Macbeth Summative

By Jordan Wright

Who's to Blame?

Macbeth accomplished many things throughout the course of the book. Even so, his greed would eventually lead to his downfall. "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 wink at the hand; yet let that be, Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see" (1.4.55-61). Macbeth muttered these words after the declaration that named Malcolm as the heir to the throne. This showed signs of greed within Macbeth, for he was not happy with the designation. I think this was an early hint that greed would eventually become a problem for Macbeth in the future. "...then prophet-like they hail's him father to a line of kings: upon my head they placed a fruitless crown, and put a barren sceptre in my gripe, thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand, no son of mine succeeding. If 't be so, for Banquo's issue have I filed my mind; For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered..." (3.1.64-71). Macbeth wanted Banquo and his son gone because they threatened his throne. This showed his obvious greed, as he did not want to give up the crown that he murdered for. Macbeth felt threatened because he was not meant to be king, but desperately wanted that control. Had he not been as greedy, Macbeth would have been known as a trustworthy and honorable man among his peers. " When in swinish sleep, their natures lie as in death. What cannot you and I perfom upon th'unguarded Duncan? What not put upon his spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt of our great quell?" (1.7.77-82). Macbeth was worried about the idea of murdering King Duncan, but was not worried to the point where it overshadowed his greed/need for power. He was wondering who would feel this guilt, as he did not have the true capacity to do so. I believe that Macbeth's need for power began when he was awarded the title of Thane of Cawdor, when he received the first taste of what true power tasted like. Eventually, his greed would cloud his judgement and thinking process, leading to his downfall as king and his death.
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Movie Connection-- "Wall Street" (1987 Film)

Although the plots are not completely the same, Bud and Gekko closely resemble the characteristics displayed by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Bud had aspirations to work on Wall Street, and was willing to do almost anything to accomplish that, which is very similar to Macbeth's aspiration to have power and be King. Gekko is the man with all the power in the "relationship" between him and Bud, as Lady Macbeth is with Macbeth. While working their way to the top, Bud and Macbeth do some cringe-worthy things and show little remorse for it. Lady Macbeth and Gekko are the enablers, as they both encourage the inappropriate behavior in order to gain ultimate power. Even though Bud did not murder someone to accomplish his "dreams", both him and Macbeth let greed get the best of them and cloud their better judgment, proving the similarities between "Wall Street" and Macbeth.
Wall Street - 1987 - Trailer

Character Analysis---Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth is one of the most powerful female characters in literature, and for good reason. She lacks the humanity found in most people, especially women. Within the first scene, she calls upon the Spirits, "...that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty..." (1.5.47-49). She wanted to be able to show no mercy and have no feelings of regret or guilt, so that she would be able to gain power through her husband. Power motivates Lady Macbeth to do horrible things. To accomplish these horrible things, Lady Macbeth must step on other's toes. She belittles and mocks those who appear weaker than her, especially her husband. He seems to feel much more guilt and apprehension that what she would like, "...be so much more than the man. Nor time nor place did then adhere, and yet you would make both. They have made themselves, and that their fitness now..." (1.7.58-61). Lady Macbeth taunted her husband when he admitted he would no longer go through with murdering the king. She called him a coward, and tried to belittle him into proceeding as planned. Lady Macbeth would do anything she to ensure she would hold the utmost power. In the end, trying to hold power over everything proved to be a job too big for even Lady Macbeth. She became a mere shell of her former self, a mentally deranged shell. "The Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now? What, will these hand ne'er be clean? No more o'that, my lord, no more o'that! You mar all with this starting..." (5.1.41-45). Lady Macbeth showed guilt and remorse for the killings of the Macduff's, which would have been unlike her in the beginning of the book. The overwhelming sense of guilt she felt overcame her in the end, and the power she wanted for her and her husband, would no longer be theirs.
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