Don't Feed The Wolves: A Literary Analysis Of Shakespeare's "macbeth" - Grade 11 University English - Essay

1190 words - 5 pages

“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and
desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.”
-George Eliot (1819-1880)
There’s an old Cherokee saying about our ongoing internal clash between the
forces of good and evil. The phrase roughly translates to “the wolf that wins is the wolf
you feed.” In his perennial, supernatural tragedy ​Macbeth​ , William Shakespeare
guilefully puppeteers a lethal myriad of battles amongst packs of ravenous canines; gory
conjurings that exist exclusively within the cerebral confines of his dramatis personae.
Cocooned within this shakespearean web of betrayal, treachery, witchcraft, and
retribution is an explicit contemporary warning upon which a spider violently feasts.
Macbeth​ cautions us to tread carefully while dancing with the demon of duality;
voracious debauchery is an invitation for undoing. The advisory’s imperfect vessels are
the play’s connubial patronym; a valiant, ambitious warrior and his dutiful, tormented
bride, who both— though in the contrasting manners chronicled hereunder— succumb to
the “even-handed justice” (I.vii.10) of their maker’s wrath for their indulgence.
From the offset of the play, Lady Macbeth presents herself to the audience as an
egocentric resident in a somber world of mischief. Hers is a journey from perversion and
impurity to desperation for peace of and freedom from her mind, with an all-too late
desire to be innocent of her crimes. Upon receiving her husband’s letter— which
describes his witchy encounter with the Weird Sisters, who foretell his kingship— the
Lady is eager and fervent to be rid of Duncan, Scotland’s sitting ruler. “Come, you spirits
/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / And fill me, from the crown to the toe,
top-full / Of direst cruelty” (I.v.43-46), Lady Macbeth rhetorically pleads. She
unflinchingly demonstrates a rapport with the agents of villainy, even ordering her
honorable husband to “look like the innocent flower, / But be the serpent under it”
(I.v.72-73). She encourages the complacent Macbeth, in his state of masculine
vulnerability, to give into temptation, thus triggering a spree of bloodshed Macbeth
carries out in order to assert dominance. Lady Macbeth’s sufferance in maintaining a
floral facade of composure, regality, and poise— spanning King Duncan’s murder to that
of her friend Macduff’s family— gave way to her irreparable, internal ravaging by
ophidian guilt. The reawakening of her remnant conscience marks the beginning of her
infelicitous end and ultimately, in a state of delirious sleep, she realizes that “all the /
perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand” (V.i.46-47) of all the blood she
collusively spilled. Lady Macbeth pays penance to the forces of justice with her life,
committing suicide to end ...

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