The Character Of Macbeth Essay Research Paper — страница 3

  • Просмотров 320
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 18

– his insecurity and guilt are driving him insane. At the end of that scene, Macbeth says, ?I am in blood stepped so far that should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er’(3:4 L136-138). He imagines himself to be in a river of blood, halfway across, so if he wanted to stop it would be as hard to go back as to go forwards. The blood signifies all of the evil and murders he has done and will do. Macbeth feels guilty, but he has gone so far that he is too consumed by evil to go back. In the last act of the play, traces of Macbeth’s old, better character become more apparent. Macbeth seems wistful in one speech – ?That which should accompany old age, as honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but in their stead, curses, not loud

but deep, mouth-honour, breath which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.’(5:3 L24-28). Macbeth has realised that when he grows old he will not have the things that other people have, and that he would have had had he remained merely Thane of Cawdor, and a hero. No-one will truly love and honour him, but they will praise him because they are afraid of him and his tyranny. He has realised that he has paid a heavy price to become king, and now he is not sure if it is worth it. Macbeth’s wife’s death sets him brooding on life’s futility. His speech: ?She should hereafter; there would have been a time for such a word. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have

lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle, life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.’ (5:5 L16-25),shows him to be bitter, and perhaps thinking about his own life ahead of him, now that his only ally is gone. He cannot see a meaning to his life. Macbeth has been betrayed by the apparitions and Birnam wood is moving to Dunsinane, but Macbeth says ?Blow wind, come wrack; at least we’ll die with harness on our back.’(5:5 L50-51). There is bravery in his decision to go down fighting. When MacDuff finally finds Macbeth, Macbeth says ?Of all men else I have avoided thee, but get thee back, my soul is too much charged with blood of thine already.’(5:8 L46). Macbeth feels guilty because

he ordered the murders of MacDuff’s family already, and he knows that if he fights with MacDuff, he will win because he has a ?charmed life’. There are traces of nobility in this - Macbeth does not want to use his unfair advantage unless he has to – he would rather not fight. When Macbeth learns that MacDuff is not ?of woman born’, he does not want to fight, but MacDuff says that he is a coward and he will exhibit him in captivity. Macbeth says ?I will not yield to kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet and to be baited with the rabble’s curse. Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane and though opposed being of no woman born, yet I will try the last. Before my body, I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, MacDufff, and damned be him that first cries, “Hold,

enough!”‘ There is nobility in the way that Macbeth chooses to die fighting, and his remnants of dignity and pride make the thought of being subservient to Malcolm and being exhibited as a tyrant unbearable. Although Macbeth was hated as an ?abhorred tyrant’(5:7 L10) by all, his pride and nobility were preserved by his decision to die rather than be captive. 337