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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 7 page paper which examines to what extent Macbeth is wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only himself and other individuals, but also disrupts the divine unity of Scotland. Bibliography lists 6 sources.
7 pages (~225 words per page)
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After King Duncans murder and the unnatural ascension of Macbeth to the throne, the divine unity of Scotland has been broken, and as a consequence, the country becomes awash in
civil strife and bloodshed. The root cause of this bloodletting is Macbeth and his single-minded pursuit of ambition that blinded his sensibilities and ultimately cost the lives of countless
people, including his and his equally ambitious Lady. Noted Shakespearean critic G. Wilson Knight described Macbeth as "Shakespeares most profound and mature vision of Evil" (Tufts 168). As
a result of the "disruption of moral order" (Tufts 168), "Fair is foul and foul is fair: / Hover through the fog and filthy air" (I.i.12-13). Interestingly, when Lord
Macbeth is first introduced, he appears to be a highly principled man who has proven himself to be a most competent soldier and loyal supporter of his King. A.C.
Bradley observed in his assessment of Macbeth that, "He was thought honest, or honorable; he was trusted, apparently, by everyone" (322). In recognition of his faithful service, King Duncan
bestowed upon him the title Thane of Cawdor. But this did not sufficiently satisfy Macbeths ambitious appetite; in fact, it merely whetted it for a more impressive title.
It was a seemingly innocuous meeting with a trio of witches that would sow the seeds of Macbeths eventual ruin, contained in the prediction: "All hail, Macbeth... shalt be King
hereafter" (I.iii.52). Macbeth seemed to have at least some awareness of his ruthlessness, as evidenced in the remark he made shortly after receiving the supernatural prophecy, "Let not light
see my black and deep desires. / The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be / Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see" (I.iv.59-61).