Macbeth’s Corruption and Downfall In this essay i will explain and give examples of how Macbeth is corrupted by power and as he is incompetant to become king. I will describe how Macbeth is driven to his downfall and how his life falls apart piece by piece. In Macbeth Shakespeare pesents three evil witches who seduce Macbeth and have a huge impact on Macbeth’s decisions which lead to his downfall. In Shakespeare’s time withches were common and people were strongly aware of witchcraft.
It is also is apparent that Shakespeare intended to write the play itself for the king James of Scootland as he had wrote Macbeth shortly after King Jame’s succesion to the throne. Also audiences in Shakespeare’s time who wathched Macbeth were not as customed to seeing Macbeth’s bloody scenes and his murderous thoughts because this type of action was strictly frown upon were a extremely punishable offence. Not many people did things like this back in those days. The point i will be focussing on in this essay will be how Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a disturbed character and how he changes throughout the play.
Point: Macbeth is presented at the start as a well adjusted soldier and he is praised by the king which shows he is not disturbed as such. Quote: ‘ O valiant cousin, worthy gentlemen’ Explanation: ‘Valiant’ and ‘worthy’isn’t emotive language that we would associate with someone who is disturbed. It’s the reverse someone who is valiant and usually praised which Duncan does in bestowing Macbeth the thane of Cawdor. The seargeant uses a simile to describe Macbeth as the animal of a ‘sparrow’ and the ‘hare’ with these connotations we can tell they are swift and weak and small that live in the country.
They have qualities that we would not compare too adisturbed character. Point: Macbeth could become disturbed when he encounters the evil withches. Quote: ‘rapt with’dl’ new horrors come upon him, like our strange garements. Explanation: Banquo describes Macbeth like this after the visit of the troublesome witches. Using a simile Banquo uses a simile to describe this new state of mind to pieces of cloth that do not fit properly. This shows that Macbeth is not comfortable with this frame of mind.
It also says that this new frame of mind doesn’t please Banquo and he is not used to seeing Macbeth like this. The quote: ‘rapt’ withal which Banquo says Macbeth is during his aside gives us information on how preoccupied Macbeth is. The word ‘rapt’ means encaptured and is used multiply in this scene and could suggest that the evil withches hold some kind of power oovr Macbeth. Alternitavely it could be a glimpse and seduction of power of becoming king rather than a super natural spell. Point: Macbeth is disturbed and thinking wether or not to kill Duncan.
Quote: ‘He’s here in double trust ; First as i am his kinsman and his subject’ Explanation: Macbeth talks to himself over wether to kill Duncan showing uneasyness and that his life is slowly spiriling out of control and he is losing it. He role of thane feeds him with greed and he wants more power kingship infact. And to do this he loses the care of others around him which shows even more distruption in his life resulting in him slaughtering someone who relies and trusts in him. Point: Macbeth wants to kill Duncan Quote: ‘ we’ld jump the life to come.
But in these cases we still have judgement’ Explanation: Macbeth wants to jump the procedures to becoming King. It states that he will become successful in killing Duncan to become King. Using the dynamic verb ‘Jump’ shows that he wants to skip and not go through the time and effort of becoming King, so he wants to kill him. Point: Shakespeare foreshadows the fact that Macbeth is going to be even more disturbed, than we have already seen in the play. Quote: ‘It will make us mad’ Explanation: Thee words of Lady Macbeth renown and Grace not only foreshadows for Macbeth but also for her character too.
The audience in Shakespeare’s time would have noticed this and this allows Shakespeare to post the fates of these characters at the point they are – supposedly – at the peak of their success. This is iconic. Point: Shakespeare presents Macbeth as someone who is disturbed. A grieving man regreting the awful crime he has has commited. Someone who is slowly letting out his secret. He’s feeling an awful lot of guilt. Quote: ‘the wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees is left this vault to brag of. o yet i do repent me of my fury that i did kill them. Explanation: Macbeth obviously is regreting the crime he has commited.
There is a slight element of guilt in his life. He wishes he would have died an hour before then he would have died a good man. He is also comparing himself to grub left at the bottom of a wine glass, showing he feels worthless and he doesn’t believe in life anymore. Point: Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a disturbed character in the scene of the banquet of Banquo. Quote: ‘Strange Infirmity’ Explanation: Macbeth is seen as having deserved the insanity his mind is undergoing. The crimes he has committed have finnaly attacked his mind with the evil thoughts from within.
The actions of Macbeth have come back to haunt him and are slowly deteriorating his mind. Point: Macbeth s particularly disturbed near the end of the play. when he realises how guilty he is. Quote: I have supp’d full with horrors ; Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts. Explanation: This quote shows that Macbeth is disturbed full of horrors and constantly thinking of disturbed murderous thoughts about the killing of the innocent. This shows he is at he peak of his madness and he nearly has no generous thought left in his savaged mind.
And there is no normality left and every good thing has been drained slowly from his mind. Point: Macbeth does not care about his wife anymore. His reactions to her are layed back and he says if she doesn’t die today she will only die the next day or the next. Quote: ‘She should have died hereafter ; There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow and to-morrow. Explanation: Macbeth not caring about his wife anymore shows that he is giving up and he is not caring with anything anymore, because it is not a normal thing to not be affected by the thought of your wife dying.
This shows all the distrubtion in his life is gradually pulling him away from caring anymore. He is so worried about being King and the war ahead he is oblivious to the others around him who he dearly loves and the things that really matter to him: like comforting his wife. Point: Macbeth feels invincible and that he cannot be beaten. Shakespeare shows that Macbeth will go into battle thinking nothing but to win. Quote: ‘We might have met them dareful, beard to beard, and beat them backward home, Explanation: At this point Macbet is at his wits end and he just cres the liitlest bit and the gruesome ending war can cause.
He says we shall face them ‘beard to beard’ which means they will go whole heartedly into war no matter what the outcome. He goes into war thinking he is invincible this is due to the witches prophecies and his life now relies on these prophecies. Point: At the end of the play, Macbeth seems to have a moment of clarity, which throws light on what has made him and so disturbed during the play. Quote: ‘It hath coul’d my better part of man’ Explanation: Macbeth regrets the way the prophecy have ‘coul’d’ him him and he is supressed his ‘better’ nature. The word is the key here, it means to terrorise and and to threaten against.
It is ironic that Shakespeare uses this word, as Macbeth has been terrorising the people in his kingdom. To conclude i have shown how Shakespeare has presented Macbeth as a disturbed character throughout the tragedy. He has many ways of showing Macbeth as insecure and disturbed but mostly by Macbeth acting strangely for example: Macbeth hallucinating both with images that are shared with te audience like the ghost of Banquo but hallucinations which can only be seen by Macbeth himself as he: pictures: bloody daggers which he can see but not clutch as much as he wants to.
The thought of murdering is constantly on Macbeth mind Shakespeare does this to show his is not his greater self as before. The way Shakespeare has gradually added events which overlap eachother and present Macbeth as a insecure and disturbed character is really clever and shows how successfull a writer Shakespeare is. But however i don’t people would appreciate this skill on how Shakespeare writes simply because such distrption in a persons life was not as common in those days.
However modern writers worship how Shakespeare achieved this because people appreciate the downfall of Macbeth today more as we understand more of his aim. But the wild actions that took place in this play would attract audiences all over and may be why the play was so popular. Near the end of the play Shakespeare describe Macbeth as having strange infimities. This is where Macbeth doesn’t care about Lady Macbeth (his wife) which shows he has lost care for others around him and that Macbeth is a mad freak and he deserves what he has become.