Never a Happy Ending In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, violence is a powerful action that can reveal the true intentions of a character. Readers learn by the end of the play that everything has consequences. Both good and bad violence always have a negative outcome. Through all the chaos and war in Scotland, characters always find a way to be cruel to one another. Some playing the valiant part and some play the evil part. Either way, it always ends badly.
In the play Macbeth Shakespeare demonstrates that while violence can be an immoral or heroic act, it will always result in negative consequences. Shakespeare introduces Macbeth as a character that has good morals and good intentions. At first Macbeth is fighting for the better of his country and for the love of his king. He is trying to build the Country up so it can be independent and stable. Macbeth’s consequence is destroying the country he loves by his own greed to get and maintain the crown: Alas, poor country, Almost afraid to know itself.
It cannot Be call’d our mother, but our grave, where nothing, But who knows nothing, is one seen to smile; Hambrock 2 Where sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rend the air A modern ecstasy. (Shakespeare 4. 3 ll 167-172) Along with showing Macbeths good acts of violence, his morals completely change. This is because he feels having power is more important than the loyalty to his king. After Macbeth commits his first act of bad violence, he gets the consequence of never being able to sleep again: Still it cried, ‘sleep no more’ to all the house; Glamis hath murder’d sleep’ and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more: Macbeth shall sleep no more. (Shakespeare 2. 2 ll 44-46) After showing Macbeths shattered morals, Shakespeare presents Macduff as a loyal character that puts his country before his family. Macduff can sense Macbeth’s dishonesty and leaves everything to find a better suitor for the crown. Macbeth becomes suspicious that Macduff might find out his secrets, so he kills the rest of Macduffs’ family that he left behind:
I cannot but remember such things were That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on, And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff, They were all struck for thee. Naught that I am, Not for their own demerits but for mine, Fell slaughter on their souls. (Shakespeare 4. 3 ll 225-230) Hambrock 3 Lady Macbeth also commits an act of bad violence. She was the brains and guts behind all the scheming of Macbeths Killings. She gave him that extra reassurance that the violence he commits are for the best.
All her secret guilt she has to live with builds up and soon catches up with her: Here’s the smell of the blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. O,O,O. (Shakespeare 5. 1 ll 44-45) In Macbeth there are many different reasons for violence of any type, though the consequences are always for the worst. Weather the violence is the because of Macbeth’s moral changing character, Macduff’s loyalty or Lady Macbeth’s immorality they will always result in bad consequences.