Is He Good or is He Bad

"Is He Good or Is He Bad?"

In Macbeth, William Shakespeare portrays a particular kind of evil. As the character of

Macbeth grows into darkness, he searches for more power. Every time Macbeth completes a

battle for power, he lusts for more. In Act I, the witches state, "Fair is foul, and foul is fair." This

foreshadows the disorder and moral darkness in which Macbeth will plunge himself. Macbeth

begins with a bright light of what he wants in his life; later on, he is persuaded by his wife and the

witches to yearn for more power. Macbeth turns from an essentially good character toward evil

by giving into: his need for power, his insecurities about his relationship with his wife, and


First of all, Macbeth is easily persuaded into the idea of being king. The witches

previously told the truth of Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor, now why not move forward and

become king. Yet, he knows the only way to become king is to have Duncan die first. In the

beginning of Act I, Macbeth is satisfied with his status of living. He doesn\'t yearn for more, but it

is implanted in his head that he wants more. In Act I, Scene IV Macbeth takes one giant step

towards evil. He states, "Stars, hide your fires; / Let not light see my black and deep desires." He

tries not to express his desires for he knows they are wrong. Macbeth rather hide what he wants

then to do harm against others.

Before returning home, Macbeth writes a letter to his wife telling her of all the predictions

made by the witches. Lady Macbeth definitely wants her husband to be king for selfish reasons.

She knows that Macbeth will not cheat to get anything even if he wants something badly, so she

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drills in his head that she will leave him if he doesn\'t kill Duncan. Within Act I, Scene IV, Lady

Macbeth states, "Come, thick night, / And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell." In other

words, if Macbeth takes a giant step towards evil, Lady Macbeth makes an even greater leap.

Once Macbeth returns home, Lady Macbeth takes charge and starts making plans for Duncan\'s

murder immediately. Even when Macbeth tells his wife he cannot go through with the murder,

she begins to mock him and tells him that he is a coward. In Act I, Scene VII, she twists the

following idea into his head:

"I have given suck, and know / How tender \'tis to love

the babe that milks me: / I would, while it was sniffing in

my face, / Have plucked my nipple from his boneless

gums, / and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you

/ Have done to this."

Macbeth is turned off by the idea of motherhood and decides to go through with the plan and the

challenge of his manhood. Within the beginning of Act II, Macbeth murders Duncan.

After Duncan\'s murder, one can still see that Macbeth has a conscience. He is absolutely

horrified by the crime that he has committed. In Act II, Scene II, Lady Macbeth states, "These

deeds must not be thought / After these ways; so, it will make us mad." She believes that

Macbeth\'s action of killing Duncan is fine, and that all means for him becoming king should be

forgotten. The torture Macbeth is going through by realizing that the murder he did is one of the

most evil deeds ever committed. Macbeth states,

"Will all great Neptune\'s ocean wash this blood / Clean

from my hand? No; this my hand will rather / The

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multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green

one red."

Macbeth never thought himself capable of such evil, and he would love to be able to undo what

he has done.

In Act II, Scene III, Macbeth\'s conscience is slowly becoming lax. When Macbeth hears of

the murder from Lennox and Macduff, he simply responds, "\'Twas a rough night." He and Lady

Macbeth do an excellent job of pretending to be innocent.

The theme of light and darkness comes into play in Scene IV of Act II. At this point it

seems as though the entire country has plunged into darkness by Macbeth\'s