MACBETH: A TALE OF TWO HEROES Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, is a story of the human instinct and of the decisions each individual needs to make between the evil and the integrity inside themselves. In the play, there are two primary characters with the characteristics of strength and high accomplishment that heroes have. Macbeth is the tragic hero of the story, an admirable man brought down by his flaws, and Macduff is the avenging hero, a wronged person who battles for a privilege and worthy motivation.
Both of these men live comparable lives until a specific point where each chooses whether they will pick an existence of self-centeredness or of respect. While Macbeth is driven towards madness and to submitting violence through his terrible acts of uncontrollable ambition, Macduff lacks such a defect and stays uncorrupted and heroic throughout the play. As Macbeth seeks to gain power and prestige to the disadvantage of the lives of his king, his companions, and his countrymen, Macduff meanwhile bears great personal loss in his efforts to stop Macbeth’s oppressive control and to reestablish equity and freedom to Scotland. Throughout the tragic events of Macbeth, Macduff fills in as a heroic figure through his exhibits of intelligence, loyalty and righteousness. Macduff’s predominance is negligible in the beginning of the play; however, his intelligence can first be noted in his activities that take after King Duncan’s demise. While numerous Scottish nobles get ready to welcome Macbeth to the position of authority and acknowledge him as their king, Macduff demonstrates his uncertainty of the story surrounding Duncan’s demise. In spite of the fact that Macduff at first acknowledges the judgment that Malcolm and Donalbain are the most likely suspects in the murder of their father, he does as such reluctantly and simply because the proof focuses to them given that they have fled the scene. When asked whether he will go to Macbeth’s inaugural ceremonies, Macduff responds, “No, cousin, I’ll to Fife” (Shakespeare II.
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iv.36). Macduff is less persuaded than the others that the mystery of the king’s murder has been settled, and he wisely separates himself from Macbeth, in whose home the murder happened, as opposed to just acknowledge Macbeth as his new king. Later when the news spreads that Banquo too has been killed in Macbeth’s castle, Macduff is again the first to act, as noted when Lennox states, “Thither Macduff is gone, to pray the holy king, upon his aid to wake Northumberland and warlike Siward” (III.vi.29-31).
Macduff exhibits his intelligence in connecting Macbeth to the killings of King Duncan and Banquo before some other nobles come to such an acknowledgment. Macduff’s intelligence and ability to follow up on what information he has assembled demonstrates his bravery and help to save Scotland from destruction. Contrarily, Macbeth is someone who does not listen to his own self and keeps falling into Lady Macbeth’s manipulation. In order to become king Macbeth has to kill Duncan but he is quite hesitant to carry out the act of murdering the King. When Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he is not sure, if their plan would work out or not and that they should think about it again she tells him, ”We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail.” (I.vii.
60-61) She keeps telling Macbeth to maintain his courage and also says to him that, ”Look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.” (I.v.65-66) Lady Macbeth is trying to put all of her thoughts into Macbeth’s mind and he ends up listening to her showing that he lacks the ability to follow his own intelligence. In all of Macduff’s activities, he stays loyal to his nation and acts exclusively in light of a legitimate concern for Scotland. At the point when Macduff goes to England to raise an armed force against Macbeth, he must leave his family behind. Macduff has chosen to serve the political cause hence the greater part of his tension about forsaking his family became suppressed. In spite of the fact that a loving family man with commitment towards his children and his wife, Macduff’s other loyalties are more grounded.
Macduff selflessly puts his nation before those he loves, leaving his family defenseless against any harm from Macbeth with the goal that he may raise an armed force to overcome him and end the oppression that harms his nation. It turns out to be evident that Macduff is earnest in his demonstrations of loyalty when he is tested by the young Malcolm, who will acquire the thorn if Macduff prevails with regards to dethroning Macbeth. After Malcolm proudly expresses his evil nature in his “voluptuousness” (VI.iii.61), his “stanchless avarice” (VI.iii.78), and his total carelessness for ethics, Macduff’s loyalty to Scotland goes unbroken in his reaction to Malcolm, who inquires as to whether he is fit to govern.
