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Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth is depicted to have a much more balanced and collected personality opposed to that of Lady Macbeth's character. To begin, after hearing the prophecies from the Three Witches, Macbeth experiences much confusion in making the decision as to whether he should kill the King or not, whereas Lady Macbeth is impulsive and thoughtlessly resolves to execute King Duncan. After she reads the letter her husband has sent her, Lady Macbeth claims, "The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements." (I.v.38-40) Even without studying the penalties, Lady Macbeth makes the decision that Duncan will perish that night. Furthermore, Macbeth feels guilt-ridden because he is willing to take the throne forcefully. While considering the motives for the plan, Macbeth says, "then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself." (I.vii.14-16) As Duncan's host, Macbeth should protect Duncan by all means, not slay him. In contrast, his wife is more than happy to welcome King Duncan in to her household without showing forth the slightest amount of guilt. As she welcomes the King, her words have an ironic tone to them, as she is initially quoting her plan indirectly by impressing the King. Lastly, although Macbeth seems to be more composed in his ways of thinking, he eventually takes fate into his own hands in order to make the prophecy a reality. When King Duncan announces that his son, Malcolm will be the next in line for the throne, Macbeth says, "Stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires," (I.v.50-51) Macbeth has already started contemplating the murder of King Duncan; he wishes the prophecies to come true. In this way, the couple is similar as they are greedy to achieve greater things than they deserve, for instance, the title of the King. To conclude, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are alike in that they both are desirous; however Macbeth shows a balance unlike Lady Macbeth because he is rational and remorseful towards his unethical actions.

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