Books and Movies Reviews


Macbeth(c.1607), written by William Shakespeare, is the tragic tale ofMacbeth, a virtuous man, corrupted
by power and greed. This tagedy could in fact be called “A Tale of Two Theories”. One theory suggests
that the tragic hero, Macbeth, is led down an unescapable road of doom by an outside force, namely fate in
the form of the three witches.The second suggests that there is no supernatural force working against
Macbeth, which therefore makes him responsible for his own actions and inevitable downfall.It must be
remembered that Macbethis a literary work of art, and as a peice of art is open to many different
interpretations, none of them right and none of them wrong. But the text of the play seems to imply that
Macbeth is indeed responsible for his own actions which are provoked by an unwillingness to listen to his
own conscience, the witches, and his ambition.
First, Macbeth ignores the voice of his own psyche. He knows what he is doing is wrong even before he
murders Duncan, but he allows Lady Macbeth and greed to cloud his judgement. In referring to the idea of
the murder of Duncan, Macbethfirst states,”We will proceed no further in this business”(I.vii.32). Yet,
after speaking with Lady Macbeth he recants and proclaims,”I am settled, and bend up/Each corporal agent
to this terrible feat”(I.vii.79-80). There is nothing supernatural to be found in a man being swayed by the
woman he loves, as a matter of fact this action could be perceived as quite the opposite.
Second, the witches have to be dispelled as a source of Macbeth’s misfortune before the latter theory can be
considered. It is admittedly strange that the weird sistersfirst address Macbeth with,”All hail, Macbeth! hail
to thee Thane of Cawdor!”(I.iii.49), a title which not even Macbeth is aware he has been awarded. Even
stranger is the third witch calling to Macbeth,”All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafte…


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