Macbeth

Crossing the Line in Macbeth 10th Grade

The king’s position is an honorable title desired by many. Before a king, subjects must humble themselves and know their place, so they do not overstep the boundaries between themselves and the king. Dedicated to King James I, William Shakespeare constructs a play that reminds people of their role as subjects. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare warns the audience of over ambition, and reveals how aiming too high is beyond man’s power. Through Macbeth’s character and the symbolism of blood, Shakespeare demonstrates how a virtuous man could become corrupt by his overambitious thoughts to control fate which ultimately lead to his own demise instead.

In the beginning, Macbeth has patience because he is loyal, but when he grows impatient and attempts to control fate, fate remains unchanged. When the witches first give him the prophecy, Macbeth is horrified because he knows his place as the king’s subject. Though Macbeth assumes he must kill Duncan to fulfill the last prophecy, he “yields to that suggestion/Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/And make my seated heart knock at my ribs” and decides to let fate play itself out (I.III.147-149). As Duncan’s most worthy follower, betrayal for the...

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