Macbeth’s Boasting Gets Him Nowhere Fast

“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”  When Macbeth promises to his wife by writing his letter of regal ascension, [“These weird sisters saluted me, and refererred me to the coming on of time, with Hail King that shalt be.”]  He cunningly attempts to camouflage the obvious boastfulness of his letter by writing in closure “This have I thought good to deliver thee, that thou might’st not lose the dues of rejoicing by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee.” He tries to make it look like the only reason he is writing to her is so she’s not left in the dark as to what going on, but he is flat out boasting. He’s proclaiming to know the future, that it is favorable and Regal, and that he wants Lady Macbeth to prepare for the festivities or as Macbeth puts it ‘the dues of rejoicing’. Newsflash: Macbeth doesn’t know the future, and the only festivity that is going to be taking place is the one celebrating Macbeth’s declension from Pompous King to a mere trunk with a dissevered head.  Towards the end he laments, “Out, out brief candle. Life’s but a walking shadow.” Yes life is brief, but being self-glorifying, boastful and murderous cuts it much shorter. As in Macbeth’s case, “The candle of evil was put out, and there was no reward to the villainous man.”  Although Macbeth does become King, it wasn’t a reward; it was the begininng of his end.

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One thought on “Macbeth’s Boasting Gets Him Nowhere Fast

  1. Pingback: Macbeth’s Boasting Gets Him Nowhere Fast | The Shakespeare Standard

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