Macbeth's Pain -- How does Macbeth's pain make this Shakesperean play a tragedy?

Essay by sajjy101University, Bachelor's September 2003

download word file, 5 pages 4.5

Downloaded 49 times

Macbeth's Pain

A play can not be tragic without pain. In Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth is constantly dealing with pain, most often as the one suffering. When the play opens, Macbeth is a celebrated war hero, however when the highest form of power being his is waved in front of him, Macbeth allows greed to take over and inevitably, pain to manifest. He will go to any length to ensure he is King, leading MacBeth to kill the present one. His suffering is a result of Macbeth's personal battle with his conscience and his uncontrollable feeling of guilt, for he knows that murdering King Duncan is wrong, even before he commits the act. His pain slowly develops from guilt and fear of what he is able to do, what he does do, and the consequences of his actions. The pain eventually leads to Macbeth's own death.

The first signs of Macbeth's hesitation is shown in Act 1 Scene 7.

Macbeth is aware that there are consequences to his actions and declares that if there were none he would murder King Duncan without even a second thought. Macbeth says, "...that but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all -- here, but here, upon this bank and shoal of time, we'd jump the life to come." Macbeth also

struggles with the idea that the man he is planning on murdering is not only a guest in his house, but has been a good King that Macbeth has been loyal to for all

this time. During Macbeth's battle with uncertainty, his wife, Lady Macbeth enters and Macbeth tells her, "We will proceed no further in this business," However, Lady Macbeth refuses and attacks Macbeth, calling him a fearful coward. She insists that they will not fail or back down from...