Who Is Macbeth? Essay

1209 words - 5 pages

Macbeth is a man; therefore he is the character most capable of violence. Is this what Shakespeare says?
Shakespeare illustrates how not just Macbeth, but other male and female characters, can be violent. Violence is a subjective term. Perhaps physical violence is what Macbeth is capable of due to his impulsive need towards “finishing the job”. However, the Witches and Lady Macbeth contributed to his demise as well. This could be seen as another form of “violence”; one defined as psychological violence. Macbeth is not the most aggressive in the play because there are also other male protagonists who are truly competent with violence.
At first glance, Macbeth is a man looking for a ...view middle of the document...

They conspired to harm Scotland, thus casting violence to the country in a secretive manner: “He shall spurn fate, scorn death and bear/His hopes’ bove wisdom, grace, and fear.” Lady Macbeth too influences Macbeth’s violence and therefore is violent herself. When the audience first meets her, Lady Macbeth is already depicted as a forceful wife, claiming to herself that she is just as ambitious as men: “...unsex me here,/Come to my woman’s breasts, and take my milk for gall”. Although Lady Macbeth does not kill anyone, it is her plots that deem her violent. She manipulates her husband to murder to get what she wants: “He that’s coming must be provided for; and you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch”. However, this does not mean that Lady Macbeth is not capable of violence herself. In the dagger scene, Lady Macbeth takes in control of collecting the forgotten daggers and smearing blood on the two guards as Macbeth cowardly sinks in guilt. The Witches and Lady Macbeth are women who can act fiercely, if rewarded with benefits.
There are many courageous heroes in Macbeth; all proficient in wars against their enemies. As the events unravel, Macbeth is depicted as the antagonist of the play. Those who destroy him must have impressive superman-like qualities. This includes the ability to battle and persist in perilous plans. Macduff and Malcolm play a significant role in the tragedy. Macduff was the man who killed Macbeth so ultimately he is the most capable of violence. Even the witches tried to warn Macbeth of Macduff, hence Shakespeare was somewhat hinting that Malcolm was eventually going to be violent and deal with Macbeth. Macduff proved to be indestructible, his revengeful motives impelling him to crush Macbeth till the end: “I have no words; my voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain than terms can give thee out”. Malcolm is portrayed as a valiant leader as he also strikes back at Macbeth, brilliantly setting him up by camouflaging behind tree branches. “Be this the wetstone of your sword; let grief convert to anger; blunt not the heart enrage it”, are such inspirational words by Malcolm who clearly knows how much grief one can experience love one’s death. Shakespeare reveals how anger does not drive these male figures to insanity but to peace for themselves, their families and their country.
Macbeth being a man does not make him the most violent character in Shakespeare’s play. Macbeth is violent because he excessively murders; however, there are others who surpass him including Macduff and Malcolm. They...

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