ENG 125 Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Deborah Cunningham
Date: October 8, 2012
The play I chose to analyze is Macbeth by William Shakespeare. This poetic work of the late Shakespeare is a profound display of a very modern precept that would intensely involve making ready for noble leadership instead of propelling yourself to levels that the time has not prepared you for. In this analysis, you will be able to note the literal and figurative aspect of losing oneself in forcing power and position rather than passion and ambition. The leading character in the play is Macbeth. He starts out as this brave yet noble warrior, but towards the end he proves himself to be a major disgrace to his entire nation. Macbeth is a general in his king’s army. He clearly respects his positioning so much that he risks his life to defeat two rebel countries’ armies on behalf of the Scottish King Duncan. “But the Norweyan lord surveying vantage/with furnished arms and new supplies of men/ begin a fresh assault.” This piece was taken from the beginning of the play between the two battles. The sergeant was reporting to the King about Macbeth and his partner’s, General Banquo, victory over the first army in preparation for their victory with the forthcoming army. The aforementioned quote was incredibly indicative of the armies and the King’s admiration and appreciation of Macbeth. Furthermore, it was profound because this was an implication that Macbeth was a brave warrior who would take risks in order to get the job done. In forthcoming acts, this was a precursor to future actions, but as of right then, it proved that he was a noble and patriotic warrior.
The most menial characters, though, were the very core of this play. The witches, although they had a very minuscule speaking part, were the catalyst to allow this play to transform into one of the biggest tragedies ever written. “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king thereafter!” The witches were prophetically speaking to Macbeth and Banquo of what was to come. Macbeth understood how he would become the thane the thane of Glamis through the death of Sinel but was inquiring as to how he would become the thane of Cawdor or the king of Scotland. In deeply analyzing this aspect of the play, it is extremely relative to the psychological principle of in knowing your future, do what you can to meet the need but to let everything happens as it is. In other words, equations can be figured out with multiple numbers replacing the values to get the answer to an equation, but if you don’t do the problem right the equation can still end up being wrong. To delve a bit deeper in the witches’ prophecy I went to http://shakespeare.mit.edu/macbeth/full.html in which they notated this piece of the play: “the play begins with the brief appearance of a trio of witches and then moves to a military camp, where the Scottish King Duncan hears the news that his generals, have defeated two separate invading armies—one from Ireland, and one from Norway.” To me I adamantly believe King Duncan will do all of his might to make sure his generals go further than the two armies. I wondered how Macbeth was able to kill him without his generals interfering. This also raised queries concerning the relationship of Macbeth in prior circumstances. It is my idea that Macbeth must have worked diligently in building his rapport with the king on the base factor of King Duncan believing in him. In monarchial governmental setups, thane would be equivocal to a mayor and, if regional, a governor. I would further infer that King Duncan himself had great plans for Macbeth without Macbeth having to evoke death to achieve his royalty.
The next character then appears that, in my opinion, was a major contributor to the spiraling mental health of Macbeth was Lady Macbeth.