Deadly Combination In Macbeth

1288 Words 6 Pages
A Deadly Combination Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has spent the most time on the New York Times best seller list with a total of 216 weeks (New York Times Best Seller List). The plot in the novel is based around a murder, and goes through four murder trials. Yet, humans hate tragedy in real life. Whenever an act of terrorism or disaster strikes, everybody says how unfortunate it was, and why do things like that have to happen. Yet, humans love to read about the same thing they despise. This situation occurred in Shakespeare’s time as well. Shakespeare became famous because of his tragic plays, especially Macbeth, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. According to critic A.C Bradley, a Shakespearean tragedy is “a tale full of exceptional …show more content…
Macbeth has the exceptional suffering and calamities that match the first half of Bradley’s definition of a tragedy. The disasters that occur in Macbeth are contrasted with previous glory, befall a conspicuous person, are striking in nature, and are unexpected. The play begins with a captain in the army praising “brave Macbeth” (Shakespeare 1.2.18) for his victorious performance on the battlefield. Macbeth was so courageous and successful during the battle, King Duncan declares that “noble Macbeth hath won (the title of Thane of Cawdor)” (1.2.95), upgrading from his previous title of Thane of Glamis. This shining moment of glory for Macbeth is the only time in the play where everyone is happy, as the rest of the play is based around the deaths of various people, from Duncan to Banquo to Lady Macbeth. Next, the definition of conspicuous is “attracting attention by being great or impressive” (Merriam-Webster). Macbeth is conspicuous because he was a leader in battle and was given the title of Thane of Cawdor, which means he was personally …show more content…
Macbeth’s ambition is revealed after the witch declares in a prophecy that he “shalt be king hereafter” (1.3.51). He is not patient enough to let the prophecy play itself out, and instead immediately declares, ““My thought, whose murder is yet fantastical/ shakes so my single state of man/ that function is smothered in surmise/ and nothing is, but what Is not” (1.3.141-145). Macbeth is already thinking about murdering King Duncan so he can take the throne. This passage makes it seem as if Macbeth had a murderous ambition all along, and the prophecy was just awaking the desire in him. Indeed, later in the play, Macbeth says, “Stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires” (1.4.52-53), which is him admitting he does and always did have a darker, more ambitious side. However, when it comes down to actually taking action and killing Duncan, Macbeth doesn’t have any “spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’other” (1.7.25-29). Macbeth’s rational side is telling him murder is unnecessary and he realizes ambition can make people rush ahead of fate to disaster. So enter Lady Macbeth, who wants Macbeth to take action and seize the crown while he has the opportunity. She calls him a “coward” (1.7.23) and questions his manliness to motivate him to kill Duncan,

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