The Meaning of Macbeth
What would one do if they encounter knowledge of the future? Would they attempt to fight it or embrace it? William Shakespeare attempts to answer this question in his own work, Macbeth, and this is what makes it worth reading.
Without a doubt, William Shakespeare is one of the best writers in the world. He has written tragedies, comedies, dramas, and more. Among these genres, he is exceptionally known for tragedies. Macbeth was first performed in 1606. It is an astounding play of Shakespeare that was able to rise from other plays of Shakespeare and be called the four great tragedies. It displayed a story of a nobleman with great achievement who confronts a prophecy of witches in act 1 scene 3 that states, “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! / All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of / Cawdor! / All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” (Shakespeare 48- 51). Macbeth at first doubts the prophecy. However, as time passes, the prophecy proved to be true. At first, he was joyous of his achievements, but then became to be wary of the second prophecy which stated to Banquo, a friend of Macbeth, “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none” (Shakespeare 68). When translated, this means that Banquo’s descendant shall earn the throne. In the worry and lust of power, Macbeth challenges the faith he once accepted and battles it.
The rest of the story is a struggle of Macbeth in holding his position as the king of Scotland. As the genre of the play is tragedies, Macbeth will fall. This shows that a man cannot change the future despite knowing what would happen. This was the very attempt of Shakespeare. He wanted his readers to understand that humans are weak and incapable of changing the future even if they know what will happen. Shakespeare intentionally gave the ending of the play. This does not make the play not worth watching or reading.
Shakespeare exercises many styles of writing in his play to make the play worth watching. Shakespeare exercises a great amount of character development. In the start of the play, Macbeth is a loyal soldier of the king of Scotland. When he met the three witches, he became an ambitious man who was interested in the throne. However, he still showed many acts of hesitation before and even regret after he took the throne. So much so that even his wife scold, “Are you a man?” (Shakespeare Act 3: Scene 4, 70). Eventually, he lost the good side of him in a worry of losing his power and turned into a ruthless warrior that would do anything to secure his position as a king. In the end, he is a tragic hero who has been played by the threads of destiny. The intriguing character development shows how a man can change just due to a piece of knowledge. It was the very knowledge of the future that drove him through all the development. Furthermore, the audience feels pity for him despite his deeds.
This is due to that the readers can relate to Macbeth. It was a wrong thing for Macbeth to betray his king. However, who can blame him? We, too, probably would have killed the king if we were given the chance. For those who may reject, if one imagines the glory, wealth, and fame one posses as a king, such temptation is too strong for anyone. Furthermore, he did pay his fault in full. His sin was made up with his death. This can be related to our lives. By Newton’s third law, there are consequences in every action. Whenever we do something bad, we have to pay for it. This can be experienced in our lives. Furthermore, we often say that a great consequence comes with a great offense. With this many to relate to, the readers are further interested in the play.
Macbeth is without a doubt one of the greatest works of Shakespeare. It is a play that keeps the reader intrigued despite them already knowing the ending. It is a great work of art that answers a question that has been asked for centuries. This is a work of art that is recommended to all ages above twelve for those who wants the answer to the question or those who simply wants to enjoy good literature.