The Main Themes in "Macbeth" by Shakespeare

Categories: MacbethShakespeare

“The themes of great ambition or lust for power ultimately brings ruin and guilt haunts the guilty develop and interact over the course of the play” In the first act of “The Tragedy of Macbeth”, the audience recognizes the problems facing the main character with Macbeth meeting three witches enlightening him of knowledge that he will become king at the choice of murdering the current king but at the cost of losing his sanity and noble mentality towards the throne. Or remain the “Thane of Glamis” and never know the feeling of being king and ruling over the land of Scotland.

Macbeth has difficulty choosing this decision but the reassurance or threatening tactics that his wife, Lady Macbeth chooses seem to push him towards taking the life of King Duncan so that Macbeth can wrongfully take the throne.

Lady Macbeth’s decision seems unclear as to why she deeply desires Macbeth to murder the king, it simple isn’t stated or even brought to attention in the play except she knows she wants the death of the late King Duncan to be unraveled so that she may become queen.

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Perhaps that is her deep desire, to be the Queen of Scotland or maybe her ambition is for her husband to finally take action as she sees fit for him. even if the guilt of killing an innocent and kind king would haunt him for the remaining time Macbeth holds. The immense pressure that is being left on Macbeth’s shoulders leaves him in a state of concern for the most part of the play as it metabolizes at every scene we seen Macbeth in.

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His stable sanity slowly deteriorates as the thought of taking a life for such selfish reasons grows in his conscious. As guilt starts to increase in his thoughts, he slowly succumbs to the killing of his king by Lady Macbeth addressing his issues of not becoming king. “your hand, your tongue; look th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t”. She is addressing that look innocent and remain calm doing this evil deed so no one suspects that Macbeth clamined King Duncan’s life. Lady Macbeth grows exasperated with Macbeth because she feels he is not being as violent or as gruesome as he should be. “It is too full o’ th’ milk of the human kindness to catch the nearest away”, Lady Macbeth has zero doubt that the witches prophecy will come true she has it in her mind that won’t Macbeth follow through to this prophecy to ensure he will become king.

However, throughout the play, the audience recognizes Macbeth has started to grow accustomed to the thought of becoming king and all the royalties it will bring him, even if it means sacrificing his loyalty to his once noble and fair king. Macbeth’s hunger for the throne grows immensely throughout the play, he knows that it is wrong and still has concerns of being caught but the requests of his wife make his decisions become ultimately ruled by Lady Macbeth. “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!”, this quote is the witches proceeding to enlighten Macbeth about his future no matter what he chooses. He will become king no matter if he likes it or not.. Macbeth internally doesn’t want to kill Duncan because he is aware of the consequences of his mortal being and the punishments that await him in the after life. Yet he still continues to eliminate the current situation at hand and claim the life of the late king Duncan and claim the throne for himself. “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man” during the setting of the play, the audience is aware that kings and everyone that is royal has been appointed by God himself. Macbeth is completely aware of the ramifications of his actions if he commits treason and murders one of God’s appointed men, his soul would be forever trapped in damnation. Yet Lady Macbeth chooses to twist Macbeth’s conscience and simply make his decisions for him.

Ultimately resulting in the slaughter of the late King Duncan. “Fair is foul and foul is fair”, Macbeth is currently experiencing a dark time in his life where his ambition of becoming king is his most driving factor in his decision but the murder of innocent beings keeps him at bay, that is until he finally accepts his fate and carries the prophecy out and ends his king’s life. He understands his punishment, his wife continues to urge him to the royalties of the kingship and he finally accepts what he is and what he has to do. Which finally dooms his future and is brought to ruin as he faces the consequences of his rash decisions.

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The Main Themes in "Macbeth" by Shakespeare. (2021, Apr 09). Retrieved from

The Main Themes in "Macbeth" by Shakespeare

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