Happiness Is Mistaken By Evil (Macbeth Essay Sample)

Happiness Is Mistaken By Evil (Macbeth Essay Sample)

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks”. This quote from Mary Wollstonecraft deeply demonstrates Macbeth’s journey through life. The play Macbeth is the story of an ambitious man who gets satisfaction in murdering others. It all starts with the three witches and their prophecies. It was these prophecies from the witches that led to his downfall. In addition, the intelligent, determined, and manipulative woman named Lady Macbeth used her husband’s blind ambition to convince him to murder King Duncan. The person responsible for the deaths is not necessarily the one who commits the murders, but rather it is the person(s) who sparks the evil of all the murders. It is also the person(s) who sparks the chain of events that lead to the murders. Although it may appear that Lady Macbeth is at fault, the three witches ultimately bear the greatest responsibility for the death in the play. 

Despite the witches being responsible, Lady Macbeth did play a role in enhancing the murders. While Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are getting ready to murder Duncan, Macbeth backs out and says that he will not murder the King anymore. With great anger, Lady Macbeth replies by saying “What beast was’t then/ That made you break this enterprise to me?/ When you durst do it, then you were a man,”(1.7.48-50). Lady Macbeth accuses Macbeth of cowardice and lack of manliness for backing out of the murder. Since she insults him and questions his manhood, Macbeth feels obligated to commit the murder and is ultimately “forced” to do it. Had she not pushed him, he may have not followed through with his plans to murder the King. Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth into doing things that are not part of his moral values. Therefore, Macbeth becomes paranoid for the rest of the play, which was the main driving factor in him committing more murders. Despite Lady Macbeth being responsible for the first murder, the witches were the ones who made her hungry for power.

The three witches are ultimately responsible for all the murders because of their ability to influence others. After the murder of Duncan, Banquo begins to become suspicious of Macbeth and says, “Thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,/As the weird women promised,” (3.1.1-2). Banquo is referring to the three witches and how their prophecy of Macbeth has come true. The three witches and their prophecies were all the source of conflict in this play. Although Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were both directly involved in the murders, they got their intentions and motives from the witches. They are responsible for planting the idea of becoming King into Macbeth's head. Furthermore, this idea of becoming King is what stimulates Macbeth’s ambition. Thus, his ambition is the driving factor for future murders. The source of all chaos, drama, conflict, and murders comes from the three witches and their ability to curse and give prophecies to people. Also, Macbeth’s blindness to the witches and their evil intentions is what leads to his demise. The three witches are at fault for the murders because of their ability to put evil motives in the minds of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth.

Another reason the witches are to blame is because of their evil natures. For example, while Macbeth, Banquo, Angus, and Ross are discussing how the witches prophecies are coming true, Banquo warns the group by saying, “But ’tis strange,/ And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,/ The instruments of darkness tell us truths;” (1.3. 121-123). Banquo warns Macbeth that the “instruments of darkness” will tempt us to do evil by telling us things that we want to hear or that seem to be true. When Banquo says “instruments of darkness” he is referring to the witches. Furthermore, he is also saying that the witches will often tell them the truth, so that the truth makes them go crazy and do crazy things. This quote is similar to the theme “fair is foul and foul foul is fair” because what the witches are saying may seem fair and real to Macbeth, but what may seem to be fair might actually be the work of something foul (murders committed). In addition, the person at fault for the murders is not necessarily the one who committed them, but it is the one(s) who planted the evil idea in the head of the murderer; thus, the witches are to blame. 

Even though it might seem that Lady Macbeth is guilty, the three witches ultimately carry the largest burden. Lady Macbeth could be viewed as responsible because she’s the one who convinces Macbeth to murder Duncan. It was this murder that led to the other murders. However, the witches (also known as the “instruments of darkness” or “agents of chaos”) ultimately bear the greatest responsibility because of their evil nature and ability to influence others. One moral from Macbeth is to understand that power corrupts. In this play, as Macbeth’s power grows, his corruption does as well. He simply kills anyone that threatens his kingship. Although Macbeth was written over four-hundred years ago, it is important to understand the relevance of Macbeth in current society. The theme of power corrupts is greatly shown in politics all around the world today. Although times have changed over the past four-hundred years, it is important to realize that people have been abusing power and will continue to for future years.


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