“The Tragedy of Macbeth” by William Shakespeare serves as a reflection of the relationship between the playwright and King James I, however, its implications stay relevant in the modern days. The portrayal of Lord Macbeth at the beginning of the play as an honorable, kind, and valorous man creates an image or a relatable character with whom the audience can sympathize. His ambitions are clearly shown to be set high from the beginning, as Macbeth himself states that:
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“I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
And falls on th’other…”.
This essay will discuss how the portrayal of Lord Macbeth and his actions allowed Shakespeare to conduct his own emotions to the audience.
Soon after the initial introduction, the main character begins his downfall. He is set on this path by his belief in the prophecy by three witches, supplemented by his wife’s support, and his ambitions. As the audience can see, a crucial part of his mistakes lies in the actions of others and his improvidence. Macbeth is never presented to the public as an ultimately villainous ruler, even though it is precisely what he is. His inner suffering and desperation are apparent only to the viewers and his wife, who dismisses them in her own opportunistic rush.
The murder of King Duncan and further killings of chamberlains and Banquo, Lord Macbeth’s best friend, deviate the character from the audience. However, his image in the eyes of the public is restored by the depictions of his delusions produced by severe depression. By appealing to the character’s suffering due to the consequences that were born from Macbeth’s inability to rein up his flaw, the author invokes feelings of pity towards Macbeth.
However, the dire results of Macbeth’s actions are not unfolded yet. Tortured by his evil deeds, Lord Macbeth suffers another loss as his wife commits suicide. At this moment, Macbeth can only contemplate the meaninglessness and short-sightedness of his actions, as it is too late to grief:
“Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
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To the last moment, the audience cannot see the murderous tyrant, but a man who is utterly devastated by his own false beliefs and misdeeds. Lord Macbeth’s sanity hangs on the last threads of the final prophecy, as he clings to the improbable circumstances that are supposed to surround his demise. However, as the English army draws near, these conditions begin to be set clear, and the fears that overtake Macbeth are reflected in the audience. In conclusion, this play creates a bond between the main character and the audience in such a manner that it entirely succeeds in conveying the main character’s intentions and emotions.