Essay Sample on How Macbeth Reacts to Success

Published: 2023-03-08
Essay Sample on How Macbeth Reacts to Success
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Poem Shakespeare Character analysis Macbeth
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 601 words
6 min read

Success requires hard work and determination. In the play, "Macbeth" by Shakespeare, the character Macbeth, exemplifies the necessary leadership virtues of ambition that see him climb a ladder of victory to become the king of Scotland. Nevertheless, Macbeth's strive to be successful leads to his catastrophic downfall. Macbeth reacts to his success of becoming king with fearful and guilty concerns about his ability to manage his new authority and position that he acquired through evil deeds; he does not have peace once he becomes king.

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Even with the newly acquired office and robe, Macbeth feels tensed in his new role. Macbeth realizes that "to be king is nothing" unless he can cool his fears; he can never be "safely thus" for the danger lies within (Shakespeare 139). His monarchy's safety relies partly on his children to inherit Scotland's crown. Nevertheless, since he has no offspring's, his treacherous actions of killing the king, seems to be meaningless and only appears to be in favor of Banquo's promised heirs. "They hailed him father to a line of kings..." (Shakespeare 191). Ironically, Macbeth, later on, fights against Banquo and not for him, by planning his execution. His ambition to uphold the throne "keeps peace from him" (Shakespeare 153). He reacts to his success in the throne with political and evil power of eliminating his enemies. Thus, in the royal world created by Macbeth, no peace exists; the victory achieved is just a half-measure.

Macbeth also reacts to success suspiciously and fearfully, as he believes "there is no peace with the wicked" (Shakespeare 153). Even though he hosts a banquet as the king, he is still unhappy. Rather than being overjoyed by the company Macbeth gets from his family and friends, Banquo's spirit keeps on haunting him. "As he is drinking, the Ghost rises again just before him" (Shakespeare 176). Due to his desire to be in control of the future, Macbeth still thinks of committing more murders and consults the witches for the second time. "Macbeth's main reason for killing Banquo was because the witches had declared that Banquo was to be a father to a line of kings" (Shakespeare 191). From this prediction, Macbeth felt insecure about his throne thus committing the murder. He felt threatened and eliminated anyone that crossed his path.

Lastly, Macbeth is guilty of his success due to his actions. As he strives to succeed, guilt overpowers him and he can no longer think straight. "He is of late grown conscious of his guilt" (Shakespeare 350). Duncan pushed Macbeth to have a lust for power and feel paranoid. "Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more: Macbeth shall sleep no more" (Shakespeare 104). This quote demonstrates the extent of guilt overpowering Macbeth. He describes it by saying, "go get some water and wash this filth from your hands" (Shakespeare 104). While Macbeth tries to free himself from his criminal deeds, he realizes he suffered from guilt during his search for success.

Generally, Macbeth is not comfortable with his successes. A sense of guilt haunted him from the very beginning when he was killed to become king. Macbeth's former traits, which were described as loyal, courageous, and Scotland's true hero, are lost in his wishes for holding the crown and the manipulative ways he uses to become the king. Through his evil deeds, Macbeth loses the things that would make his life more joyous. Thus, he is not able to revel in his success - the modest pleasures of life decline when he becomes a murderer. Macbeth is indeed wretched with his victory as king of Scotland.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Macbeth. Vol. 2. Classic Books Company, 2001.

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