By: Bennett Treitler
In the play, Macbeth, Shakespeare constructs a story for us, about a very complex
figure, Macbeth. At first, Shakespeare sets the stage for us to believe that Macbeth is a
selfless and brave warrior who will do anything for his country through Act one, scene
one’s passage from the captain where the captain states, “For brave Macbeth (well he
deserves that name.” Shakespeare here is setting us up to believe that this man is a
saint, but the audience later finds out that he is quite the opposite. As the story
progresses, the audience is able to see Macbeth transform into this character whose life
is enveloped purely in fear, desire, murder, and hatred. From here the audience sees his
entire life fall apart, from his wife’s death to his downfall as king and execution. The life
of Macbeth that Shakespeare has created, is a tragedy that shows the audience the
negative effects of such greed and desire.
While reading the play, the reader will come across a passage from Act IV, scene
I, where Macbeth encounters the Weird Sisters who summon apparitions to answer
Macbeth’s questions about his future. The second apparition, the bloody child, tells
Macbeth, “Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of
woman born shall harm Macbeth.” This statement from the bloody child implies to
Macbeth that no one who was born from a women will be able to kill Macbeth, leading
to him believing that he is invincible, and gaining complete confidence as he thinks of
himself as untouchable. This message also leads Macbeth to ignore the warning from
the first apparition he encountered who said, “Beware Macduff; Beware the Thane of
Fife.” This shows the ignorance of Macbeth as he is not able to realize what is truly
going on. In setting forth the idea of Macbeth’s invisibility, Shakespeare is setting the
stage for a greater reveal later on in the play which leads to Macbeth’s downfall.
Shakespeare, by telling the audience that Macbeth cannot be harmed, is making it easy
for the audience, along with Macbeth, forget the first apparition’s warning.
This message from the bloody child, also tells Macbeth that he should act violent,
bold, and resolute, which leads Macbeth to continue to act as a ruthless tyrant
throughout the rest of his time as king. This false sense of security...