Show how Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have to go against their own natures in order to kill Duncan. Each character in Macbeth has to either fight or give in to the evil. Because evil is contrary to human nature, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have to go against their own conscience in order to murder Duncan. When the witches predict that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and later, King of Scotland, he is stunned to silence by their prophecies.
When murder enters Macbeth’s mind he is frightened by his thoughts. He tries to reject his impulse, declaring that he will leave everything to chance: If chance will have me, King, why, chance may crown me Without my stir. Very soon he begins to confess a suggestion of horrible imaginings. Soon after, he admits to possessing black and deep desires but he is afraid to speak about them openly, even to himself. Later on he indites a letter to Lady Macbeth containing conjecture about the prophecies of the three witches. She immediately wants to take fate into her own hands.
She begs the evil spirits to tear all human feelings from her, for she knows that she will have to urge her husband, Macbeth, to become King by murdering Duncan. She will have to give up all the gentle, tender qualities of a woman so that she can become a sexless, pitiless demon. She has to make her husband ignore his own conscience. She declares: Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it. By illness she means evil. Macbeth seizes evil, as one might catch a disease.
When Macbeth has the opportunity to think about his wife’s suggestions and about his desires to become King, he becomes aware of the duty that he owes to Duncan, his loyal King. Following a great battle with himself, Macbeth decides not to go through with the murder. He states to LadyMacbeth: We will proceed no further in this business. Macbeth is not prepared for all her wrath and abuse. She calls him a coward.
When in reality it is not cowardice that restrains Macbeth, it is his conscience. She also insults his masculinity and declares that she would have murdered her child while it was feeding at her breast, rather than break such a promise as Macbeth had done. Persuaded by her conviction, he yields to her, and in order to prove himself a man in her eyes, goes against his own nature and agrees to the murder of King Duncan. . The night of the murder Macbeth is very troubled; he is living a nightmare. Lady Macbeth is as tense as he husband, and she has been drinking to give herself courage.
As Macbeth walks to Duncan’s chambers, his imagination creates a dagger floating in the air. At first, he is alarmed by the dagger, later he seems to enjoy the horror of the moment. After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is horrified to think of what he has done. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, is bold and confident, because she does not understand that the deed is morally wrong; her only concern at the time is to destroy the evidence. Macbethawakens to a consciousness of guilt that will remain with him until his death.
Trace the effect the betrayal of human nature has on each of them. Following the murder of Duncan, the Macbeths appear to have achieved their heart’s desire; in reality, they only gain torment and dismay. When Macbeth takes the crown by a murder he upsets the natural order of his life. He becomes a cruel and unjust ruler and is always conscious of guilt. Macbeth brings chaos to Scotland, breaking up the balance of a well-ordered country, just as he breaks up the state banquet with the most admired disorder, claiming to have seen the Ghost of Banquo. Soon after the murder of Banquo, Macbeth begins to grasp an unreality about his life, but that does not seem to change his conduct.
Macbeth’s cruelty in action is shown when Lady Macduff and her son are brutally slaughtered. When he planned to kill Banquo’s son, Fleance, he could acquit the murder to himself by referring to the prophecy that Banquoschildren should be kings. But he is in no danger from Lady Macduff or her son; the crime is more loathsome because it is motiveless. At the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth prayed that she should know no compunctious visitings of nature that might prevent her from