15th October 2017

Reading Response #3 MB

  • Title: Macbeth
  • Text Type: Play
  • Author: Shakespear

Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is a tragedy set in Scottland about a once respected Man who let power and greed corrupt his image. At the beginning of the text, Macbeth and Banquo met witches who prophesy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and eventually King of Scotland. The witches also prophesy that although Banquo will never be king, his heir is destined to seize the throne.  Soon after their encounter with the witches, Macbeth hears news from King Duncan and learns that he will, in fact, become Thane of Cawdor because the previous thane betrayed the King. This confirms that the witches prophecies are true and arises the thought of becoming King in Macbeth’s head. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth of the witches prophesies and she instantly desires kingship for him and wants him to kill King Ducan in order to achieve it. Duncan visits Macbeth’s castle and Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth with harsh words and declares that he is a “coward” for hesitating to kill Duncan. Macbeth gives in and agrees to go ahead with the plan, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth get the chambermaids so drunk that they black out and the next morning place the blame on them for the murder of King Duncan. While Duncan was asleep, despite his uncertainty, Macbeth stabbed him to death. In the morning Macbeth killed the two chambermaids supposedly out of rage for their “crime”. Duncans sons flee to England and Ireland in fear that whoever killed their father is now after them. Fearful of the witches prophesied that Banquo’s children will see the throne, Macbeth hires a group of murders to kill Banquo and his son, Fleanace, Fleance escapes and this puts Macbeth in an unsettled place, as long as Fleance is alive Macbeth’s power is insecure. The effects of killing King Duncan and Banquo catch up to Macbeth and he experiences hallucinations of Banquo’s ghost. Macbeth is unsettled and afraid, at this point we begin to see his respect diminish, Scottish nobilities do not trust or respect Macbeth. Needing reassurance Macbeth returns to the witches in hope of closure on his future. Macbeth learns that he that he will be safe until “Birnham wood comes to Dunsanian”, that he “cannot be harmed by any man born of woman” and that he must beware of Macduff, a Scottish nobleman. The witches prothesis comfort Macbeth in knowing that forests can’t move and every man is born of woman so, therefore, he cannot be harmed. Macbeth learns that Macduff fled to England to join Malcolm and he orders for Lady Macduff and her children to be murdered. When Macduff hears of his family’s murder he wants revenge and agrees to join Malcolm English army along with Scottish nobles who dislike the way Macbeth is running the country. Lady Macbeth experiences the delayed stages of trauma and becomes mentally ill. Macbeth receives news that she killed herself, this causes Macbeth pain and despair. However, his opponents are approaching and he fortifies Dunsanian. He is shocked when he hears that the English army is advancing with boughs cut from Birnam wood, this means the witches prophesies are being fulfilled. Things only get worse for Macbeth as the battle progresses Macbeth encounters revenge seeking Macduff who declares that he was not “born of woman” but was “untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb, Macbeth realizes what this means but still continues to fight until Macduff kills him and beheads him. Malcolm becomes the king of Scotland and declares his compassionate intentions for the country.

Throughout the text, Macbeth Changes immensely from in the beginning to the end and displays traits of greed and dire ambition. Initially, Macbeth tries to forget the witches prophecies, however, the thought of becoming king controls him, bringing out the greed from within. I can relate to Macbeth on a smaller scale, much like him when someone tells me something will happen to me in the future it sticks in my mind and influences my decisions and actions, therefore, making it happen. For example, when I got my palm read I was told that I was cautious when it comes to relasionships. Being told this made me overthink my relationships with people and analyze all my actions and words. Before I would say or do anything the thought would bounce into my head making me anxious and would end up influencing my decisions, this process ended up making me a lot more cautious than I originally was. Like Macbeth, if I had not been told I was cautious with relationships I wouldn’t have become catouis. If the witches had not told him he was going to become king than he wouldn’t  become king. I think this is an important lesson for life to not let other peoples opinions affect your future. In our world today we are judged and categorised continuously, those who are successful are those who do not let others opinions effects them, their ambition comes from within and unlike Macbeth, it should not be fuelled by others but by themselves.

Shakespear displays an important message throughout “Macbeth” showing the miserable personality behind Macbeth’s character. Shakespear highlights how power is not happiness and we see this communicated through Macbeth’s character. Once Macbeth seizes the throne and power, (which is supposedly all he wants) he spirals into a deep depression. This communicates to me the importance of contentment and reason for desires. I think this message can relate to our world in many ways. In our world, being rich is associated with power and happiness, however, Shakespear enforces that this is an invalid idea. In fact, most poor people are much happier than rich people.

Macbeth has similarities to the novel “Lord Of The Flies” in both texts true human potential is unleashed, displaying the capabilities of which mankind can go to destroy themselves. In both texts, the greed for possession of control and command over others corrupts the minds of the characters and brings out the worst in each person, displaying the evil within.

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About Fiona

Born in Christchurch, One of New Zealand's children, dweller of the south island, I enjoy being called Fi, thanks. Spelling needs work. Yep. Nice.