MacBeth’s Push Over The Edge
In the book Macbeth you see the main character, Macbeth really showing how much he wanted and really just how overly ambitious he is. There is many reasons why he did what he did but the main driving factors were the prophecies, Lady Macbeth and his overall greed. This inevitably led to hid death and his image as an absolutely terrible king and a brutal tyrant.
One of the most important things that drove Macbeth to lie cheat and murder was the prophecies. This is so important because of the way that they made him think that he’s invincible and that everything that he is doing would lead to his inevitable success. One place where you see the prophecies having a major effect on macbeth is when he decided to kill Duncan despite his morals telling him that doing it was wrong and that really he should just be happy with the things that he does have. “Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more: By Sinel’s death I know I am thane of Glamis; But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman; and to be king”(1,3,72) This shows that despite this far fetched crazy prediction that in Macbeth’s eyes at this moment could never be true is still hooking him in and really forcing the idea through his mind that he is destined for much more than what he has. This shows how he could start to think about doing bad things to get ahead and achieving what he really wants and also does a good job of fueling his ambition. Another place where the prophecies have a major effect on macbeth is when they originally tell him that him that he can not be killed by someone born of women and that he would lose until a forest marched to his gates. “Who can impress the forest, bid the tree Unfix his earthbound root? Sweet bodements! Good! Rebellious dead, rise never till the wood Of Birnam rise, and our high-placed Macbeth Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath To time and mortal custom.” (4,1,98) This is one of the things that really motivates MacBeth to continue doing the terrible things that he does because of how it really convinces him that there are no repercussions to anything that he does and that he is so powerful that he can have anything he could ever want regardless of what he had to do to get it.
Another major thing that really started Macbeth’s tyranny and spree of horrible choices was Lady Macbeth. She is so important to MacBeth’s actions because of the way that she was the person who originally convinced him that it was a good idea to kill Duncan and that doing this terrible thing would really have a strong positive effect on them. “We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep— Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey Soundly invite him—his two chamberlains Will I with wine and wassail so convince That memory, the warder of the brain, Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep Their drenchèd natures lie as in a death, What cannot you and I perform upon The unguarded Duncan?” (1,7,59) This shows that before this point Macbeth had always thought about the way that their actions could have major consequences and that a lot of the time doing something bad, even if it might help you is still bad in the long run. Despite these thoughts she still convinces him to go through with it which he definitely wouldn’t have otherwise done. Another huge place where Lady MacBeth really has a strong effect on MacBeth is the way that at the start of the play she is far more ambitious and willing to do bad then MacBeth is but though her manipulation and threats about his manhood and strengths he really about half way through the play seems to take on the ambition from her and adopt it himself. I say that because you see the development of his character throughout the play where by the end he would decide to do things that the original first MacBeth that we meet who is scared to take action and doesn’t want to cause problems would never do. He would never have changed this much and done the things that he did if he didn’t have the constant pressure of his wife to not only do the things that he did but be the way that she wanted him to be. “What beast was ‘t, then, That made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man.” (1,7,47) This is one of the places where you can see Lady MacBeth manipulating him and the start of his own ambition and tyranny.
Lastly you see the greed that is deep rooted in MacBeth’s character having its own place in making him Murder lie and cheat.