macbeth is captivated by the power offered to him by this new position, and is overcome with the thirst for power. However, dissimilar to what most would do, Macbeth fixates on this prophecy and it begins to take over his life. This obsession drives him to think murderous thoughts, although he is not detirmined to go through with them. Once he tells his wife about the witches prophecy, her reaction is much different to his. Lady Macbeth fears that her husband is "too full o' th' milk of human kindness" (Act 1. sc. 5 line 17) to kill Duncan (a thought that immediately comes to her mind). She even wishes that she were a man so that she could perform the task. Sure enough, Lady Macbeth drives tentative Macbeth to go in for the kill. At this point, Macbeth is eager to test out the waters, and see how far he can go before he falls in. He is curious to see how serious his wife is, but realizes only too late. Macbeths being forced to commit his first murder begins his murderous rampage and downfall into paranoia.

Once Macbeth kills Duncan he begins to take the downhill drop into a state of paranoia. Immediately after the excitement of his first kill wears off, you can see Macbeths paranoid mind beginning to form. Before killing Duncan, Macbeth realizes that the bad actions that he takes "return to plauge the inventer" (Act 1. Sc. 7 Ln 9-10), however he still goes through with the kill, after hearing Lady Macbeth encouraging him. Because Macbeth gives into his wifes wishes to kill Duncan immedietly, it shows how close they are and how good their relationship is-but it turns out not to be strong enough to make it through the play. When walking into the kings chamber, to kill Duncan, Macbeth sees the image of a bloody dagger pointed at Duncan and this is the point at which he begins to get paranoid. Here, he questions whether or not the dagger is real, but before he can think about it, he hears the bell toll and goes to kill Duncan. After Macbeth commits the murder, he sees the chamberlains awake and say a prayer, he tries to pray with them, but finds that the word "amen" is unable to come out of his mouth. At this innitial stage, it is possible that this paranoia is just nervousness immedietly...
tracking img