Controlling Fate Through Acts In Bad Conscience
In the tragedy Macbeth, playwright William Shakespeare uses Macbeth’s cruel actions, forced upon him by witches and his wife, as well as harsh punishments to demonstrate how the wellness of a deed affects fate. When Macbeth murdered King Duncan, it was unequivocally confirmed that he no longer possessed any sense of honorable conscience that he formerly presented. His inability to remain faithful to his pure and moral beliefs and stick to his sentiments ultimately destroyed him and his fate. Fate is something that, more frequently than not, is possible to regulate. It is controllable. Deeds in bad conscience often assure a poor fate. Possessing the consciousness to recognize when to withdraw from a potentially harmful situation remained critical to each character in the play to assure their fate would not result in severe hardship.
Macbeth’s aspirations to be king appeared to be heavily forced upon him by his wife, Lady Macbeth. Due to her eagerness to be in command, she bombards him with wounding accusations regarding his timorous character in hopes of persuading him to do what will make her happy. Her claims offend him greatly, as she intended them to. He appeared to be at a crossroads as he debates, “If it were done when ’tis has done, then ’twere well It was done quickly” (I, vii, 1-3). He expressed his doubts towards his wife, which she pays no mind to. Lady Macbeth confidently asserts that “I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums, And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you Have done to this” (I, vii, 57). Her attempts to emasculate Macbeth are extremely successful. These insults ultimately enraged him enough to lead him to rebel against his otherwise decent conscience. She pushed and pried until he eventually grew so furious that he felt that obliged to prove her wrong. He ended up convinced to disregard his initial intention to spare the life of King Duncan. Being convinced of this crime was where the real trouble began for Macbeth. Macbeth’s decision ultimately determined his fate. Unfortunately, it also determines King Duncan’s fate.
Standing in front of Duncan, Macbeth had one last chance to change his final decision as to whether or not he was going to take King Duncan’s life. Macbeth desired to go against what he knew to be moral and right, which was foreseeable. He killed Duncan with a dagger while he was sleeping. He announced to Lady Macbeth, “I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?” (I, ii, 18) His disloyalty to his past self and his good conscience gets him into the plight of King Duncan’s murder. Macbeth’s fate could have been controlled had he not let Lady Macbeth’s trifling comments affect him as much as they did. His egotistical mindset got the best of him to the point where his worst enemy prevails itself as his very character. He questioned himself, “Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee” (II, i, 44-46). This all could have been avoided had he not abandoned the pure intentions he possessed before Lady Macbeth’s tangent.
Unfortunately, the cruelness of Macbeth’s actions would affect him for all eternity. He establishes himself as unable to escape the lasting impact of his indecent and unethical behavior. Verification of his inability to escape this remained observable as he had internal battles with himself as well as external battles with Lady Macbeth. From the day Macbeth murdered Duncan on, he never felt or expressed a sense of joy. His anxiety immediately after the murder was beyond harmful. He expresses his great fear when he says, “It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood” (III, iv, 121). Surprisingly, before Lady Macbeth’s suicide, Macbeth seemed to develop a careless attitude. It seemed irrelevant to him whether or not he gets caught, or what people think of him. His emotions appeared to have vanished entirely, and a sense of regret can be detected, as it has since the moment King Duncan was murdered. The guilt role seemed to have switched completely to Lady Macbeth as she begins talking in her sleep desperate for an escape to her living nightmare. The doctor and gentlewomen both listen on as Lady Macbeth says, “Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!” (V, i, 57-59). The irony of Lady Macbeth’s torturous anxiety is the fact that it was she who brushed off her husbands’ worries straight after the murder. She told him, “Go get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand” (II, ii, 47-49). The pair have interchanged roles and now have a sense of how the other felt. Macbeth’s treacherous fate was decided by his corrupt actions. His disputes with Lady Macbeth in Act I of the play demonstrated that he was influenced and persuaded to go against his righteous intentions and committed a crime that would be considered unfathomable to many. Fate worked against Macbeth and his relationships throughout the play. His deed placed an overwhelming amount of strain and hardship upon his judgment of himself and Lady Macbeth. Initially, Macbeth’s relationship was not as strong as a married couple should be. That was reinforced when she displayed a significant amount of discourtesy for his initial decision to not kill King Duncan. Lady Macbeth did everything in her power to belittle him into agreeing with her. Even after the action was done, there was still tremendous tension between the two partners. Their views contradict one another, as well as their feelings of the committed crime.
Fate is ultimately controlled by actions, whether they are positive or negative. There are decisions consistently made throughout the play that determine the fate of different characters. The decisions made will lead to effects that may remain eternally. Considering a bad destiny is sometimes inevitable, it is essential and significant to strive for acts in good conscience as frequently as conceivable. By permitting himself to be so vulnerable and allowing Lady Macbeth’s statements to bruise his self-esteem as much as they did, he was convinced to and desired to murder King Duncan to prove a point. His desire to murder King Duncan went against what he previously believed. Macbeth knew he was going against himself and what he believed when he said, “I am settled and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show. False face must hide what the false heart doth know” (I, vii, 92-96). Murdering King Duncan was the worst mistake he could have made, as he ended up dead because of this. Macbeth was powerless when it came to recovering from his sin, as anyone who committed a crime this great would be. If he had only dismissed Lady Macbeth’s narrow-minded criticisms, he would have never had such an abrupt conclusion to his life. Considering he decided to make his ego his primary concern rather than recognize the permanent consequences and influences of his immoral actions, his fate was rightly justified in its entirety.