Fear In Macbeth Essay

1105 Words 5 Pages
A famous quote by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is commonly heard and applied to situations of feeling hopeless and scared; “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” However, in the case of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, the truth is that there is nothing to fear except yourself. Macbeth’s ultimate fall from power was the consequence of his own actions as well as his own self destructing behavior. Rather than someone else causing him to fail and lose power, it was Macbeth himself that finally brought on his own collapse. Because he made the choice to be a murderous dictator, he affected his relations with others and felt excessive guilt which eventually drove him insane and leads to his demise.
Macbeth turned his own fate into one of
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His focus, then drawn away from his duties as king and other responsibilities, became clouded. Because his energy was invested in his guilt rather than his job, Macbeth failed to be a fair and kind king. His own sinful nature consumed his thoughts, creating hallucinations and an overwhelming sense of stress and urgency. Macbeth feels that anyone against him should be eliminated. “To be thus is nothing; But to be safely thus.—Our fears in Banquo Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he dares; And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour To act in safety. There is none but he Whose being I do fear: and, under him, My Genius is rebuked; as, it is said, Mark Antony's was by Caesar.” (Macbeth Act III Scene 1, 50-60) This fear of Banquo also marks the beginning of Macbeth’s snowball of death. Banquo is smart, just, and noble. These characteristics stand against Macbeth, making Banquo an enemy. The constant nightmare of being removed from his position of power, guides the actions to follow. Macbeth feels the need to eliminate the threat. First, is the intended murder of Banquo. The change of heart in Macbeth can be seen by how the deed is done. At first, when killing King Duncan, it was Macbeth himself who did the killing. When threatening to kill Banquo and Fleance, Macbeth …show more content…
However, Macbeth decided to strive for more and more, becoming paranoid in the safety of his throne. While he could have made a choice to let fate run its course in time, Macbeth chose to attempt to mess with fate, dooming himself and his own destiny. His choices bring his own downfall, making his death one of self destruction. He was broken by himself alone. Hallucinating Banquo’s ghost at the banquet is confirmation of the guilt and fear Macbeth fears knowing his own deeds. When a person or concept is reoccuring, it can be assumed that it is definitely on the mind. Macbeth’s negative reaction towards the ghost also can lead to the conclusion that he has a negative association, one of guilt, with the death of his old friend. “ The time has been That, when the brains were out, the man would die, And there an end. But now they rise again With twenty mortal murders on their crowns And push us from our stools. This is more strange Than such a murder is.” (Act 3 Scene 4, 81-86) Macbeth is explaining how usually the dead stay dead once they are killed. However Macbeth is spooked at how it appears that the dead people like Banquo are haunting him instead. They will not leave his mind alone. In an apparent psychotic fit at the banquet, Macbeth’s guilt was a part of who he was. He turned “ill” as Lady Macbeth put it. He was no longer the Macbeth that he was at the beginning of the play. Because his determination to achieve his overly ambitious

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