At the beginningof the story, Macbeth’s character was a character with strong morals. As the play went onthough, Macbeth’s morality lessened immensely. After killing Duncan he was veryparanoid and feared the consequences that would arise. He knew what he had donewrong.
In comparing Duncan’s murder with his best friend, Banquo’s murder, He wasmuch more relaxed after Banquo’s death. His character shifted throughout the play. Macbeth, at this point did anything to keep his crown, even so far as to getting killed forit! I think that some sort of anatomy of evil was responsible for Macbeth’s as well as othercharacters’ wrongdoings in the story. Each character in the story had to either fight it orgive into it. In Macbeth’s case, he fought it and lost, and therefore, gave into it.
The play makes several points about the nature of evil. One point it makes is thatevil is not normal in human nature. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have to sort of “trick”themselves into murdering Duncan. First, Lady Macbeth has to beg evil spirits to tear allhuman feeling from her (“. .
. spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts. . . ” Act I, Scene V,Lines 41-42 “Stop up th’ accessand passage to remorse / That no compunctiousvisitings of nature / Shake my fell purpose.
. . “Act I, Scene V, Lines 45-47) and thenshe has to make Macbeth ignore his own conscience (“Yet do I fear thy nature; It is toofull o’ th’ milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way” Act I, Scene V, Lines17-19) Once she has seen her husband’s ambition has been inflamed, she is willing to riskanything to help him get the crown. It was as if she were taking her heart out to make herhusband king. She has been very successful of emptying herself of human feeling.
By theend of the play, both characters have been destroyed from within. Fear and guilt driveLady Macbeth mad; Macbeth sees life as an empty, meaningless charade. (His famousspeech upon hearing of Lady Macbeth’s suicide: “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, andtomorrow. . . “Act V, Scene V, Lines 17-28) This speech is less an expression of griefthan it is a speech about the meaningless of life.
The second point is that evil disrupted nature itself. In nature, there is a time and aplace for everything. For example, a flower blooms when the laws of nature says it should,neither sooner, nor later. When Macbeth achieves the crown by murder, he upsets thenatural order of his life along with the order of Scotland.
Without the rightful, God-givenking on the throne, all of society is disordered. Under Macbeth’s rule, there can only bechaos and evil. Even nature becomes disturbed: (the Old Man and Ross discuss all thestrange things that have been happening since Duncan’s death in act II, Scene IV,Lines 1-19: “. . . It is dark during the day; an owl killed a hawk.
‘the opposite of whatreally happens’ ,Duncan’s horses ate eachother!. . . “) Nearly every scene containsreferences to unnatural actions. When Macbeth is killed and Malcolm takes the throne,natural order is restored. The third point is that evil is like a disease.
Like a disease, evil infects its victimsand makes them sicken until they eventually die. Once Macbeth kills Duncan, he iscommitted to a course of lying and killing as I stated in the opening paragraph. His senseof right and wrong is eaten away even before he is killed. Macbeth is dying of a diseasedspirit and he knows it.
(“. . . And that which should accompany old age, As honor, love,obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but, in their stead, Curses notloud but deep.
” Act V, Scene III, Lines 24-27) In this soliloquy, he senses that his lifeis over. Scotland is also infected, and Macbeth is its disease. The longer Macbeth remainsking, the worse things get. When Macbeth is finally is overthrown, the country is healed.
The forth and probably the most important point is that evil corrupts an individualand their ways. This is extremely clear in “Macbeth”. Macbeth being “sucked into” evilchanged drastically. At the beginning of the play, the thought of murder made himmiserable. He seems to have a conscience on what he is doing is wrong.
Toward the endwhen evil has entered Macbeth’s soul and conquered him, his actions reflect the evil withinhim through the murders that he plots and also his “lying ways” throughout the play. He iswilling to do whatever it took for his ambition, even go so far to kill his best friend and aninnocent family which gained him nothing! Lady Macbeth on the other hand, had somesort of evil within her from the beginning of the story. The evil within her made her gomad and caused her to die a tragic death of suicide. Evil, unfortunately is a very powerful force once it gets a hold of you once, it’s extremelydifficult to let go of.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth experienced a sort of evil that wouldnever let go until they died. Since at the beginning of the story, Macbeth gained hisposition as king by killing the king, they thought that performing evil acts would get themhigher in life. It was sort of addicting to them. They did everything violently to get whatthey wanted.
It’s unfortunate that many think that way. That you have to take drasticactions as far as death to get what you want is really a sad case. But also, if they think thatthey will get away with it, they are wrong. They will eventually pay the price, whetherinstantly or with time as Lady Macbeth and Macbeth eventually did in the play of”Macbeth”. ————————————————————–