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Blind Violence and Desire in Macbeth Essay

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In Macbeth desire and violence are prevalent throughout the book. Desire blinds one’s ability to think clearly when making a decision. If violence is used due to one’s desire than violence becomes a never ending cycle until the outcome of the violence goes against the one whose desire led to violence. When making a decision, one should use reason, which is having a logical justification or motive. Violence is committed many times in the book but not all for the same motive. Macbeth commits several acts of violence in the book due to his desire for the kingship of Scotland.
Macbeth starts to desire the kingship of Scotland after the three witches tell him of the future. The witches tell Macbeth he will become the king of Scotland, but they do not tell him how he will become king. Macbeth starts to desire the kingship after:
This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success
Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor.
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man
That function is smothered in surmise,
And nothing is but what is not. (1.3.144-155)
The passage shows that Macbeth does not know whether getting the kingship is good or bad. He says it is neither, but Macbeth also hints that he desires the kingship. The violence of murder against the king, Duncan, in his mind is what hints his desire. Macbeth’s desire will lead him to violence. To prove the desire, Macbeth wrote a letter to Lady Macbeth, and in it said, “When...


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...till (5.7.20-21). Macduff wanted to kill Macbeth because Macbeth had ordered the murder of Macduff’s family. The cycle of violence continued until Macbeth was on the receiving end. Macduff killed Macbeth which stopped the violence. The violence started and ended with Macbeth.
Macbeth proves three things by himself in the book: that desire should not be used in the place of reason when making decisions, that violence when used to obtain a desire leads to more violence, and that the violence will not stop until the one that chooses violence because of desire is on the other end of the violence.


Works Cited
"Free Essays - Desire and Reason in Macbeth." 123HelpMe.com. 05 Jan 2010 .
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square Press New Folger Edition, 1992


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