Nature Of Evil In Macbeth

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What is the nature of evil? Shakespeare’s Macbeth uses the seven deadly sins from scripture to answer this question. Pride, lust, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth and wrath corrupt Macbeth. Macbeth’s pride in himself and prophecy, lust for power and envy of King Duncan drive him to regicide. He becomes greedy and gluttonous, using power only for his benefit. He is slothful in his duties, becoming a tyrant. Wrath transforms Macbeth into a purely destructive force. Evil affects Macbeth’s personality, actions and the lives of everyone around him.

Pride begets Macbeth’s downfall. When Macbeth confronts the witches, they state;
“Laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.” (4.1.81 – 83)
Macbeth gains supernatural pride: he no longer fears women-born. Lady Macbeth goads Macbeth into killing the king, questioning his word; “When you durst do it, then you were a man;
And to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much
…show more content…
Macbeth takes the throne, but not its responsibilities using the power all for himself, being indulgent and lazy in his rule. His personality changes, becoming arrogant and insulting his subjects, “If thou speak’st false, / Upon the next tree shall thou hang alive” (5.5.39 – 40). The news of Macbeth’s tyranny reaches far and wide. His forces abandon him as he has abandoned them, joining the English forces outside the castle in the climax. Macbeth’s disloyalty to his duties breeds disloyalty: evil again breeds evil.

Macbeth’s final act of evil is pure wrath, ordering his kingdom to death regardless of the enemy or consequences. As he states, “I 'gin to be aweary of the sun, / And wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone” (5.5.48 – 49). Macbeth has become a being of pure hate, sentencing himself and his kingdom to death against the English. Macbeth is usurped by men with greater virtues. Evil only brings destruction, with Macbeth’s downfall symbolising

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