Another Mistake of Macbeth’s

In Macbeth one of the recurring themes is the relationship between what is perceived and what is real. Macbeth is duped into believing he can get away with murder. Macbeth doesn’t kill the King over any animosity towards him, but rather because of mounting pressure heaped on him by his wife, Lady Macbeth. She relentlessly goads her husband to act, chastising his manhood. Macbeth can’t handle having his manhood called into question by the woman who shares his bed. Consequently this pride of his vexes him much. He’s in limbo; either backing out [impugning his valor] or having his conscience tormented into a state of fear and paranoia. Shakespeare penned the maxim, “conscience does make cowards of us all.” Although Hamlet was written four years prior, Macbeth got that memo a day late and a dollar short. Remembering back to when Macbeth ponders, “if chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir,” here he actually makes a very intuitive revelation that could of saved him; but not long after this, he writes home with regal aspirations without realizing that such a promise was made to someone whose modus operandi dangerously lingers, “to catch the nearest way.” Lady Macbeth is an ultimate distorter of reality to Macbeth. She corrupts everything that is noble in him. She is unlike her husband who “would’st thou holily.” She makes Macbeth perceive that killing the meek and virtuous King Duncan is a good idea. Shakespeare was teaching the lesson that even if you are able to carry out the perfect crime, you cannot preserve a perfect conscience after the act. Macbeth laments how his mind has become “full of scorpions” and Lady Macbeth ends up abandoning her husband in suicide. Macbeth’s kingship was at no point secure, and the weird sisters had even indicated that after Macbeth’s reign no issue of his would ever rule Scotland; a point that Macbeth should have certainly considered much more thoroughly beforehand. Macbeth realizes too late indeed that, “to be thus is nothing,” and he became both: thus [King] and then nothing.


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