Show how Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have to go against their own natures in orderto kill Duncan. Each character in Macbeth has to either fight or give in to theevil.
Because evil is contrary to human nature, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have togo against their own conscience in order to murder Duncan. When the witchespredict that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and later, King of Scotland, heis stunned to silence by their prophecies. When murder enters Macbeths mind heis frightened by his thoughts.
He tries to reject his impulse, declaring that hewill leave everything to chance: If chance will have me King, why, chancemay crown me Without my stir. Very soon he begins to confess asuggestion of horrible imaginings. Soon after, he admits topossessing black and deep desires but he is afraid to speak about themopenly, even to himself. Later on he indites a letter to Lady Macbeth containingconjecture about the prophecies of the three witches. She immediately wants totake fate into her own hands. She begs the evil spirits to tear all humanfeelings 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: Thouwouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness shouldattend it. By illness she means evil. Macbeth seizes evil, as onemight catch a disease.
When Macbeth has the opportunity to think about hiswifes suggestions and about his desires to become King, he becomes aware ofthe duty that he owes to Duncan, his loyal King. Following a great battle withhimself, Macbeth decides not to go through with the murder. He states to LadyMacbeth: We will proceed no further in this business.
Macbeth is notprepared for all her wrath and abuse. She calls him a coward. When in reality itis not cowardice that restrains Macbeth, it is his conscience. She also insultshis masculinity, and declares that she would have murdered her child while itwas 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 aman in her eyes, goes against his own nature and agrees to the murder of KingDuncan..
The night of the murder Macbeth is very troubled; he is living anightmare. Lady Macbeth is as tense as he husband, and she has been drinking togive herself courage. As Macbeth walks to Duncans chambers, his imaginationcreates 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 otherhand, is bold and confident, because she does not understand that the deed ismorally 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 themurder of Duncan the Macbeths appear to have achieved their hearts desire; inreality, they only gain torment and dismay. When Macbeth takes the crown bymurder he upsets the natural order of his life. He becomes a cruel and unjustruler 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 thestate banquet with most admird disorder, claiming to have seen theGhost of Banquo. Soon after the murder of Banquo, Macbeth begins to grasp anunreality about his life, but that does not seem to change his conduct.
Macbeths cruelty in action is shown when Lady Macduff and her son arebrutally slaughtered. When he planned to kill Banquos son, Fleance, he couldacquit 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 theplay Lady Macbeth prayed that she should know no compunctious visitings ofnature that might prevent her from