The Consequences Of Macbeth

1186 Words 5 Pages
ENG 2D Macbeth Essay Final Copy

In literature there are many scenarios in which the protagonists learn, through a series of events, that certain actions result in undesirable consequences. Macbeth, a famous play by William Shakespeare is no exception to this. Throughout the play, one can recognize that with the many extreme actions of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, they suffer inevitable consequences. These consequences are the direct result of their killing of King Duncan, Macbeth’s paranoia about his surroundings and throne, as well as Lady Macbeth’s extreme guilt over her terrible actions, which later result in her death.

The first major action in the piece is when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plot to kill the king. Macbeth is the murderer
…show more content…
These factors greatly affect Macbeth as the play continues. Once Duncan has been murdered, Macbeth claims “Methought I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more! Macbeth doth murder sleep’ (II, ii, 35-36) [...] Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor, Shall sleep no more” (II, ii, 42-43). Macbeth feels the repercussions of his sin immediately after killing King Duncan. This is shown through his wails of the voices telling him that he would never sleep again; one can assume that they are an embodiment of his guilt. Furthermore, because of the importance of sleep, Macbeth will lose its renewal; he killed an innocent man as he rested, making the murderer himself unworthy of rest. This will greatly impact Macbeth and is a massive consequence that will burden him until the end of the play. This is evident through Macbeth’s decreasing mental health as his restlessness increases. He starts seeing apparitions that embody his exhaustion and guilt, not only as a result of his murder of the king, but also as a result of the murder of Banquo. During the banquet in honour of his coronation, Macbeth sees the apparition of a freshly killed Banquo, whose death he had orchestrated. This sets him off to the …show more content…
As his subjects and thanes start to suspect that he “played’st most foully for [the crown]” (III i, 3), Macbeth starts isolating himself from his surroundings and killing threatening people to ensure his safety and reign as king of Scotland as he believes “To be thus is nothing, But to be safely thus.” (III, i, 50-51). It is this paranoia that leads him to hire murderers to kill Banquo. Macbeth expresses his insecurity about his surroundings during his soliloquy in Act 3, scene 1. He states that he fears the analytical mind of Banquo, as well as the line of kings the prophetic witches promised him. This paranoia is fundamentally a consequence of his previous actions. As the newly crowned king, Macbeth fears that he will be killed or dethroned; a fear that essentially stems from what he had done to Duncan, the previous monarch. Furthermore, the witches prophecies lead Macbeth to not only see Banquo as a threat to the throne and a person to fear, but to also fear Macduff. This paranoia costs Macduff his family and also consumes Macbeth who is now so worried about losing his throne that he has become overwhelmed by suspicion. Although he believes that no man could harm him, he wants to “make assurance double sure” (IV, i, 86) by attacking Macduff’s castle and eliminating any possible threat. Macbeth decides to kill Macduff for good measure, in order to bury his fear of being dethroned.

Related Documents