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Exploring Human Nature in Macbeth

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The nature of mankind makes us struggle to choose between right and wrong. From time to time, there is a struggle between personal desires and moral decisions. In the play “Macbeth”, William Shakespeare illustrates humanity as murky and corrupt. He demonstrates the unsavory side of human nature through three of the main characters. Not only in Macbeth but in the real world today this is portrayed. Forced loyalty and too much greed for power can lead to corruption of the mind. Banquo who seems to be honorable but scrubs to his desires first. Lady Macbeth reveals desire that leads to her collapse of the mind. Macbeth becomes inundated in greed that leads to horrible deeds. Thus, Shakespeare emphasizes that greed overrules human sympathy in human nature.

Banquo reveals greediness in pursuit of his desires. He reveals his first sense of greed when he hears Macbeth’s prophecies from the three witches. Banquo states: “My noble partner you greet with present grace and great prediction of noble having and royal hope, That he seems rapt withal speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favors nor your hate.” (I.iii.55-62). Banquo, who gives the impression to be an honorable man, also displays his greed by wanting to receive a great prediction just like Macbeth. Banquo exposes his overruling by committing the act of error. After the loss of Duncan, Banquo talks to himself as the witch promised: “if there come truth from them as upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine why, by the verities on thee made good, may they be my oracles as well and set me up in hope?” (III, i,2-10).

Banquo doesn’t disclose the secret of the prophecies and his feeling about Macbeth for the reason that Banquo have faith in that his prophecy will not come true if he reveals this information. Banquo makes a promise to Macbeth that stops Banquo from revealing their secrets. There are some upright qualities but also bad qualities in human nature that could potentially lead to a downfall. In addition, Shakespeare displays much greater greed in Lady Macbeth. After learning the news about the prophecies, Lady Macbeth tells her ambitions. “The raven himself is horse That cracks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlement. Come, your spirits That tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty; make thick my blood.” (I.v.36-41). Lady Macbeth brings the disgrace of a female character normally recognized as sympathetic and obedient during this time.

However, a female character that turns out to be angry in her desires her and Macbeth’s future. In addition, Lady Macbeth persuades her husband to act upon his want and his fate. As she’s aware Macbeth does not have what it takes to actively pursue the throne, she manipulates him out of greed and wants: “Was the hope drunk from this time Such I account thy love. Art, thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and velour as thou esteem’s the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting I dare not wait upon I would, Like the poor cat I the adage? (I.vii.35-44). Not only does Lady Macbeth bring out her own role, she whips Macbeth into act to accomplish her want. Lady Macbeth’s natural humanity is brought out when she is not able to kill Duncan herself because he resembles her father.

This exemplifies that she is trying to suppress her human nature and allow her ambition to rule. Though, even after accomplishing her goal, she is still unsatisfied throughout the rest of the play. Lady Macbeth expresses her feelings, but not to Macbeth: “Nougats had, all’s spent. where our desire is not without content tis sifter to be that which we destroy than by destruction, dwell in doubtful joy. Why do you keep alone, of sorriest fancies your companions making what’s done is done. (III.ii.6-14). Even though her ways aren’t quite met, she tries to keep her emotion to herself to keep her throne. The greed in human nature is so strong that it can overtake morality. Just as shown.

The New Orleans Saints were found to have operated a bounty system in which players were paid bonuses for, among other things, hard hits and deliberately injuring opposing players. Athletes exposed “Greed” by doing unlawful acts for a bonus. Just as Lady Macbeth, Macbeth and even little Banquo. “On May 2, the league announced the suspension of four players for their leadership roles in the bounty system. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire 2012 season”. (NY times) Greed for an upper role of power can lead to corruption of the mind and a person’s humanity. As In Shakespeare, the NFL athletes were seeking more of an advantage on top of the upper role they already resembled.

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Exploring Human Nature in Macbeth. (2018, November 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/exploring-human-nature-in-macbeth/
“Exploring Human Nature in Macbeth.” GradesFixer, 19 Nov. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/exploring-human-nature-in-macbeth/
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