Macbeth: Are The Female Characters To Blame? University Of Southern Indiana, Shakespeare's Histories And Tragedies (Eng 465) Essay

2286 words - 10 pages

Sam Barsan
English 451
Dr. Conaway
November 8, 2018
Macbeth and the Dangers of Supposition and Suggestion
You know what they say happens when you assume things? Well, in the case of Macbeth, he kills a sitting King staying in his house as a guest, orders the murder of an innocent man and his son during a hunting trip, and sends murderers to kill the unguarded family of his political enemy, all upon the supposition that his destiny is to be king and that no harm may come to him. Of course, many of his thoughts are not originally his; Macbeth consistently faces ego-building discussions on the topics of his own fate and manhood from a select number of female characters he interacts with. While the female characters, including the Witches and Lady Macbeth, present Macbeth with incomplete definitions of masculinity and destiny that begin to swirl around in his head, no one stands as blameworthy for Macbeth’s tragic fall from grace as Macbeth himself is. The witches and Lady Macbeth present what could and should be, respectively, affirming Macbeth’s belief in what is or will be. Some modern scholars seem to agree. Kiley asserts that Macbeth “commits himself to his fate without invoking the usual excuses that serve to cushion a fall and that make popular martyrs out of eager killers” (Kiley, 1960, p. 589). Without legitimate motivation beyond ambition and self-servitude, Macbeth “sins deliberately”, and sins alone. Goehring similarly contends that Macbeth “lost grip on his self-control” during his ascension (or more accurately, usurpation), letting his “paranoia set him on a self-destructive course” (Goehring, 2005, p. 1526) that ultimately costs him his life. Even Greenblatt in The Norton Shakespeare admits in his introduction that “more than the homicidal Richard III, the treacherous Claudius in Hamlet, and the cold-hearted Iago in Othello, Macbeth is tormented by an awareness of the wickedness of what he is doing.” (Greenblatt, 1993, p. 2710). A first-time show-goer would likely feel as though Macbeth is tricked and cheated into the coffin, but closer analysis showcases the consistent and deliberate villainy Macbeth pursues to secure his power against the threat of those ahead of him. To better demonstrate Macbeth’s conscious descent, this essay will review the emotional burdens of destiny and masculinity thrown upon him by both the witches and Lady Macbeth, while proving that Macbeth is still solely accountable, with perceivable agency in his actions. Additionally, some of the dialogue spoken by Lady Macduff whilst criticizing her husband further illuminates the faults and failings of Macbeth: he is similarly impatient, dishonest, disloyal, and is rewarded for his crimes with titles and power. A gentle whisper of glorious fate in one’s ear may sound enticing and attainable, but deceit lurks just around the corner….
The witches cajole Macbeth into action. As early as their first appearance before Macbeth and Banquo, they hail Macbeth as the fut...


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

1190 words - 5 pages 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

Chaucer and Shakespeare's Approaches to Troilus and Cressida - St. Mary's College of Maryland/ENG 284 - Essay

541 words - 3 pages -colored glasses, darker intentions arise among all characters. Shakespeare’s Troilus lacks romantic emotions regarding being in love with Cressida, saying “Troilus shall be such to Cressida as what envy can say worst shall be a mock for his truth, and what truth can speak truest not truer than Troilus” (3.2.95-98). One may argue that this attitude is fueled by the Elizabethan value of male dominance; he sees Cressida as an object rather than an a

Title-Cassio's Tragedy And Shakespeare's Use Of Minor Characters Assignment-Analyze A Play (Othello) In Terms Of A Minor Character's Relation To The Plot

964 words - 4 pages Free and confidante, than Othello would have had his good advice and honesty there to guide him. By separating the two friend's Iago put himself in a position to be the only voice Othello could hear. Cassio's removal was of great importance to Iago.However, this importance was not because of who Cassio was, but rather, because of where he was: at Othello's right hand. This is a vital difference between Shakespeare's minor characters and major

The Role and Symbolism of Blood in Macbeth - ENG 3UB - Essay

1037 words - 5 pages Free The Role and Symbolism of Blood in Macbeth In plays and novels, blood is normally used to symbolize death, mortality, and family. Blood reminds us of the vitality and importance of life. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses blood to convey the emotional turmoil and the conscience of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. We are constantly reminded, through the use of blood, the emotional impact of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s actions has on them. While Macbeth becomes

who is to blame for the death of romeo and juliet - grade 10 - essay

756 words - 4 pages Olusoji-Akomolafe, Precious Olusoji-Akomolafe Grade 10-1 English Miss Armstrong 25th May, 2018 Romeo and Juliet: Who's to blame? The play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare has been considered to be the most touching love stories of all time, but upon closer inspection we realize this love story was doomed from the first day they met. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy which involves star-crossed lovers from feuding families who end up killing

of mice and men - all the characters are powerless, discuss - English - essay

1148 words - 5 pages Are all the characters in of mice and men powerless? The theme powerlessness is presented in multiple ways to show the personalities on the characters throughout the novel; Steinbeck uses the social and economic circumstances to reflect the men’s loneliness. It was written in 1937, set in America during the great depression, the characters – in a country with abundant resources left many having nothing to take control of, nothing to have power

