Macbeth Timed Write 1
Aadya J. (rising 8th grader)
Macbeth is a play full of death, betrayal, and desire. There are many instances where characters are hesitant of their actions, but power and ambition causes them to keep at it. Macbeth, the protagonist of the play, is given a prophecy that he will become king. With this prophecy comes greed, influencing sinful actions to be taken, like killing those he respects. Although it is clear that Macbeth’s ambitions are immoral, the reader reacts more sympathetically because of how he seems to be pushed by Lady Macbeth and how guilty he seems afterwards. When Macbeth first gets this prophecy from the three witches and sends a letter to Lady Macbeth, she starts to wish that Macbeth was full of more aggression to retrieve this ambition, proving that greed is not Macbeth’s first nature. She states, “It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness, To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,” (Shakespeare I.v.4-7) She acknowledges that Macbeth’s charisma consists of being genial, and wants to add that aggressiveness to him so he can acquire his ambition faster. The reader starts to sympathize with Macbeth because it is obvious that Lady Macbeth is going to have a large influence on Macbeth being belligerent when he starts to commit the murders. After planning the murder of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth “Your hand, your tongue. Look like th' innocent flower, But be the serpent under ’t. He that’s coming” (Shakespeare I.vi.56-57) Lady Macbeth, telling Macbeth to hide his true self and ‘be a serpent’ also reveals that it is Lady Macbeth who is pushing Macbeth out of his comfort zone to reach this ambition. Macbeth is not the main reason of the murder, but it is Lady Macbeth who is mainly responsible. Macbeth feels a great deal of guilt after committing the murder. Before he murders King Duncan, he starts hallucinating and seeing bloody daggers. He thinks to himself “Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still, And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, Which was not so before. There’s no such thing.It is the bloody business which informs. Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one half-world. Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse” (Shakespeare II.i.45-50) Macbeth acknowledges that the image of daggers that keeps popping into his mind are mainly because of the deed he is about to do, and connects with all the guilt he is feeling towards it. Another factor of the daggers are the blood that’s on them, as it is associated with feeling sinful, as with Lady Macbeth later in the play when she starts to try to wipe an invisible stain of blood off her nightgown while feeling guilty. The bloody daggers represent the sins that he has about killing the king. His guilt is also displayed after he commits the murder, because of how he can not bring himself to even return the daggers. When Lady Macbeth asks him why he did not return the daggers to the guards, he replies, “I’ll go no more: I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on ’t again I dare not.” (Shakespeare II.ii.51-52) His guilt is too much for him to even go back to see what he did again. Having this much trauma from the experience is another reason why readers can pity Macbeth, because he is very frightful and has regret on doing this. He is aware of the intensity of the crime and is aware that he will be greatly affected by his choice to do this. Macbeth can be sympathized, though his actions were immoral, because of how he wouldn’t have taken these actions if he were not pushed by his wife, and because of how guilt-stricken and doubtful he was before and after taking action. And though he is sympathized, his actions were very sinful and it was wrong of him to do them, no matter how much guilt was attached.