Essay on Hail Macbeth

Submitted By Manda-Lam
Words: 1016
Pages: 5

Macbeth explores the human potential for evil. Discuss.

All humans have the potential to commit evil acts. Throughout Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’, evil deeds have been portrayed. Macbeth is one of many characters to have the potential to act upon evil means. A strong person with great power and with ambitious desires, he chooses to use and abuse his powers in doing evil rather than good. Through his strong desire to become king, Macbeth uses immoral acts to gain and maintain kingship. Lady Macbeth, another person who portrayed evil. The ‘three weird sisters’ also explores the potential in humans to carry out evil deeds, for they have influenced Macbeth in giving him false hopes for his future as King. Lady Macbeth, was also seen as a character who portrayed evil means, for not only did she manipulate Macbeth but she was the brain work behind the murder of King Duncan. The play consists of both evil and non-evil humans, King Duncan is an example of the non-evil in ‘Macbeth’. A king as loyal and kind as Duncan, who was critically murdered by Macbeth due to his greed to gaining a higher status in the land of Scotland.

Through firm ambition, which was driven by the witches prophecy “All hail Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter”, leading Macbeth to act upon evil means in order to gain kingship enacted through “thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical” killing King Duncan to take over the throne. Macbeth is incensed at being overlooked for king, “Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires,” but also has total faith in the witches’ prophecies. Macbeth sets out on a path of killing and assassination, through cruel acts leading to his dream of gaining absolute power for himself. Through his vigorous ambitious desires he sets out on a killing spree, “We have scorch’d the snake, not kill’d it” murdering his relatives and planning an assassination to kill his closest friend Banquo and his son Fleance. He recognized he was behaving in an unacceptable manner “I am in blood step’t on so far that, should I wade no more”, while recognizing his actions are depraved and against all human acceptance, but decides to continue anyway. In order for Macbeth to keep his position as king, he has to erase all those who can expose his avarice, starting with Banquo to Macduff’s family. Through the killing of Macduff’s defenseless family, Macbeth rules through fear and through removing those in his path of ongoing rule, Macbeth, “almost forgot the taste of fear” and how it was to live in fear. Due to his strong ambitions to become king, Macbeth explores the potential in humans to portray evil acts. However Macbeth, wasn’t the only person to discover the potential in humans in performing wicked actions, as the ‘three weird sisters’ took part in influencing Macbeth in a way, he is now seen as a “tyrant.”

The ‘three weird sisters’ too carries out evil deed in the making of this tyrant. Through the making of their potion using unethical parts of nature, enabling them to trick Macbeth into thinking that “he shall spurn fate, scorn death and bear his hopes”. They drive his ambitions, by prophesizing his future, in which amongst all three, two came true, giving Macbeth the indication that his third prophecy of becoming King would also eventually become literal. The witches were viewed as evil beings from the world of the supernatural, as they stated “something wicked this way comes”, in reference to Macbeth. This tells us that even evil can see what evil has caused. Through these immoral acts the witches are seen to have explored the potential in humans to commit evil deeds. Lady Macbeth also represents the human potential in committing evil, through the use of planning and manipulation.