All characters in the play, Macbeth have hidden motives
Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is about an overcome Scottish general named Macbeth, who gets a prediction from a trio of witches that one day he will move toward becoming King of Scotland. Devoured by desire and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish position of authority for himself. All characters in Shakespeare’s Macbeth have hidden motives. Over the span of their life, each person will have a motive behind every act they perform. Everyone will experience a time during which they are deceived by what appears to be true, while there is an underlying reality that they are utterly unconscious of. Similarly, in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, all characters have concealed motives in which there lies enormous reality. The play comprises of hidden motives, which are depicted by Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the three witches. Macbeth’s motivation to kill Duncan is because of a few reasons. These incorporate his ambition, the solid impact of Lady Macbeth, the predictions of the witches and his desire to become king of Scotland. Lady Macbeth’s motivation behind wanting Duncan murdered is to become queen of Scotland. The fundamental reason behind the witches’ predictions is for them to show their reality. In this play, the characters are blinded by what they see to be valid, making it difficult for them to recognize the reality. The motivation in characters, which is displayed to the audience and not the characters in the play, adds anticipation and deepens the drama within the plot.
Macbeth is a Scottish general and the Thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches, particularly after their prescience that he will be made thane of Cawdor comes true. Macbeth’s deception is clear when he says, “False face must cover up what the false heart must know.” The statement contains alliteration, which is used to focus the reader’s attention on the detail of Macbeth’s devious nature. There are a couple of reasons concerning why Macbeth murdered Duncan, these incorporate his ambition, the encouragement of Lady Macbeth, the predictions of the witches and his own desire to become king. Macbeth is brimming with desire to become king after hearing the prophecies from the three witches. At first, Macbeth doesn’t want to murder Duncan due to his noble character. However, the influential expressions of Lady Macbeth convince Macbeth to commit the act, and therefore, he makes an arrangement with her to murder Duncan when he comes to visit his castle. As Macbeth is making his way to murder Duncan, he hallucinates and says, “Is this a dagger I see before me, the handle toward my hand?” This quote foreshadows Macbeth’s tragic flaw, accentuating his hidden motive and shows the reader how ambitious he is. Thus, Macbeth’s hidden motive behind him murdering Duncan was to become king of Scotland and exhibit that the witches’ predictions have originated from paradise, therefore legitimising his reign.
Lady Macbeth is a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for power and position. Her hidden motive behind wanting Duncan assassinated is status and power. When Lady Macbeth plans the idea of murdering Duncan, Macbeth is unsure and even tells her that he won’t do it. Lady Macbeth however, has no quandary over killing Duncan. She sees an immediate path to the throne, and she “encourages” her husband to take it. When lady Macbeth says, “That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,” she uses personification to express her desire to execute Duncan, demonstrating the readers her brutality and eagerness. When she pleads to the evil, “Unsex me here,” she uses metaphor to express that she should be more like to a man to do what needs be done. Thus, Lady Macbeth’s hidden motive behind her wanting Duncan assassinated was to become queen of Scotland.
The three witches are three “black and midnight hags” who plot mischief against Macbeth utilizing charms, spells, and prophecies. At the beginning of the play, all together they say, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” or what seems good is really bad; and what seems bad is really good. The phrase contains symbolism, because the witches are symbolic of foul, but give fair advice, and Macbeth outwardly appears to be a hero, but inwardly he is a coward and a plotter. The quote also portrays the deception of Macbeth, in that the prophecies of the witches might lead him to greatness, but they would destroy him instead. This sets the evil tone for the play, and initiates the idea of appearances being misleading, showing the readers the evilness of the witches. This line additionally focuses towards the play’s concern with the hidden motives behind the witches’ prophecies. What is seen to be good and pleasant to the witches may be seen as awful and bad to others, and vice versa. Later on when the weird sisters tell Macbeth he shall be king, he is unable to see the true malicious intents of the witches because he can only think of the good that they are telling him. He says, “This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, why hath it given me earnest of success,” Macbeth questions why they would pledge to him something so magnificent if they were supposedly so evil. This statement infers a paradox, which highlights Macbeth’s ignorance. This further demonstrates to the audience the concept of hidden motives in ‘Macbeth’. He cannot see the hidden motive that truly lies within them because he is deceived by their false appearance of virtue. Therefore, the hidden motive behind the witches’ prophecies was to demonstrate their reality by their predictions working out as expected.
To conclude with, all characters in the play Macbeth have hidden motives. This can be seen through Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the three witches. These hidden motives symbolise the fact that characters like Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are different from how they appear to be. Shakespeare uses several language techniques such as personification, paradox, alliteration, metaphor and symbolism to portray how characters in the play have hidden motives. In ‘Macbeth’, Shakespeare presents how power can make people react in many different ways. The problem with power is that you can either destroy it or let it destroy you. Macbeth however, allowed both possible sides to happen for the duration of his power. Macbeth both destroyed the power, as well as letting it destroy him. In addition, this returns back to the true intents and hidden motives behind an individual.