Reconstruction of the North

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Never Truly Lost
The story of Macbeth, an inherently good man who is slowly poisoned by the evil acts he commits to further his ambition, is a classic Shakespearean tragedy. Macbeth is first seen as a loyal, brave man, but as the play progresses, he begins to be overtaken by his darker side, partly due to the encouragement of his wife, Lady Macbeth. As Macbeth rises to power and gains the title of King of Scotland, both he and his wife become increasingly unhappy and feel extreme guilt for the murders they have taken part in. The play culminates with both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth dying, showing that evil actions have their consequences. However, though both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth were responsible for evil in the play, the witches (who told Macbeth that he would be king one day) were the ones who initially planted the seed of ambition and violence inside Macbeth. The witches are most responsible for the evil in Macbeth due to the fact that Macbeth would not have committed the murders if the prophecy had not been told.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are less evil than the witches because they feel guilt after committing the murders, and they show signs of goodness throughout the play, unlike the witches. At the beginning of Macbeth, Macbeth is a valiant, noble man who is loyal to King Duncan and his country, displayed by the fact that he kills Macdonwald (a traitor to Scotland.) However, after hearing the witches’ prophecy, Macbeth begins to feel ambition stir inside of him and briefly thinks of killing King Duncan. Without Lady Macbeth though, Macbeth would have never actually committed the murder of Duncan, which even she realizes when she says, “…thy nature…it is too full ‘o th’ milk of human kindness…,” after reading a letter Macbeth has sent her about the prophecy and his thoughts about Duncan (1.5.17). In one of Macbeth’s famous soliloquys, he resolves not to kill Duncan because Duncan has been a good king and Macbeth has, “…no spur to prick the sides...
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