Is Macbeth brought to his downfall by a tragic flaw or is he truly evil at heart? In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action with the help of his wife Lady Macbeth, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then filled with guilt and paranoia, but that won’t kill the hunger for power he had. A first example of this is shown when Macbeth first contemplates killing the king. The second example is when he takes further action to stay king. Finally the third example is when Macbeth wishes he wouldn’t have the thoughts that are driving him to do such evil actions. Macbeth’s is not evil, he was brought to his tragic downfall because of his flaw, that he is too greedy for power, and his ambition gets the best of him.
After being told that he will be heir to the throne in his prophecy, Macbeth’s first thoughts are lead by his greed for power as he contemplates what is standing in his way. Macbeth’s hunger for power grows as he searches for a way to become king. He said he must fall down as the prince of Cumberland. By doing so he will kill Duncan and blame his sons. Since Macbeth plans to make everyone believe the king Duncans sons did it to take the place of their father, this will give Macbeth the chance to become king. The witches put the thought of Macbeth becoming king into his mind, this sparked a over powering drive for power. Macbeth was convinced he had to kill Duncan to become king, he succeeded at becoming king but didn’t realize what he was getting himself into.
Macbeth will go to any extent to get what he wants. His power hungry mindset blocks out any ethical behavior to stop him. He becomes a person who only cares about himself and the position he wants to be in. “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly. If the assassination could trammel up the consequence, and catch with his surcease success” (Shakespeare 814). Macbeth disregards the fact that his actions have consequences as his hunger for power overcomes him. All Macbeth can focus on is he will be king if his plan all works out. “Put rancors in the vessel of my peace only for them; and mine eternal jewel given to the common enemy of man, to make them kings, the seed of banquo kings! Rather than so, come fate into the list, and champion me to th’ utterance. Who’s there?” (Shakespeare 839). Macbeth is at the peak of his greed to become king, killing others just to keep his power within his family. Macbeth’s flaw is his thirst for more power.
Macbeth knows his actions are wrong. Even with the knowledge that what he is doing is wrong he still is driven to do whatever it takes to gain more power. “Let not light see my black and deep desires. the eye wink at the hand, yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see” (Shakespeare 808). Macbeth knows that killing King Duncan is wrong, however his hunger for power causes him to ignore this, which leads to his downfall. Another example of this is when Macbeth says “Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives. Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives”(Shakespeare 821). Macbeth knows that what he is planning to do is not the best idea. He also knows that he doesn’t really has it in himself to commit such an evil act. However his tragic flaw causes him to act on his impulses, which is a cause of Macbeth’s downfall. Macbeth hires two men to kill Duncan’s Kids so he can become king without any problems. The kids running away from the problem falls into favor of Macbeth as it looks like they are running so the won’t get caught. When in reality they were running because they thought they were the next ones to be murdered. Little did they know Macbeth sent out the men to kill them anyway. Even with such a thought out plan Macbeth couldn’t escape the truth from coming out. Later in the play Lady Macbeth commits suicide due to the effects of Macbeth’s Greed for power. This only effects him for a slightest bit of time before he goes back to trying to keep his throne.
Macbeth is not so much as an evil character, he has a flaw in his personality which drives him to do such things which make him seem evil. He’s power hungry and will eliminate anything in his way to get this position which gives him power. The three witches told Macbeth that he would become king. Instead of him waiting to see what happens, he decided to take matter into his own hands. Killing the king will bring him the crown and that’s all that mattered to him. Even though he knew what he was thinking was wrong, the hunger for power in his mind drive him to do evil things. He wanted the prize without the consequences of how he was getting that prize. This tragic flaw that Macbeth had led him to his ultimate downfall, and was executed by Macduff at the end of the play.
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