How does Macbeth React to Death and Danger?

Essay add: 30-09-2015, 17:45   /   Views: 2 036
The play “Macbeth” by Shakespeare shows that in extract one Macbeth reacts to death with regret because of his loyalties to the lifeless Duncan. He faces danger in this extract in a fearful and indecisive manner when he felt being found out as the killer of Duncan was too much.
Extract two shows that Macbeth becomes distant when the death becomes more personal, such as the death of his wife. Macbeth faces danger of the approaching army with acceptance and eagerness.
Macbeth’s character begins to change after the murder of Duncan, and in the early term of his rein.

Macbeth kills Duncan and regrets his actions almost instantly. “I’ll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done...” (Act 2 Scene 2, Pg. 28). This shows how much the death played on Macbeth’s mind, almost instantly after the murder Macbeth felt this way because his had sense of loyalty toward the king as he was praised for his heroic work on the battlefield.

When faced with danger of being discovered as the murderer of Duncan, Macbeth acted with fear and indecision. Lady Macbeth takes control of the situation. “Methought I heard a voice cry, sleep no more: Macbeth does murder sleep.” (Act 2 Scene 2, Pg. 27). Macbeth would have said this with an expression of total affright. His tone would have almost been a whisper, concealing his own fear. Macbeth’s words indicated that he was almost at the stage of madness, hearing voices that weren’t audible. The partaking in of Duncan’s murder could have been the catalyst of Macbeth’s change.
“Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane, you do unbend your noble strength to think so brain-sickly of things. Go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hand.” (Act 2 Scene 2, Pg. 28). Shakespeare could have been setting up an unusual relationship for his audience. Lady Macbeth was the dominant character of the relationship, hinting that Shakespeare could have been a feminist.

Lady Macbeth is killed, and Macbeth reacts to the death of his wife in a distant manner, with a slight emotion of sadness. When informed of his wife’s death Macbeth answers “She should have died hereafter; there would have been a time for such a word.” (Act 5 Scene 5, Pg. 92), this could have meant that she was bound to dye sooner or later, such a time would have come. The reason for Macbeth’s detachment could be because he blamed her for making him feel what he did in extract one, and because she introduced him to the evils of murder, which he himself was now going to be killed for.

Macbeth reacted to the danger of the approaching army with acceptance and eagerness. Macbeth was alerted by a messenger that moving wood was approaching from Birnam, knowing the witches third prophecy “Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam Wood to High Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.” (Act 4 Scene 1, Pg. 66) he knew that he was about to fight a lost battle. Macbeth spoke without a tinge of fear, or any emotion suggesting that he was distressed, “Ring the alarum bell! Blow wind, come wrack; at least we will die with harness on our back.” (Act 5 Scene 5, Pg. 93). Macbeth proved to be almost eager to do battle, suggested by the quote’s rushed nature, due to its short sentences, and witty language. Macbeth also offered an open invitation to cause devastation, “...come wrack...” The invite was done in such a manner and such a gesture that almost sounded as if the threat of the approaching army was child’s play to him.

The death and danger within the two extracts interact with one and other to show the varying feelings and emotions of Macbeth. Macbeth’s character began to change after the death of Duncan, which could possibly be the ferment of his change. Macbeth reacted to death and danger as a King differently then when he was a Thane, which could also signify that he became too reliant on his power, and detached from reality.

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