Analyse how specific events reinforced your understanding of one or more ideas. “Ideas” may refer to character, theme, or setting.
Trust can blind people if one becomes too comfortable. Greed and power-hungry ambition can demolish any hope for loyalty. Throughout the play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare, the killing of Duncan inforced the reader with the understanding of the theme loyalty—and also appearance vs reality. The murderous Tyrant of Macbeth conveys how quickly someone can change to follow ambitious desires to override positive intentions.
Shakespeare conveys to the reader the understanding of loyalty in the play; especially through Macbeth’s beginning character. After Macbeth kills a tratious thane, he is showered and praised by King Duncan: “O Valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!”. The use of the adjective ‘worthy’ shows how Macbeth was viewed by Duncan before his murder. He was important to Duncan and at this time, Macbeth felt no need to betray that bond. The noun ‘cousin’ furthermore represents how much Duncan valued Macbeth. He had full belief in Macbeth’s character and viewed him as a family member. This trust blinded Ducan to the events to follow. Shakespeare uses loyalty as something to be desired—an impossible concept—and also a weakness as throughout the play. Most people who showed it in the play died; for example Duncan and Banquo. Duncan’s characters provides a fresh perspective on why it isn’t always best to view everyone like they have good intentions, because in Duncan’s case, you don’t know their true mind. This links in the other theme of appearance vs reality which is especially showcased through Macbeth’s relationship with Duncan and how he hides his intentions.
A second way the text helps the reader understand the theme of loyalty through the killing of Duncan is through Macbeth’s soliloquy before the murder takes place. When Duncan stays at Macbeth’s castle Macbeth says in his soliloquy; “He’s here in double trust.” This has two meanings, the first as a hyperbole. To have double trust in a person means there’s mountains of trust involved. For Duncan, this was the case. Duncan had no doubts in his mind over Macbeth—and even if he did it would be too late. This further conveys that it is hard to see faults in someone if you trust them completely. It is an impossible task to read someone’s mind but because Macbeth proved he was worthy by killing the traitor, Duncan had no reason for doubt. The second meaning of “double trust” is through how Macbeth has two motives for why Duncan is staying as a guest. The first as Ducan’s subject and Thane, and the second is as his potential murderer. The diction of double trust here means that the wrong trust has been put in by Duncan. Ducan’s fatal flaw was his loyalty—even though he had no reason to not trust Macbeth. In comparison, Macbeth had many reasons to not go through with the prophecy; but ambition had filled his head with poison and removed any chance for ambition not to get in the way. This helps the reader understand how loyalty can be deceiving and highlights how no one truly knows how humans may respond to ambition. This also highlights how Duncan was right for his loyalty even though it led to his demise.
Lastly, loyalty is conveyed through the murder of Duncan through another soliloquy after the murder takes place. “Me though I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!”… Macbeth doth murder sleep!” The personified killing of sleep shows how insane Macbeth had become after he breaks his loyalty with Duncan. Sleep is a motif in the play that symbolises the loss of innocence and insanity. To murder sleep means Macbeth murdered his sanity through his horrifying actions. Hallucinations is another motif seen in the play,—which symbolises insanity—and because Macbeth imagined the voice cry out means he has become completely mad. The voice is almost mocking him, because Macbeth knows deep down he can never be sane again. The use of these motifs show how derailed one can become if loyalty and friendship is discredited for the promotion of status. Shakespeare uses personification and motifs to create a deeper understanding for the reader of life without loyalty. In this example; loyalty is voiced as an after-effect or an echo of Macbeth’s careless actions.
In conclusion, Macbeth uses the killing of King Duncan to constantly remind the audience of the important theme; loyalty. Throughout the play, Macbeth’s conscience is tested and he struggles to grasp doing what is right or doing what could elevate his persona. By elevating himself, he over-rides all loyalty and becomes an isolated monster who is too gone to live a normal life again. This is a significant message for real life because many people often disregard others and their feelings for selfish, corrupt reasons. Loyalty and trust fuels society and Macbeth is an example of these significant themes removed to show the reader how one becomes deranged and detached if no true bonds are formed or have been removed. Trust is blinding, but true intentions can be even harder to see.
Note—I am aware the last paragraphs are repetitive/wordy but wrote essay quickly for revision. Cheers