The Tragedy of Macbeth

by Sheridan Shears

Greed for Power

Although some may argue Lady Macbeth is to blame for Macbeth's downfall, she is not to blame. Lady Macbeth may have been responsible for convincing Macbeth to murder King Duncan, but the only thing we can blame here is Macbeth's greed for power. ¨Stars hide your fires;Let not light see my black and deep desires¨(1.4.58-59). This quote serves as Macbeth's greed entirely. Macbeth wishes his true intentions of becoming king and gaining power to be kept a secret from everyone, so that he is saved. Throughout the play Macbeth becomes more power driven and self destructive on his own, and Lady Macbeth cannot be put to blame for all of that. It is Macbeth's decision to murder and ruin lives; even if, Lady Macbeth got him started. "Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other"(1.7) This quote here illustrates how Macbeth becomes aware that he is being overly greedy with wanting to kill Duncan. He is aware of the fact that being overly greedy will put you in a bad spot, due to overconfidence in yourself. By the end of the play not only does Macbeth realizes his greed is overtaking him, but so do others. "I grant him bloody, Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful, Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin That has a name." (4.3) This quote expresses how greedy Macbeth has become; he is described by Malcolm and Macduff as someone who contains every last bit evil there ever could be in the world.

Literary Devices

For my first literary device from Macbeth, I have chose Imagery. In this scene Hecate, the head witch is planning to obtain a magical drop from the moon, treat it with a secret art, and create spirits that will lead Macbeth to his destruction. “Upon the corner of the moon There hangs a vap’rous drop profound. And that distilled by magic sleights, Shall raise such artificial sprites As by the strength of their illusion Shall draw him on to his confusion” (3.5.23-29). This quote here illustrates a picture in the readers mind, so they can visualize, the magic drop Hectate uses, that helps lead Macbeth towards his destruction. My second literary device used is Irony. In this scene the witches give Macbeth three apparitions. One of those apparitions includes that he will not be taken down until Birnam Wood moves towards his castle. Macbeth thinking that will never happen is given false hope, until Malcom's soldiers using the branches of the trees for cover attack his castle.¨Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him¨(4.1.106-109). For my last literary device I am using Foreshadowing. In this scene Macbeth is being called upon by the witches in name of their dark magic. “By the pricking of my thumbs Something wicked this way comes Open locks Whoever knocks!” (4.1.44-47). This quote is a great example of foreshadowing, because you can tell something disastrous is about to happen. In this scene Macbeth gets on the bad side of the witches, in the way he treats them.

Piece of Art

For my piece of art that symoblises the downfall of Macbeth, I chose the scene where Macbeth kills King Duncan. I chose this piece of Art for this is where Macbeth's greed for power began. If it had not been for power, Macbeth would have never murdered Duncan. As soon as Macbeth started murdering, it became obvious his greed for power overtook him. "The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires: The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be, Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see." (1.4.55-61) This is what Macbeth said left Duncan's place after learning the official designation for Malcolm as heir. This quote demonstrates the early signs of greed and extreme want for power of Macbeth. Macbeth now thinks of Malcolm as nothing more than an obstacle for the throne, and has no problem murdering for power.
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Movie Connection

For my movie connection I chose the movie Men Don't Tell. The abusive wife in this movie is very similar to how Lady Macbeth treats her husband, Macbeth. In Men Don't Tell the female lead (Judith Light) subjects her husband (Peter Strauss) to verbal and physical abuse, related to their childhoods. These two women belittle and beat down their husbands. While Lady Macbeth verbally abuses her husband for power, Judith abuses her husband because of their childhood. Although, Judith's reasons for the abuse are different than Lady Macbeth's, the way these two treat their husbands is the quite similar.
Men Don't Tell - CBS Sunday Night Movie (March 14, 1993)