Shakespeare constructed a story where no character is wholly good or wholly evil. Discuss
Depicted through the uprise and downfall of our tragic hero, William Shakespeare illustrates in his tragic script of ‘Macbeth’ how as humans we are a combination of good intentions and the selfish desires that are hidden within ourselves. Macbeth who was driven by his thirst for power has lead to the downfall of our tragic hero, transforming the man who was once known by the title of “brave Macbeth” to the “tyrant” he is now. “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”, what is white is also black and what is black is also white, as there is no definite margin distinguishing good between evil. As a person we vary in shades of grey, no one is completely bad but at the same time, no one is completely good, rather as humans we hold both good and bad intentions.
As equally brave warriors who have together won in battle, both of equal status and both of whom have earn the king’s trust. However, despite having started off on the same path, the choice to whether or not to give in to their selfish desires is what had caused Macbeth and Banquo to lead separate paths. Using Banquo to juxtapose Macbeth’s character, Shakespeare attempts to show change in Macbeth as the witches’ predictions along with his greed had feed his ambition casting a shadow upon his soul and darken the shade of grey within him. Despite having both heard the witches’ predictions at the time, Macbeth who perhaps may have already held the desire to be king showed great interest in wanting to believe these predictions are true in comparison to Banquo who still had his doubts. Although fate may have started them on the same path, Macbeth chose his own path enveloped by his vaulting ambition as he tells himself “stars hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires” which suggest that he is in fact encouraging the darkness to overtake his soul.
Appearing as ambiguous beings, the three witches appear before Macbeth with what they said to be prophesies of the future. Implying that Macbeth may have had thoughts of becoming king, the witches who seemingly have Macbeth wrapped around their finger may merely be a manifestation of Macbeth’s subconscious mind. Enveloped by his thirst for power, the figures of the three witches created by Shakespeare are perhaps only the hallucinations experienced by Macbeth due to his lust for power. As if knowing clearly of Macbeth’s desire for power, the three witches feed Macbeth’s ambition through their greetings “all hail Macbeth, all hail Banquo”; persuading Macbeth into thinking he is destined to become king. Despite the fact that Macbeth did