The Vicious Villain Macbeth

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  • Published: 14 March 2021
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The Vicious Villain Macbeth 

For centuries passed, and to come, evil has always existed in this world. Unpleasant thoughts, actions, and words will separate one from morality. Humans are not made to be evil, but it is the choices and acts each individual commit’s which gives oneself meanings to strive for. An individual who works hard for their goal to achieve their ambition may undertake greedy gestures for desire. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the main character Macbeth, portrays characteristics of evil and ambition to harm others in order to become king. While Macbeth is later seen as an evil person, at the beginning he is seen as a hero for protecting and   helping Duncan by killing Macdonwald for being a traitor. As time goes on, he commits many violent actions to become king and take power over Scotland. These actions show Macbeth’s evilness and greediness which is portrayed when he commits murders, becomes corrupted with ambition, and becomes a disloyal individual.

Macbeth is always unconcerned as to who he murders in his journey to become king. He is an apathetic character, so it did not matter if they are his friends or if he thinks highly of them. Firstly, this was conveyed when Macbeth kills Duncan, someone he saves and thinks so highly of; Macbeth’s murderous action are shown when he says, “I am thane of Cawdor. If good, why do I yield to that suggestion... / 

Present fears /Are less than horrible imaginings” (Shakespeare 1.3 135-140).  Macbeth has the ambition to become king and believes the only way he can do this is by killing Duncan, his thoughts are evil, but he is unbothered by the fact, he wants to murder someone that he thinks so highly of. Equally important is how he makes the decision to send hitmen to kill his dear friend Banquo: “’t must be done tonight,/ And something from the palace; always thought /That I require a clearness. And with him to leave no rubs nor botches in the work /Fleance, his son, that keeps him company, Whose absence is no less material to me” (Shakespeare 3.1 135-140).  Macbeth wants Banquo and Fleance to be murdered because Banquo's descendants will become king after Macbeth. He tells the Hitmen that killing Fleance is more important to him because there will be no other descendants after him. Lastly, Macbeth hires hitmen to murder Macduff’s family: “The castle of Macduff I will surprise, / Seize upon Fife, give to th' edge o' th' sword / His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls (4.1, 150-160).

Macbeth knows his throne is in jeopardy because Macduff will do anything in his power to help Scotland and oust Macbeth from the throne. To attack Macduff, Macbeth sends hitmen to kill his family to distract Macduff. As a result, the murderous  actions illustrate Macbeth's evil tendencies and ambition to become king. 

Everyone has a goal in life, Macbeth’s goal in life is to become king. As time goes on, he has an encounter with evil witches who tell him he will become king and he became corrupted with ambition. Macbeth commits evil acts to get to the throne. Firstly, this was shown when Macbeth kills Duncan and frames his guards for his own murder. “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only/ Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on th' other” (Shakespeare 1.7 25).  Macbeth knows Duncan is a good king and should not kill him. However, the only thing pushing Macbeth    to do this horrible act is his ambition to become king of Scotland. Secondly, he did not listen  to the people of Scotland and did everything for himself., “Some holy angel Fly to the court of England and unfold his message ere he come, that a swift blessing/ May soon return to this our suffering country /Under a hand accursed!” (Shakespeare 3.6 5-20). Macbeth is doing what is good for himself and is not doing any good for the people of Scotland, making the country suffer. Lastly, Macbeth takes the witches future telling and uses it in the wrong way. “All hail, Macbeth, the future king” (Shakespeare 1.3 50-55). The witches tell him he will become king however Macbeth uses that future telling and uses it as a way to turn his ambition into evil. This was shown when he commits murder and becomes disloyal. These fatal actions show the greediness and evilness that ambition brings that Macbeth follows.

Macbeth always has everyone's trust and he takes that for granted by becoming disloyal to everyone. Firstly, Macbeth kills Banquo, someone he trusts dearly and was always by his side. “The deal is closed. Banquo,/ if your soul is going to make it to heaven, /tonight’s the night.” (Shakespeare 3.1 145) Macbeth wants nothing to do with Banquo; he wants him dead as he is a potential threat to his throne. Once Macbeth starts following his ambition, he saw everyone he knew as an enemy. Secondly, Macbeth did not care that Lady Macbeth died; he was only thinking of himself and what he had to do to save himself. “She should have died hereafter” (Shakespeare 5.2 20-25) As Macbeth got the news that his wife had died, he was very unbothered and was only worried about protecting himself from MacDuff who was on his way to attempt to defeat him. This shows how evil Macbeth really is, and how greedy his ambition made him. Lastly, he went through with Duncan’s murder when he had just said it was his job to protect Duncan and be loyal to him.

“First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, /Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,/ Who should against his murderer shut the door,/ Not bear the knife myself (Shakespeare 1.7 15-20)., Macbeth is willing to go behind Duncan’s  back and murder him just so he could take his throne and rule Scotland. Macbeth did not want interaction with anyone; he wants to be alone and take everything for himself. Macbeth wants to do everything for himself no matter who he will harm in the end.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as an evil villain who harms others for his own ambition to complete his life goal of becoming king. His evil intentions manifested in his actions. Especially when he commits heinous acts which include murder, becoming corrupted with ambition, and being a disloyal person. Macbeth has been evil throughout his whole ambitious phase. Firstly, Macbeth murders two people and one family who were a potential threat to his throne, became corrupted with ambition, becomes a horrible king to Scotland by starting a war, and he becomes disloyal to every person who was a threat to his throne. Macbeth wants to become a perfect king using his evil ways, but he soon realizes he is human like everyone else. Which meant he could not get away with whatever he wants. Soon enough, he is beheaded by the true king of Scotland MacDuff- which shows evilness will never be rewarded but punished.

 

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