Irrational Action In Macbeth

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In general, people make mistakes that usually lead to even worse actions in the future. In the tragic play, Macbeth, William Shakespeare suggests that just one criminal act leads to other unintended actions. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth unwillingly kills Duncan with a vast amount of internal conflict and experiences much guilt before and after the murder. Later, Macbeth’s panicking leads to him murdering Duncan’s guards and his desire for safety results in the death Banquo. Finally, Macbeth has no real motives to murder Macduff’s family other than the unquenchable thirst for revenge, leading to Macbeth wishing to no longer be living. Macbeth struggles with mental opposition before the murder of Duncan. In order to become the king …show more content…
His wife advises him to just go to sleep and forget about it. The following morning, as Macduff goes to wake Duncan, he finds that he is dead. In fear of being caught Macbeth is quick to blame the crime on Duncan’s guards, whom he kills. To draw attention from his irrational action, he exclaims, “O, yet I do repent me of my fury, / That I did kill them. / … / Who can be wise, amazed temp’rate and furious, / Loyal, and neutral, in a moment? No man” (69). Although Macbeth attempts to justify the rationality behind his action, it is difficult because it is not a typical action after discovering the death of one’s king. Macduff is on to him and does not think that Macbeth is being truthful. As a result of Macbeth killing the guards, it is easy to see that his conscience is diminishing. Even before killing Duncan, he could barely bring himself to go through with the murder, let alone deal with the guilt after. Now, he kills two others and does not think twice about it. The hysteria that Macbeth is experiences causes him to hesitate less about killing people and feel less remorse after. Jarold Ramsey notes that, “When the murder of Duncan is discovered, Macbeth betters his wife’s instructions … and slays the grooms out right, before they can talk. Even in his state of grief and shock, the humane Macduff is astonished at this new burst of violence” (290). Ramsey reiterates the point that Macduff is surprised to see such erratic behavior from Macbeth, who would have never done anything of the sort. In addition, Ramsey says how Macbeth “betters his wife’s instructions” and kills Duncan’s two guards, even though that was not a part of the original plan. This critic is suggesting the same idea that William Shakespeare is hinting at; after murdering Duncan, Macbeth begins acting irrationally. Killing the guards is Macbeth’s first unintended action after the murder, however it is only the

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