In this essay, I will be looking at ways in which William Shakespeare shows sympathy and dislike for Macbeth. I will refer to historical context as well as the play on a whole.
The play Macbeth which was set in Scotland, was written by William Shakespeare in the early 1600’s. This play was a tragedy and was written for King James I a year after the gunpowder plot. The play was to some extent a tale to caution any potential killers of the king (regicides) as to what would happen to them if they attempted to blow up King James and his parliament as Guy Fawkes did.
Macbeth starts out as a very brave warrior. On his way back from fighting the Norwegians he encountered the three witches who told him that he would become king and Thane of Cawdor. Upon his return the first part of the prophecy came true. Macbeth informs his wife of the predictions and she tries to persuade him to kill Duncan. Macbeth yields to temptation and becomes very ...view middle of the document...
” He explains that he is a kinsman and subject of King Duncan and it is his duty to protect Duncan. He then goes on to say that he invited Duncan over to his castle and he should be closing the door in the face of whoever wanted to murder Duncan and also that he should not be the who is trying to kill Duncan himself.
Another instance where Macbeth can be sympathised is at the banquet in his castle right after he made assassins kill his friend Banquo. During the banquet, Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost sitting in his chair and says that the table is full. Macbeth then addresses Banquo’s ghost saying,” Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake Thy gory locks at me.” The guests are confused by Macbeth’s behaviour and Lady Macbeth tries to persuade guests that Macbeth is just ill. Sympathy is felt for Macbeth as his mental state is deteriorating and he is becoming very paranoid. The appearing of Banquo’s ghost shows that Macbeth had a guilty conscience.
We can dislike Macbeth when he decides to kills King Duncan after the witches’ prophecy “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (Act 1 Scene 3).Macbeth showed himself to be very selfish when he decided to kill Duncan. He knew that he would not be able to be king legally, so he thought that he should get rid of Duncan and his sons so that he would be entitled to the title of King of Scotland.
Macbeth can also be disliked when he murdered Macduff’s family. One of the witches told Macbeth “ Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff. Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.” Macbeth killed Macduff’s family as they were relatives of Macduff and he did not want to lose his crown to anyone who is related to Macduff. At this point Macbeth has lost all of his morals and is so paranoid about losing his crown he would do anything in order to keep his crown.
In conclusion, I personally believe that Macbeth should have just been patient and not too eager to become king because in the long run he ended up losing his mind, the crown and his life. I believe that Shakespeare shows Macbeth’s desire for power through murder and greed which caused him to be disliked. It is also sad that he went from being a noble, strong and brave soldier and into a crazy, evil tyrant.