What Macbeth Says About Good and Evil Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 12 November 2016

What Macbeth Says About Good and Evil

It is in human nature to want to do bad things, but when you start down a path how easy is it to be lead astray? Sometimes we can let things like pride and greed get in the way of our beliefs and values. Wrongful influence can lead people down some very dark roads and eventually destroy the lives of people they love and even themselves. In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” these elements of good and evil surface and lead to some very curious circumstances that not only show that “good” people can be corrupted but that once you start down a dark road it is very hard to find your way out of it.

How easily can a “good” mind be corrupted? At the beginning of the play Macbeth is visited by three strange sisters while crossing the moor. Their prophecy tells Macbeth that he is to be promoted and he is to one day become king. One could say that this event plants the seed for what is to come, because immediately after finding out that the prophecy of becoming Thane had came to pass Macbeth says “ My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise, and nothing is but what is not”(Shakespeare).

This says to the audience that Macbeth has started to ponder murdering the king to assume the throne. However, here he kind of pushes these thoughts to the side for the moment hoping that fate will just make him king without any effort on his part. Inevitably, his temptation of a promising future becomes too much for him to handle and he gives in to what his heart desires. One could think of being evil in the context of telling a lie. Once you tell one lie you have to keep telling lies to make up for the other ones and so on. This is also true when committing evil deeds such as murder.

This becomes clear when Macbeth gets the guards blackout drunk to distract them and then kills them the very next day to cover up what he had done to Duncan. Nevertheless, these events could not happen without influence. In this case pride was the catalyst.

When Macbeth started to back out of their plan Lady Macbeth claims that he is not a man and “I have given suck, and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this” (Shakespeare). This statement is the breaking of Macbeth good conscience. Little does he know that the killing and the malice does not end here.

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