In a true revealing of human nature, Macbeth, in his search for ultimate power, embodies man's ability to appear beauteous yet contain foulness. Macbeth seems to all like the innocent flower (I,v,72), however his true nature is that of the venomous serpent. In appearances, he is a trusted General in the King's army and the King himself speaks his praises, O worthiest cousin!...More is thy due than more than all can pay (I,iv,17&24). Yet it becomes obvious that all is not as it seems; that indeed although Macbeth has donned the mask of loyalty, the possibility of betrayal still lies within.
...why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature?
Haunted by his conscience, but driven by his ambition, Macbeth struggles between two strongly opposing desires: virtue and power.
He is tormented by the need to be the man he was, loyal, courageous and trustworthy, yet become the man he was promised to be: All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter (I,iii,53). His wife, driven and determined, realises that Macbeth does not have it in his nature to take the easiest way to the throne by killing the current King, Yet do I fear thy nature / That are too full of the milk of human kindness / to catch the nearest way (I,v,14-15), and cultivates the seed planted by the witches through the taunting of his manhood, Art thou afeared / To be the same in thine own act and valour / As thou art in desire? (I,vii,42-44). This attack on his courage and bravery causes Macbeth's serpentine nature to flower within him and sets him on the path to murdering his royal guest, cousin...