Professor Andrés Navarrete
Shakespeare LET 1746
3 October, 2011
How ignorance leads Macbeth to his evildoing
In order to introduce the topic, we need to understand that the origin of Macbeth 's evildoing can have many possibilities at the moment of interpreting this character. However, I am going to focus mainly on the role of ignorance as the element which triggers his evil, inner side. In addition, I will analyse the external features which influenced this behaviour in Macbeth 's mind and I will show how his conduct was not something at random but Macbeth had a sense of ambition which was guided by his wrongdoing.
First of all, according to the Cambridge Dictionary Online, ignorance is a lack of knowledge, understanding or information about something. In this case, we can think that Macbeth could not comprehend certain information that was given to him because of, perhaps, his misunderstanding made him fulfil the ambiguous information that is shown next:
MACBETH Speak, if you can: what are you?
FIRST WITCH All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!
SECOND WITCH All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee,
Thane of Cawdor!
THIRD WITCH All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king
In this quotation, we can see that the three Weird Sisters hailed Macbeth as the three titles that he will have in a future, but they never let him know that he had to kill King Duncan. Nonetheless, Macbeth had already thought that the only choice to become the King of Scotland was to kill Duncan in order to take his place. Consequently, Macbeth shows his ignorance because he wanted to believe that this was a prophecy and it could change his life being the most important man in the kingdom. Then, when he wanted to know something more about this information, the witches disappeared. This revelation was as ambiguous as the prophecies of the Oracle that Macbeth had to figure out how to interpret that prediction. In order for
References: Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905. Knight, G.W. The Wheel of Fire: Interpretations of Shakespearean Tragedy. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974. Shakespeare, W. Cliffscomplete Shakespeare 's Macbeth. Ed. Sydney Lab. New York: Hungry Minds, 2000.