MacbethDeciscions Essay Research Paper

Macbeth-Deciscions Essay, Research Paper

The essay formerly known as Responsibility

Many people have proposed theories on why humans encounter suffering. Some believed

suffering was punishment for sins committed in a past life, others argued suffering was just a part

of a larger master plan for human existence. In his play Macbeth, William Shakespeare sets forth

the idea that individual s problems are caused by their own decisions. In Macbeth it becomes

obvious that Macbeth s problems are caused by his own decisions.

Macbeth is a noble but overly ambitious man. Macbeth begins the play as . . . brave

Macbeth . . ., a noble warrior fighting for his king against a traitorous enemy(1.2.18). Macbeth,

however, is not content to be the king s servant however noble that position may be. When

Macbeth receives word that he will be thane of Cawdor, the ambition within him takes root and

begins to grow. Macbeth believes that there are far greater things in store for him than just being

the thane of Cawdor, Macbeth begins to set his goals a bit higher when he tells himself If Chance

will have me king, why chance may crown me . . . (1.4.157-8). Macbeth is beginning to strive for

something greater and has a great desire for the witches prophecy; All hail Macbeth, that shalt

be king hereafter! , to become reality(1.3.53). Though Macbeth tells himself he will allow chance

to crown him king, he is in fact beginning to ponder the option of forcing the hand of chance.

Macbeth s discontent with his station in life and his overleaping ambition set the stage for the ruin

of a noble man.

Macbeth consciously chooses to pursue his ambition to be King, though he understands

this ambition is wrong. When Macbeth states Stars hide your fires, Let not light see my black

desires and deep desires (1.4.57-58), it is apparent that Macbeth is keenly aware that his

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ambition to be king is unnatural and evil. Later Macbeth states, speaking of Duncan He s here in

double trust; First I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then as his host

who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. (1.7.12-16). Macbeth

realizes that to commit regicide against Duncan is wrong not only because Duncan is his king, but

also because as Duncan s host he is obligated to protect his king. Macbeth comprehends that both

his ambitions and the actions needed to fulfill his ambitions are wrong, yet he still chooses to

pursue his ambition. Macbeth is . . . settled, and bend up. Each corporal agent to this terrible

feat, and mock the time with the fairest show: False face must hide what the false heart doth

know. (1.7.92-5). Macbeth readies himself to murder Duncan and instructs himself to put up a

facade to deceive others. Macbeth has chosen to pursue his ambition, and now wishes to seem

inconspicuous. Macbeth convinces himself to commit an act which he knows to be evil, and

therefore faces an equally evil fate.

Macbeth s continuing disdain for fate only hastens his demise. Throughout the play

Macbeth is shown to be an ambitious character, but it his actions after he has realized his goal of

becoming king that truly show his downfall is his own doing. Macbeth is not content to be the

king. He also wishes to defy the witches prophecy that Banquo will beget a long line of kings

and that he will have no royal descendants, by arranging for the death of Banquo and his son

Fleance. Macbeth decides It is concluded Banquo, thy souls flight, If it find heaven must find it

out to-night. (3.2.161-162). Macbeth is not content with being king, believing the office is

nothing but a fruitless crown instead he is so ambitious that he wishes to change the fate the

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witches have prescribed, though he is well aware that their previous prophecies have come true

(3.1.66). Macbeth s attempt to change fate only places suspicion of murder on him, only

hastening his downfall

Throughout the play Macbeth is guided not by his intelligent and rational mind, but rather

by his foolish and greedy ego. Macbeth is blinded by his ambition and does things that he knows

to be wrong, and knows will lead to his ultimate failure. A person s fate is governed by the

decisions they make and in Shakespeare s Macbeth the decisions of Macbeth do lead to his

ultimate, untimely demise. The lesson Macbeth teaches all who read it, is that those who allow

themselves to be blinded by their ambition, and overtaken by their ego, will pay for the foolish

decisions they will invariably make.