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Macbeth

By courtneythebodo Jan 10, 2013 1181 Words
Courtney Thebodo
Macbeth

Macbeth’s flaws lead to corruption and the disturbance of fate

In the era of Macbeth, many of the beliefs were based upon fate. It was a major part of the culture and how everything happens for a reason. In this play by Shakespeare, fate is corrupted by the main character Macbeth; this corruption unbalances the universe. Macbeth provides an example of contradicting the beliefs in this time frame, eventually fate restores the kingdom and the universe balances out. “Tragedy, according to Aristotle, involves usually a noble man fighting against his fate which lies in the hands of God” ( Jean-François Vernay. Literary Contexts in Plays: William Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'). According to this quote by Vernay, it relates to Macbeth and all the other Shakespearean tragedies. In Macbeth, the main character was a noble man in the beginning and does fight against his fate. At first he tries to make his fate come faster and then later Macbeth tries to contradict it. While, it was really planned out for him the whole time. Macbeth is corrupted by power, causing him to make decisions that interfere with fate, in which witches tell Macbeth he is destined to be king; however, Malcolm is the one who is next in line. Macbeth does anything he can to get the crown which leads to chaos in the kingdom. He kills anyone who is in his way which causes the whole creation of unbalance, arrogance and power corrupts his mind, and once Macbeth is killed the kingdom is restored. Macbeth was very hesitant about killing honorable men to get what he desired most. After he made the first murder, all of the other ones were easy and he had no thought about it at all. The prophecies that the witches conjured triggered his greed to become king and to help his fate come true. First he killed Duncan so he could take his place and be crowned the king of Scotland, which led Malcolm in fleeing the country helping Macbeth to take the throne. Malcolm was next in line, but he and his brother fled the country because they didn’t want to look like suspects or get killed off. When Duncan was found dead, Macbeth acted as if he must kill the guards because it was they who had killed the king. Since he put the blame on the guards, everyone thought it was them; however, Macbeth killed the guards because he didn’t want the truth to be revealed by them that he actually killed Duncan. “O, yet I do repent me of my fury, that I did kill them” (Shakespeare II.III). He acts as if he did such an honorable thing and they deserved to be killed, but he wishes he didn’t have to even though he just wanted to save himself so the country would be in his possession. One of the noblemen named Ross and the Old man discuss how the recent events that had happened are out of the ordinary. “‘Tis unnatural, even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last a falcon towering in her pride of place was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and killed” (II.IV). The Old man says how the universe is unbalanced and how fate has been corrupted. Macbeth didn’t allow his fate to happen on its own and he pushed it forward, causing the kingdom to be chaotic.

The greed for power and arrogance are some of Macbeth’s major flaws that corrupt his mind; He makes some bad decisions that make him look like a fool. He remembers the Witches tell him that Banquo’s descendants will be in the line of the throne and if he wants to remain in power, he must kill Banquo, who is one of his closest friends and had murderers do it for him. “Know that it was he in the time past which held you so under fortune, which you thought had been our innocent self” (III.I). Macbeth convinces the murderers to kill him by making him look like a better person than Banquo is and speaks very highly of himself to persuade the murderers. After Banquo was killed, his ghost came to haunt Macbeth which makes him look like he is going crazy since no one else could see it but him. Also, now that Banquo is gone right after Duncan, more and more people are suspecting something going on with Macbeth. When he went back to the Witches, he saw three apparitions. One of which that meant no woman born man could kill him and this gave Macbeth a lot of confidence. When he goes to battle against Young Siward, he acts very tough and says how he cannot hurt him. “Thou wast born of woman, But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, Brandish’d by man that’s of a woman born” (V.VII). Ever since the apparition, he goes around acting as if no one can kill him. He says this to Young Siward, yet he doesn’t know that Macduff was not woman born and will soon be defeated. His arrogance and pride makes him look a fool and how he was never a great king. When Macbeth was killed, fate was restored and the universe was back in balance. Macduff went to retrieve Malcolm to bring him back to take his place. Then Macduff defeated Macbeth in battle because Macduff was not of women born. Malcolm got to take his place and the entire kingdom was happy that everything was back in order. “Hail, King! For thou art: behold, where stands the usurper’s cursed head: the time is free:” (V.VIII). Macduff says that they are now free from Macbeth’s tyranny and their kingdom is back at peace. “The restoration of nature requires his death (suitably motivated by equivocating fiends) and in stilling his disorder quiets also the disorder of the body politie” (Kermode 1311). At the beginning of the play Macbeth wasn’t a terrible person and he was honorable. When he was told his future he did everything he could to make it come true. Then after when he heard something that he didn’t want to come true, he did everything he could to counteract his fate. Macbeth’s actions made the kingdom unbalanced and chaotic. The only way to make everything in order again, was for him to be defeated. In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the main character Macbeth corrupts the kingdom which messes with faith. He does anything he can to make his fate come true when it’s at his advantage. When he finds out he won’t have the crown for long, he tries to counteract it. Eventually Malcolm would have become king because it was meant to be; Macbeth just moved it off track and his defeat put everything back on the path.

Works Cited
Kermode, Frank. The Age of Shakespeare. New York: Modern Library, 2004. Print. Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. New York: Dover Publications, 1993. Print. Vernay, Jean-François.Literary Contexts in Plays: William Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'., Literary Reference Center Plus.< http://web.ebscohost.com >.

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