The William Shakespeare play Macbeth, depicted Macbeth as a loyal subject of King Duncan and his homeland of Scotland. Duncan was so pleased with Macbeths actions during the war that he was named the Thane of Cawdor, a title not far from king. Soon after, he wrote a letter to his wife that would make his future blood stained. Macbeth told her about the possibility of becoming king and in-turn hooked her on the idea. She then did everything in her power to give Macbeth the crown of Scotland.
Duncans gratitude for the deeds of Macbeth were displayed when Duncan announced, Would thou hadst less deserved, that the proportion both of thanks and payment might have been mine! Only I have left to say, more is thy due than more than all can pay. (p. 34) The last sentence of his quote said that he deserved more than everyone could have given him. Duncans thankfulness resulted in raising the title of Macbeth from Thane of Glamis to that of Cawdor.
Only one title then separated him from being next in line to the throne, the Prince of Cumberland. Macbeth could not help but notice how close he was to being king and hinted his ambition to have the title in his letter to Lady Macbeth. He wrote, … came missives from the King, who all-hailed me Thane of Cawdor, by which title, before, these weyard sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time with Hail, King that shalt be!
Since the witches had predicted Macbeth gaining Thane of Cawdor, he believed they might be right about him replacing Duncan, as the letter continues, This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to heart, and farewell. (p. 35-36) This passage also portrays Macbeths trust in his wife when he addresses her as, … my dearest partner of greatness,… His trust in Lady Macbeth later allowed her to convince him to murder Duncan.
Macbeth believed her when she said, We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place and well not fail, (p. 42) which confirmed the deal. Immediately after Lady Macbeth reads the letter from her husband, the idea of their royalty sets in. She says, Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised. Yet I do fear thy nature. It is too full o th milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way. (p. 36) Lady Macbeth feels that he will become king, but is too full of kindness to become king the fast way, to kill Duncan.
She then decides to talk him into doing the deed when she continues to explain, Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with valor of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have thee crowned withal. the passage explains that she believes it is Macbeths fate to have the crown but only with her help in chastising all that impedes him from the crown. The next time Lady Macbeth and Macbeth meet, she has made a plan to kill the King.
Duncan was scheduled to visit them that night , and when Macbeth said he would be leaving the next day, his wife replied, O, never shall sun that morrow see! Lady Macbeth meant that the King would not see the next day because he would be murdered. This was the first implication that murder would give Macbeth his crown. She also implied that Macbeth was going to be the killer, later in the passage. … bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent undert. (p. 38) Macbeth was not happy with the plan because he sternly insisted that it come to an end.
He said, We will proceed no further in this business. He hath honored me of late, and I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon. (p. 41) Macbeth was getting a name for himself in the social world and wanted to enjoy it instead of risking it for more. Lady Macbeth begins to chastise with valor of her tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round, by degrading his manhood. She yelled, Wouldst thou have that which thou esteemst the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem?
Letting ŒI dare not wait upon ŒI would, like the poor cat i th adage. (p. 42) When Macbeth still refuses to commit the act, she continues to convince him, only more graphically. I have given suck, and know how tender Œtis to love the babe that milks me: I would pluck my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done. Lady Macbeth claimed that she would have killed her own baby if she was in his position. The statement was so powerfull that Macbeth showed the first crack in his conscience.
With one question he lost the battle and agreed to do it. He asked, If we should fail? This question meant that he had begun to think if they could actually get away with it, and she finished Macbeth off with, We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place and well not fail. When Duncan is asleep… his spongy officers will bear the guilt. Macbeth then believed they could do it and had the plan for what to do. The pieces fitted together and the murders began. First, Duncan was killed, Banquo after that, and finally the death of Macbeth.
All because of the one letter to Lady Macbeth, Macbeths life was filled with guilt, fear, craziness. He said it best; Better to be with the dead, whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace, than on the torture of the mind to lie in restless ecstasy. (p. 64) Macbeth had to live in fear of being found out and killed because his ambition to be king was blown so out of proportion by Lady Macbeth. If she wasnt so eager to have Macbeth become King then he might have remained satisfied with the titles Thane of Glamis and Cawdor.