6306004 Literature

The works of William Shakespeare are often called the encyclopedia of humanities life as they describe and analyze the most realistic and contraversary issues of human nature. The immortality of Shakespeare is explained by unchangeable human nature, which constantly is having fight against evils in his soul. The dilemmas of choice “to be or not to be” form the biggest part of our life. Shakespeare’s works describe human virtues and evils, faithfulness, love, treachery, altruism and egoism. A special place in works of Shakespeare is devoted to mercantile ambitions and purist of power, but his famous plays “Julius Caesar”, “Macbeth” , “King Liar”, “Hamlet” and others show that doctrine “aim justifies means” always fails as material prosperity gained on blood and betrayal is always supplement by moral sufferings and revenge (Granville-Barker 47).
One of the best examples of how power destroys personality and ruins one’s life is tragedy “Macbeth”, where the pursuit of absolute power of king Macbeth ends with establishment of justice and his death. “Macbeth” is also a perfect example of author’s humanism and protest against despotic orders and tyrannical rule, typical for European monarchies of his time (Muir 119).
Shakespeare starts the play narrating that Macbeth is a positive character as he is a noble man, with good will, courage and sense of dignity. He is a good military man and has a perfect attitude towards his responsibilities and duties. King of Scotland values him as a talented general and skillful military man as his heroism and personal sacrifice led to important victories. Personal merits give admiration and universal respect to Macbeth; king rewards him with wealth and new titles.
Macbeth once met witches, whose talks and words result in his future destiny. It’s quite clear that the episode with witches is nothing by imagination or semi-reality, a product of his thoughts and fantasies. In more global scope it was a natural reaction of a person with selfish attitudes and arrogance towards reality and towards potential, which could be realized in case he neglected morals and ethic norms. Long before this episode it’s clear that most of Macbeth’s actions are directed only on personal profits, he wants to receive satisfaction, glory and be honored by everyone. His abnormal pride and ambitious, greedy nature resulted in future megalomania, which paved the way to crime and murders. Till the end of the story his moral struggle against cupidity and despotism is the central theme, but nevertheless his soul at the end of the story was fully submitted to the sense of tyranny.
Macbeth uses his glory and popularity in order to usurpate power. Macbeth realizes his desire to become a king of Scotland killing king Duncan and king’s security, later accusing them in the committed murder. After a while he also sets a task to get rid of anyone who could present any danger to his reign and stability he had achieved. Macbeth as a result turns into an obedient slave of his megalomaniac paranoia at the same time experiencing moral sufferings from all the horror and murders he committed. He is chased by spirits of persons he killed, he sees their spirits and hears their voices. But nevertheless always having a chance to stop this despotism, he always chooses to continue.
By the end of the play Shakespeare makes an emphasis on Macbeth’s tyranny and cruelty as never. Explanation to it is simple; witches said that he could be killed only by person who wasn’t born by mother. Symbolism of these words was not perceived by Macbeth seriously as it gave him a strong belief in unpunishment and immortality. His sufferings and conscience left him, as his soul and mind were only occupied by unlimited despotism since then. But the fight with Macduf dissolved his ideas, as he realized how short the life was and how miserable was his being as Macduf appeared to be born by Caesarian operation, made to his mother. Before Macbeth dies he breaks ties with witchcraft and devil, but it’s too late. His despotism could be only stopped by death. Repentance of Macbeth shows the triumph of human virtues over evil, it shows that qualities of nobility which are typical for a man of honor never disappear and return once person back to true life, even when it’s too late.
Another example of an ill human nature is the character of Lady Macbeth, who is shown as a woman equal in her nobility and virtues to Macbeth, courageous military man and hero. She is admired by king Duncan, but like her husband she appeared to be a very ambitious and prudent. She was one who advised Macbeth the easiest and quickest way to become a king: to kill king Duncan. It’s also important to say that were also ready to kill Duncan herself. It may seem that the whole story of Macbeth’s usurpation of power was a skillful plan of lady Macbeth who knew how to manipulate her husband. But it’s not true as Macbeth was very ambitious and vainglorious, support of his wife only inspired him on these actions. But their pursuit of power had a tragic end for both of them. Moral sufferings, fears and paranoia of Macbeth began to chance lady Macbeth, too. She lost her sleep and her health was gradually ruining by fears and nightmares. None of the physicians could help her, as none of them cured soul. Lady Macbeth’s death was tragic as she committed suicide.
“Macbeth” shows that people will have to pay once for all their deeds. Shakespeare says that there are not “get rich quick” strategies as quick success is always supplemented by deprivations, which lead to personal fiasco and punishment (Bradley 65).

1. Shakespeare, W. Macbeth
2. Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1966.
3. Evans Lloyd Gareth. Shakespeare IV. London: Oxford university Press, 1967.
4. Granville-Barker, Henry. Prefaces to Shakespeare. New York: Hill and Wang, 1970.
5. Loske, Olaf. Outrageous Fortune. Oslo: Oslo University Press, 1960.
6. Muir, Kenneth. Shakespeare and the Tragic Pattern. Proceedings of the British Academy, Vol.XLIV. London: Oxford University Press, 1958

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