Are the characters in Wuthering Heights and Macbeth villains or victims? - Stroud High School English Literature - Assignment

1405 words - 6 pages , turning him into a monstrous fiend that does terrible things, including marrying and abusing Edgar’s sister, Isabella, purely out of hatred. In a way, the characters of Lady Macbeth and Catherine Earnshaw are very similar, in that their own selfishness is the sole reason for their downfall, and it contributes to the corruption of those closest to them. But, the love shared between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth diminishes as the play progresses, to the

Defense of Language within Modern Society - Southern New Hampshire University ENG 550 - Essay

596 words - 3 pages Dawn Lingle 9-2 Defense of Language ENG550 Dr. Mohamed Defense of Language The English language is constantly changing, and the history proves that. As technology and society change and grow, so does the English language. Wanting to study English means studying all aspects therein, such as all of the changing progress that the language itself has made. Studying the origins of the language are just as important as the language itself. Learning

This Is An Essay About The Tragedies Of Space Travel

1121 words - 5 pages seventeen years ago can partly be blamed for lack of funding and cutbacks on employees in order to conserve as much money as possible.Yet these are not the only tragedies that have taken place. Vostok (12 April 1961): on the very first manned space mission, the instrument module initially failed to detach from the descent module following retrofire. It only separated when the heat of re-entry burned through the straps which attached the two modules

Who is to blame for the outcome of The Crucible - English 11 - Essay

838 words - 4 pages Branson �1 Grace Branson Tyler Zerbe English Literature 13 September 2018 Who is Really to Blame? Abigail Williams is the pebble that gets the avalanche of the Salem Witch Trials started. Although she is responsible for starting the witch trials, she is not entirely to blame for the outcome of the entire play. Abigail is a cruel and manipulative girl who will do anything to get what she wants and keep herself out of trouble. Abigail did not

The Montague and Capulet are to blame for - Falls Church High School/ English - Who is responsible for Romeo and Juliet's death

895 words - 4 pages would be getting taxed less based on how they make their money which would make that unfair to regular people who work hard for their income and don't deserve to be paying more instead of someone that has more than enough money to pay just as much as the regular person. Helpful Link: Arguments: Pro-There are millions of families in america and like all

essay on why nco of today are more prepared to lead - eng 1301 - argumative

564 words - 3 pages , and Warrior leader’s course. The NCOES continues to grow while simultaneously enhancing the ability of today’s NCO to lead and train soldiers for combat. Non commissioned officers responsibilities to the Corps today are to lead, train, up hold high standards, and preserve tradition. Leading and training soldiers for combat is the number one priority. As a non-commissioned officer, you take great pride in the duties and responsibilities. Non

Grit essay, An example essay of the essay all freshman are required to write - Bryant University, Freshman entrance - Essay

450 words - 2 pages she means is that you need grit on the inside to get through your work, but you should also have on the outside to help other people. Getting involved at college can be a major factor to one’s success. If you ever have a question and you can’t get a hold of a professor just simply ask a classmate. In Grit Angela also describes “concepts of interest” which include practice, purpose and hope. These are just small factors that could be very crucial

These tragedies are founded on family relations. How does the introduction of incest enhance the power of the family structure here? How does it pervert it?

401 words - 2 pages The structure of an average American's family tree is pretty simple. A mom and a dad, their parents and parents of their parents, their kids and then spouses of kids and their parents. Nobody was initially related to each other and unless it is a married couple who came from two different families, there are no sexual relationships whatsoever. In the Greek tragedy "Oedipus the King" , Sophocles wrote about the ruler of Thebes who crossed the

the awakening and analysis on female repression - ap literature - essay

1526 words - 7 pages -love from Edna. He even feels regret when his thoughts wander toward that conclusion; however, he is not wrong. Edna is “not a mother-woman,” as Chopin calls the women who are “the embodiment of every womanly grace and charm.” Adèle Ratignolle acts as a foil to Edna’s own lack of interest in motherhood and wifely duties (10). According to Mr. Pontellier, his wife is deficient; she cannot hide her disdain for what society traditionally requires of