Macbeth’s Shortsighted Perspective

Shakespeare Unlimited

It seems that no matter what we get in life, there is always something that we wish was different. Ingratitude seems to be a specialty of the human species. Oftentimes we say if only this had happened, everything would be great—not realizing that there are unforeseen consequences to every situation. When Macbeth is told that, “Fleance is ‘scaped,” he replies, “Then comes my fit again; I had else been perfect.” We know this is complete misinformation as Macbeth’s world, at this stage of the story, is in a world of hurt. Macbeth is already plagued by guilt; killing a child wouldn’t help that cause any. It might ease his mind briefly to know that the “seed of Banquo” couldn’t succeed him, but it certainly wouldn’t of made things perfect or in his own words, “whole as the marble, founded as the rock.” Macbeth looks for shortcuts at every turn…

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Human Nature and the Curse of Perception in King Lear

Shakespeare Unlimited

“Thou, nature, art my goddess. To thy law my services are bound.” Although the word ‘human’ is omitted to describe nature here, that is the exact kind of nature Shakespeare’s villain Edmund is referring to; human nature. One of the things that strikes me about his statement is the malevolence in his tone, which becomes apparent if we read the entire speech. He elucidates the idea that the human species has an innate weakness of credulity only needing the slightest bit of evidence to be o’erswayed in the wrong direction. We see this theme in Macbeth with his trust in the supernatural, Othello with his jealousy of Cassio prompted by the machinations of the evil Iago, and Polonius’ know-it-all over-confidence in knowing the cause of Hamlet’s madness which prompts him to promulgate to the King that Hamlet could be altered such from no other thing besides the “neglected love” of his…

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Delusional Richard!

Shakespeare Unlimited

When King Richard III falls off from his horse fighting Richmond, the man who defeated him at Bosworth Field and consequently established the Tudor dynasty, he shouts out in disbelief, “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” He is quite delusional for blaming his unfortunate predicament on an indifferent mare, yet this supports a theory of human psychology that people prove creative rationalizers in order to deflect personal responsibility; however this only works for so long. Eventually we must take an honest inventory of ourselves impartial to our intrinsic pride. Richard from the outset embarks on a self-destructive path, yet he still believed he could pull it off with something I like to refer to as: psychotic optimism. When this mindset takes hold of someone, regardless of whether or not their actions are self-destructive: they believe things will work out for the best, but as Billy Joel says…

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Lady Macbeth’s Poison

Shakespeare Unlimited

In Shakespeare’s Tragedy Macbeth Lady Macbeth is the strongest force of evil by far. Although Macbeth carries out the regicide and subsequent bloodshed, we are reminded of his stern reluctance when Macbeth says, “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent but only vaulting ambition which o’er-leaps itself and falls on the other.” He harboured grandiose aspirations, but he had No Intent on actually carrying it out. It was Lady Macbeth that coalesced that intent into a harrowing and damning reality. Macbeth would have proved most noble [just like Hamlet would have] had Certain Things Gone Differently, [but that’s a debate of Fate Vs. Self-Will]. Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth to the max. When she ridicules his (contrived and fabricated) lack of masculinity [after coming back bravely from battle with heaps of honors: go figure] Lady Macbeth makes the utterly shockingly mind-boggling comment about dashing the…

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Macbeth’s Boasting Gets Him Nowhere Fast

Shakespeare Unlimited

“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…

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