Write on the idea in Macbeth of being/feeling secure and the ironies inherent in this.
Throughout Macbeth the idea of being and feeling secure is shown clearly by Shakespeare, he often uses it in very explicit and ironic ways though. Macbeth’s judgement is impaired throughout the play as he only accepts ideas that will benefit him in obtaining his wants; this is mainly due to the witches’ influences on him. He is coaxed into the idea that he is in fact the rightful king and this begins the process of self-damnation for Macbeth. Predominantly I will be focusing on Macbeth being and feeling secure.
When the witch’s first prophesise to Macbeth he believes that he is meant to be king and the prophecies mean for him to reign. He immediately seems interested, ‘Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more’. This shows his false sense of security as he seeks to believe and understand what they tell him. The irony, of course, is that he will not be king unless he murders the current king, Duncan, which he later does. Soon after, he in announced as Thane of Cawdor and is sceptical of whether he will become King, he tells his wife, Lady Macbeth, of the witches’ prophecies and she plots to kill Duncan. ‘We will proceed no further in this business’ he says to her, this shows his insecurity. At this moment he is thinking of murder being the universal sin and does not want to commit it, Duncan has been chosen by divine right to rule and Macbeth will not challenge it. Of course, Macbeth does kill Duncan and immediately afterwards he says ‘Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep’; this not only shows his insecurity about what he has done but his fear of what may come because of it. He has ‘murdered sleep’ not only Duncan, and because of this he will not be able to be at rest at all.
At a number of points in the play other people’s security, aside from Macbeth, seems threatened. Banquo for example says ‘Merciful powers, restrain me the cursed thoughts that nature gives...
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