Macbeth is considered as Shakespeare’s tragic hero. Macbeth, a strong, chivalrous and ambitious Thane of Glamis in the Scottish army under the King Duncan is returning from a war where he killer the traitorous Macdonwald and is stopped by three witches. The three witches tell them about their future that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and after that King. Banquo, a companion of Macbeth is also intrigued by witches prophesies and enquires about his future. To which witches reply that even though he is not as strong as Macbeth nut much greater and happier than him and even though he will not be the king but his descendants will sit on the throne. Macbeth is intrigued by the prophecies and asks Banqou’s opinion to which he replies that evil spirits should not be believed as they speak half truth. But when Macbeth comes to know that he has been rewarded as the Thane of Cawdor as the earlier Thane is punished for treason, then he becomes ambitious and starts working towards attaining throne.
Macbeth discusses the prophecies with Lady Macbeth, and she becomes overambitious. Lady Macbeth desires Kingship and conspires murder of King Duncan after the dinner. Macbeth assumes the power of the king and hires people to kill Banquo and his Fleance, but his son fleance flea’s from the field. During the night at the feast with nobleman of the Scotland, Macbeth is startled on the site of the ghost of Banquo and screams out of fear and rage. Frightened Macbeth goes to visit the witches and witches gives him further prophecies. Witches claim that no man born from a woman can kill him. Macbeth considers it a positive sign as he knows that all the men in Scottish nobility is born from a woman, and he thinks that he is invincible. But the witches also alarm him to be aware from Madcuff, a Scottish nobleman who is opposed to Macbeth as the king of Scotland.
Macbeth ordered seizing of the castle of Madcuff and slaughter of Lady Madcuff and his son in the cruelest way. Madcuff is full of rage and takes vows of vengeance. With the help of Malcolm, who has assembled a huge army of England, Madcuff attacks Macbeth. Prior to war Lady Macbeth in her sleepwalk realizes her mistake and claims that her hands are covered with bloods of King Duncan and finally out of guilt she commits suicide. On hearing about the death of his wife, Macbeth is filled with remorse and pessimism surrounds him, he feels futility of life but still he bravely fights with the Madcuff as he believes in the prophecies of the witches and knows that he is invincible. During the war, Macbeth is startled to see boughs of Birnam wood entering Dusinane castle and Madcuff tells him that he was untimely ripped apart from his mother’s womb. Macbeth realizes that all the prophecies of the witches are coming true and in a fierce battle Macbeth is killed by Madcuff. Malcolm becomes the King, and he ensures proper law and order in the country.
The tragedy of Macbeth is because of his own ambitions and greed. Ambitions are the drive that motivates a person to act and attain the desired object. But when the ambition becomes an obsession it paves the path to self destruction. Macbeth in his lust for the throne becomes blind and is not able to distinguish between right or wrong. The degeneration in his character is the result of the wicked plan of Lady Macbeth to murder the king and assume the throne. Lady Macbeth in her quest to attain the kingship and she is very well aware that she can control Macbeth and manipulate him to implement the plan of action. Lady Macbeth, as described as a lovable lady but is actually a disguised witch who is ready to sacrifice even her morals and values to be the king. She even challenges her husband’s manliness on order to instigate him and kill the King Duncan. She was the driving force behind all the conspiracies and a partner in crime with Macbeth.
The witches also played a significant role in degrading the character of Macbeth. Prophecies of the witches intrigued Macbeth, and he started nurturing his long term dream of being a king and became dependent on the witches. The Tragic hero of the story attained everything by deceiving everyone and removing all the barriers in his way to throne whether it was the king Duncan, Banquo, Madcuff’s family, but he was filled with guilt and pessimism in the end. He realized the futility of war and life when Lady Macbeth committed suicide. It is said,” Curiosity is the mother of all the inventions” but in Macbeth’s case his curiosity that how can an ordinary nobleman become a king gave birth to the evil in him. From a chivalrous, loyal and respectable nobleman he became a murderer, a tyrannical king from who everyone was afraid. Ultimately he destined his own doom.
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