Macbeth: Concious Villain To Unrepentant Tyrant Essay, Research Paper
January, 13, 1999
Macbeth: Conscious Villain to Unrepentant Tyrant
Thesis: To follow the debasement of Macbeth from a hero to a witting scoundrel to an impenitent autocrat.
I. Macbeth as a Hero.
A. Admired warrior
B. Duncan & # 8217 ; s Admiration
II. Macbeth as a Conscious Villain
A. First newss of villainousness
B. Murder of Duncan
C. Guilt-Ridden Soliquoy
III. Macbeth as a non-repentant Tyrant
A. Murder of Macduff & # 8217 ; s household
B. Selfish ideas of slumber
C. Feelings of Invincibility
Macbeth, like most calamities tells the autumn of the supporter from grace. Macbeth, originally a hero, degrades into a witting scoundrel who feels guilt and so into an merciless, non-repentant autocrat. A adult male one time heralded as a hero becomes the curse of the land and his people.
At the start of Macbeth we are introduced to him and it is implied that he is a great warrior and a great adult male. He is the hero of the recent conflict and is the topic of wagess from King Duncan. In fact one critic describes him as & # 8220 ; A great warrior, slightly consummate, unsmooth, and abrupt, a adult male to animate some fright and much esteem. There was in fact, much good in him? surely he was far from devoid of humanity and pity. & # 8221 ; ( Bradley & # 8220 ; Macbeth & # 8221 ; ) This paints the image of an admired, slightly inpersonable hero who was admired for his courage and bravery. In fact even Duncan, his ulterior victim, admired him. Duncan gives him another land and appoints him the Thane of Cawdor. The captain says of Macbeth to Duncan that:
For brave Macbeth & # 8211 ; good he deserves that name & # 8212 ; Contemning luck, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody executing, Like heroism & # 8217 ; s minion carved out his transition Till he faced the slave ; Which nev & # 8217 ; r shook custodies, nor Bade farewell to him, Till he unseamed him from the nave to th & # 8217 ; chops ( I, ii, 16-24 )
These are the words of a adult male who admires Macbeth, and at this point justly so. This is the epic Macbeth of whom we are talking. Unfortunately Macbeth shortly begins his down autumn and becomes a witting scoundrel.
Macbeth debasement to a witting scoundrel begins with his first newss of villainousness. These newss begin when Macbeth hears that the Duncan & # 8217 ; s boy is the following in line for kingship. Macbeth says of this:
The Prince of Cumberland! That is a measure I must fall down or else o & # 8217 ; erleap. For in my manner it lies. ( I, iv, 47-50 )
This is the point at which we see Macbeth start to go a adult male driven by his aspiration for the throne. A adult male willing to kill for it. From this point in the narrative Macbeth & # 8217 ; s villainousness is non yet set in rock and is urged forth by his married woman & # 8217 ; s calls of cowardliness. Macbeth shortly acts on this aspiration through the slaying of Duncan. However his Acts of the Apostless lead him toward a guilty conscious. After he murders Duncan he is haunted by his guilt. He c
ries out that “I’ll go no more. I am afraid what I have done ; Look on ‘t once more I dare not.” ( II, two, 49-51 ) In these lines it is clear that Macbeth regrets his action. Harmonizing to John Andrews this “is his first effort to convey about a? heterotaxy ( to permute “the structural conditions of his ain head into the external world” ) ; in parricidal footings doing himself the exclusive crowned head of his world.” ( Andrews # ? ) In other words his demand for power is so great that his aspiration is willing to “o’erleap” his humanity to acquire what he desires. His guilt from his homicidal action continues throughout Act II, scene two. In Act II, scene three we begin to see the cloud of guilt lifted from him and he easy becomes an impenitent autocrat.
Macbeth & # 8217 ; s slaying of Banqou is the beginning of his descent into the abysm of true dictatorship. He murders a adult male with whom he one time was a beloved friend. He murders Banquo in hopes of procuring the Crown of which he wanted so much. He says:
They hailed him father to a line of male monarchs. Upon my caput they placed a bootless Crown and set a waste sceptre in my kick. ( III, I, 60-63 )
He murders this clip with small guilt and the lone frights that haunt him make so out of fright of find and non of guilt. At this point & # 8220 ; The thought of Macbeth as conscience-tormented adult male is a cliche every bit false as Macbeth himself. & # 8221 ; ( Scott? # ) Possibly the most hardhearted act of Macbeth & # 8217 ; s reign is that of slaying Macduff & # 8217 ; s household. He murders wholly guiltless people for the interest of retribution. His first inherent aptitudes and feelings of his bosom overtake him. He states that:
From this minute the really firstlings of my bosom shall be the firstlings of my manus? to coronate my ideas with Acts of the Apostless, be it thought and done: The palace of Macduff I will surprise. ( IV, two, 147-150 )
And surprisingly from this awful action at that place appears to be no guilt. It is said, & # 8220 ; Macbeth has no witting. His chief concern throughout the drama is that most selfish of all concerns: to acquire a good dark & # 8217 ; s rest. & # 8221 ; ( Scott? # ) He has no feelings for others but enviousness, & # 8220 ; He envies the murdered Duncan in his rest. & # 8221 ; ( Scott? # ) At this point after all his actions his chief privation is rest. Truly he has become an hardhearted autocrat.
The calamity of Macbeth has a common secret plan, that of a hero losing his gallantry. Macbeth one time the admired warrior shortly becomes the despised autocrat of Scotland. Through cardinal points in the drama you can follow this lay waste toing ruin. From Hero to Unfeeling autocrat, that is the calamity of Macbeth.
Andrews, F. John, erectile dysfunction. William Shakespeare: His Work, II. New York: Charles
Scribner & # 8217 ; s Sons, 1985
Bradley, AC & # 8220 ; The Character of Macbeth. & # 8221 ; England in Literature. Ed. James E.
Miller Jr. , et. Al. Illinois: Scott Foresman and Co. , 1973.
Scott, Mark, erectile dysfunction. Shakespeare for Students. Detroit: Gale Research Inc. , 1992
Shakespeare, William. The Calamity of Macbeth, The British Tradition. Eds.
Ellen Bowler, et. Al. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1996