“Macbeth” by William Shakespeare Essay Sample

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Act I Scene VII in the play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare shows Macbeth’s pondering over if he should kill King Duncan or not. We see that he has a conscience as he thinks about the consequences that may come with the killing of the King. We also see that Macbeth is very ambitious and Lady Macbeth knows that this is his weakness and tries to exploit this. Lady Macbeth is portrayed as being very masculine as she seem to be in control as she dominates the situation. Shakespeare uses emotive words to show Lady Macbeth’s irritation towards Macbeth’s hesitation and reluctance towards the assassination of Duncan. Shakespeare also uses strong imagery to show how Macbeth has a conscience and does not want to kill Duncan when Macbeth uses very innocent and delicate imageries to described the Duncan as a very good and generous king.

Shakespeare uses Macbeth’s soliloquy to show his conscience and his sense of justice. Here for the last time we see Macbeth still capable of choosing between good and evil. The motives that are at work to deter him from committing the murder, fear of the consequences in this world, mingled feelings of kinship, loyalty, and hospitality, admiration for Duncan’s goodness, are not, perhaps, of the highest moral character; but in comparison with the reckless lust of power which urges him on, they are certainly motives for good.

However Lady Macbeth throws Macbeth off justice with her influence, backed by a relentless decision to contemplate nothing but the immediate necessity for action. Macbeth wavers for an instant, and then, not so much overpersuaded, as stung into action by the taunts of his wife, plunges headlong into the crime. From this time till the end of the play Macbeth is no longer a free man. All his remaining actions spring by the logical necessity of crime from his first deed of blood. If Macbeth can’t keep his vow, Lady Macbeth says, then he isn’t a man. We see that Lady Macbeth is very persuasive and knows how to manipulate Macbeth’s flaws.

Shakespeare uses powerful imagery to show Macbeth’s justice. At first he ponders if should kill the King when he says “If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly”. This shows us that he is reluctant to kill Duncan and wants to get it over with. Shakespeare uses euphemism when Macbeth calls the killing as “assassination” and “blow” to show Macbeth is reluctant and afraid of the idea of killing Duncan. Macbeth also thinks about his afterlife when he relates to religious points: “judgement”. Macbeth is afraid that he will be punish for eternity if he kills Duncan. He understands that there will be “consequences” and that killing Duncan might be a “be all or end all”. Macbeth, alone, agonizes about whether to kill Duncan. He’d be willing to murder Duncan if he thought that would be the end of it. But he knows that “bloody instructions, being taught, return to plague the inventor” .

Also, Macbeth notes, Duncan is a guest, kinsmen, and good king. He decides ambition is not enough to justify the murder. To put it bluntly, Macbeth is about to not kill Duncan because he thinks that he’s likely to get caught. Only at this point does he start thinking of other reasons that he shouldn’t kill his king. As the King’s subject, as his kinsman, as his host, Macbeth is supposed to protect his king, not kill him. Besides, Duncan has done nothing wrong. He is a good king, and he is “meek,” not arrogant, so when he is killed, pity itself “Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, / That tears shall drown the wind”. This outpouring of pity for King Duncan will make things even more dangerous for Macbeth. On the other hand, his only motivation is his “Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself / And falls on the other” . This image suggests his inner emptiness. He is obsessed with the idea of doing the deed and becoming king.

Lady Macbeth is portrayed as being very masculine and in control in this scene. Just as Macbeth is thinking about the senselessness of the murder he’s planning, his wife comes looking for him. She very forcibly points out that the King has almost finished his supper, and Macbeth should be there, pretending to be the happy host. Macbeth then attempts to put an end to his problem by saying that “We will proceed no further in this business” . He explains that he wants to enjoy the honors that the King has just bestowed upon him. In saying this, he may sound firm and reasonable, but it turns out that he doesn’t have a chance against his wife’s passionate scorn.She accuses him of being the kind of person who can dream of wearing kingly robes only when he’s drunk.

She asks sarcastically, “Was the hope drunk / Wherein you dress’d yourself? Hath it slept since?” . This is harsh enough, but it gets worse. She tells him that if he’s going to go back on his word, he doesn’t really love her, and he’s a coward, no better than the “poor cat i’ the adage” , who wants a fish, but doesn’t want to get its feet wet. Macbeth tries to defend himself by saying, “I dare do all that may become a man; / Who dares do more is none” . He’s right about what a real man will and won’t do. A real man will dare risk his life to protect his King, but a man who dares to murder his King is not a true man. This perfectly reasonable statement only makes his wife more scornful. She tells him that “When you durst do it, then you were a man” .

From this scene we see that Macbeth is a very ambitious character. Shakespeare uses very detailed dialogue to show Macbeth’s justice towards not wanting to kill Macbeth. Lady Macbeth on the other hand is very manipulative and exploits Macbeth’s flaws. This scene is portrayed very effectively by Shakespeare’s detailed dialogue.

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