William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, revolves around the evil qualities in human nature contrasting to the good shown. This tragedy addresses the inner conflict of people’s mortality and how all humans have the ability to be intrinsically evil. In many different techniques and various styles, the audience can evidently see how Shakespeare developed Macbeth’s character from good to evil, from a “worthy gentleman” and “valiant warrior” to a “bloody butcher”. Everybody has a side of evil but only a really evil person acts on them and commits something morally wrong. For Macbeth, these contradictions start at the beginning of the play when Macbeth encounters the 3 witches, when his manipulative wife made him question what was morally right and how evil attacked his heart making him a ruthless killer of the King, his best friend Banquo and many others.
Macbeth’s encounter with the 3 witches at the beginning of the play was a big part of Macbeth’s downfall and battle with inner conflict of good and evil. We get a taste of the witches attitude in the opening scene when introduced to “Fair is foul and fouls is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.” (1.1.12-13) This goes to show how appearances are often deceptive, and that things are different then what they appear to be. This quote lasts throughout the play with recurring themes of evil doing. These witches have an evil in themselves and these supernatural beings plotted where to find Macbeth to tell him his prophecies. They greeted Macbeth with the following titles, that resulted in Macbeth thinking about murder and deceit. First witch, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!” Second witch, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!” Third witch, “All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter. (1.3.50-51) This raised Macbeth’s interest in becoming king and became the only thing he could think about, and the only thing he wanted to strive toward. The witches had the ability to foreshadow the future although not control it. They are held responsible for introducing these titles and for forming ideas in Macbeth’s head but they are not responsible for his actions throughout the play. In the end, Macbeth chose to create his own destiny only creating misery for himself.
Lady Macbeth is later on introduced and clearly shown as the ambition, and ‘driving force’ behind her husband. To Lady Macbeth, her husband is loving and ambitious but far from being daring enough to make the third prophecy come true. She is not sure if there is enough manhood between herself and her husband therefore she calls upon the evil spirits to make herself ruthless. “Come you spirits, That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the top toe-full of direst cruelty; make thick my blood.”(1.5.38-43) This shows how although the witches introduced a bit of evil thinking, his wife acted on the evil and manipulated Macbeth’s self esteem by playing on his manliness and bravery. Although Macbeth wants to be King, he is unsure of himself, and it is obvious that he is cracking under the pressure already. Lady Macbeth however, when she sees him in such a state, immediately tries to rectify his weakness, using his pride to blackmail him to her will. Macbeth’s battle against good and evil are shown when in his mind he argues out the advantages and disadvantages. The good side of him says that ‘he’s here in double trust’ ‘I am his kinsman and subject’, ‘as his host who should against his murderers shut the door, not bear the knife myself.’ While the evil in Macbeth says that “his virtues will plead like angels trumpet-tongued against the deep-damnation of his taking off'(1.17.1-28) Macbeth’s manipulative wife and spark of morality influenced him to commit treason, meaning evil won which led him to killing the king.
Lastly , Macbeths final decisions show how his ambition drove him to evil. After covering up the murder of Duncan, Macbeth chose to gamble with his life by covering up his wrong doings instead of taking responsibility for his actions. He experienced great remorse as well as guilt for killing the King and was troubled by his conscience knowing that he was cut off from heaven. However, this didn’t