Free Soliloquy Essay – Soliloquies of Macbeth Macb

eth essaysSoliloquies in Macbeth Shakespeare
Even though people in retributive justice feel satisfaction, the perpetrator can also suffer.
William Shakespeares powerful Macbeth shows the deterioration of an honourable and
respectable general, Macbeth, who becomes a tragic hero after temptations from the witches and his wife to
perform murders.
Macbeth soliloquies enable the audience to experience the conflict within Macbeth and thus, gain
an understanding of the reasons for his behavior and decisions. As a result, the tremendous reversal of
Macbeths fortunes in the end leaves the audience filled not with pity, but also awe, at the realization that
people can suffer greatly.


Macbeths soliloquies before the murder of Duncan shows the vigorous internal struggle of
himself, as his conscience is fighting against his evil minds. Also, they shows Macbeth has brought his own
downfall upon himself. The audience will then feel pity about Macbeths deterioration brought by himself
when witnessing his choice of following the evil.
Macbeth is a courageous and honourable general in Scotland. His success in the battle against the
invaders of Scotland gains respect from the King Duncan and his fellow soldiers. However, the demonic
forces, symbolized by three witches, temptates Macbeth. The witches hail Macbeth as the Thane of Glamis
and Cawdor who will be king and hail Banquo, who is a nobleman of Scotland and Macbeths friend, as
one who will become the father of a line of kings. Macbeth ambition deep in his heart starts growing at that
time. In Act I, scene iii, when Macbeth is thinking about the fulfillment of the two prophecies given by the
witches before, “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes my single state of man”(I, iii, 139-
140) In this soliloquy, Macbeth reflects his idea about the “two truths” told by the witches. He is ambitious
to become king, as he reacts nervously when the witches mention his fate. The very idea of murder “shakes
his single state of man”. However, at this point, he is loyal to the king, and he rejects the idea of murder, “If chance will have me king, why, chance
may crown me, without my stir.”(I, iii, 143-144) The predictions by the witches may have strengthened the
criminal intentions that he had probably never yet dared to express clearly, even to himself. He is not
alliance with crime, he is neutral, but obviously temptation is working upon him. Yet, he might overcome
the promptings of his evil ambition by an effort. After the battle, Macbeth is greeted with effusive thanks
by Duncan. Duncan then announces that he will make Malcolm heir to the throne. In Act I, scene iv,
Macbeth in his aside states that this announcement is a bar to his ambition and calls upon darkness to cover
what he wishes to be done:
That is a step on which I must fall down, or else oerleap, for in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; 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, 49-54)
As Duncan makes the announcement, Macbeth starts wondering if murder is the only way in which he can
achieve the kingship. His ambition overcomes his finer nature. He calls upon the stars to hide their light,
indicating that his “black” desires comes out, and he thinks it is too evil to be seen. Macbeths image of the
eyes winking upon the work of the hand is expressive both of his intense aversion to the deed and of his
intense desire to get what the deed will accomplish. At the same time his “let that be” marks the point at
which his fascinated contemplation of the thought of murdering Duncan becomes a resolution, although he
will waver from it. The opposition between eye and hand is indicative of the civil war within him.

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In Act I, scene iv, shortly after Duncans arrival to Macbeths castle, Macbeth gives voice to his feeling
concerning the rashness and the awfulness of the projected murder:
If it were done when tis done, then twere well it were done quickly. If th assassination could trammel
up the consequence, and catch, with his surcease, success; that but this blow might be the be-ball and the
end-all — here. But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, wed jump the life to come. But in these cases
we still have judgment here. (I, vii, 1–8)
At this point, Macbeths character has fallen to the point where he has the desperate courage to commit the
murder, but is afraid of the consequences. He gives three reasons for not performing the murder. First, it
would be imprudent. Secondly, it would violate the blood-tie of a kinsman, the allegiance of a subject, and
the duty of a host. Finally, he suggests that Duncan has been so blameless a king that to kill him would be
monstrous. He controls his ambition for the moment and resolves not to kill the king. However, if he
assures the safety during his life, he would gladly “jump the life to come”. Finally, Macbeths wife, Lady
Macbeth, reveals Macbeths weakness of his decision, by calling him a coward without manhood and says
that Macbeth does not really love her. Her speech changes Macbeths mind, all his fears are vanished. He is
then no longer troubled by any sense of morality, and determines to proceed the murder. From that time, he
plunges into a life of evil.


Consequently, the conflict between Macbeths conscience and his evil instincts is enormous. However, his
struggle against the temptations becomes weaker and weaker each time: from the point he is able to reject
the idea of murder to gain the kingship, to the point he is will to commit it only regarding the risks, and
finally his decision to perform the evil deed. All these suggests that he has brought his own deterioration in
character. It is mainly due to his weakness in the face of temptation and his ambitious character. He could
overcome the temptations and the promptings of his evil ambition by an effort, but he chooses not to. His
gradual downfall of character brought by himself heightens the tragic effect. People will always feel to see
such a respectable hero turning from good to evil, when experiencing the extreme conflicts within himself
and witnessing his choice to become the slave of evil.