Macduff states, “Fit to govern? No, not to live. O nation miserable! …When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again… ” (VI.iii.102-105). Macduff’s show of loyalty towards his nation over its potential ruler serves to demonstrate to Malcolm his loyal nature and absence of selfish intentions. Malcolm agrees to lead the army against Macbeth in a move that ultimately saves Scotland. In contrast, Macbeth is a character who decides to leave the path of loyalty and fall into the trap of his vaulting ambition. Macbeth’s desire to become king is so powerful that he has almost lost control over his own decisions.
After his meeting with the witches and hearing the prophecies Macbeth immediately makes a plan that in order for him to be king he has to kill Duncan. Macbeth admits to himself that there is no justification for attempting the murder of Duncan. Macbeth says, ” I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself, and falls on the other” (I.vii.25-28). Macbeth knows that it’s his uncontrollable ambition that is motivating him to take the wrong path and commit the murder. Despite knowing that it’s his ambition that is taking him to the wrong path Macbeth finally decides to kill Duncan.
Macbeth says, “He’s here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed” (I.vii.13-14).
Macbeth along with Lady Macbeth invites Duncan to his castle so that he can carry out the murder without being suspected as he would be the host for the night and it is usually never seen that a person who invites someone over to their house would eventually murder the guest. Secondly, Macbeth is one of Duncan’s most trusted kinsman and Duncan could never think of receiving any kind of harm from Macbeth’s side. In his desire to be king Macbeth finally carries out the act of murdering Duncan and not only being disloyal towards the king but also towards the country and to himself. By killing the king, he in a way murdered the people’s God and betrayed them and along with that he did not listen to his inner voice which told him not to carry out the assassination and ended up betraying himself too. In all occasions of the play, Macduff acts to battle oppression and all that is evil, making him a truly righteous character.
From serving King Duncan to securing Scotland and taking the thorn back from Macbeth, Macduff acts in service of what is ethically just and does not boast in his deeds or in any way act for himself. In the wake of discovering that his family has died at the command of Macbeth, Macduff cries for them and expresses first his pain and pain, demonstrating his human side, yet he at that point acknowledges what has happened and starts to plan his next activity. Realizing that he serves nobody by weeping over his misfortune or boasting about how he will avenge his family, Macduff simply says, “Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself, within my sword’s length set him; if he ‘scape, heaven forgive him too” (VI.iii.233-235).
Macduff believes that it is correct and just to kill Macbeth, not just for what the he has done to his family, however for how he has conveyed torment and pain to a whole country. In expressing his expectation that Macbeth’s crimes be forgiven if he fails to kill him, Macduff additionally reflects hi righteous, relatively biblical qualities in his ability to not hold resentment against the man who has killed his family. At last, Macduff appears to be bound to kill Macbeth. Not only do the witches’ predictions point to Macduff as the person who has the ability to dethrone Macbeth, but also Shakespeare likewise utilizes a typical supernatural theme to depict Macduff as a character of a higher power who appears the only one fit to bring down a powerful military ruler as Macbeth.
At the point when Macduff rises up out of fight victorious in the last scene and holds Macbeth’s disjoined head, the picture made is one of good at last prevailing over evil. On the other hand, it is quite evident that Macbeth has decided that he will not follow the path of righteousness at any cost. In the play Macbeth not only kills the king to fulfill his own desire and commits his first crime but he attempts to do more sins just to hide his first crime. Macbeth already takes the path of evil when he kills Duncan but when he finds out that Banquo suspects him he murders Banquo and afterwards takes away the lives of the innocent family of Macduff who had nothing to with him.
When Duncan is about to visit Macbeth’s castle not knowing that it will be the end of his life, Macbeth says, ”Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires.”(I.iv.50-51) Macbeth wishes that his evil thoughts can be hidden from the other people. Macbeth wants his wishes to remain in complete darkness not letting anyone know about his evil intentions. He knows that what he is about to do is wrong and believes that God will judge him for his thoughts but he wants his to desires remain unseen and unheard.
The evil within Macbeth arises and forces him to leave the path of righteousness. Despite the occasions and fortunes surrounding Macduff’s character in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, he fills in as a courageous figure for his characteristics of intelligence, loyalty, and righteousness. As the first to realize the mystery and guilt encompassing Macbeth and the murders that appear to line his way on his rise to control, Macduff shows a concern and knowledge that Macbeth appears to lack. Utilizing his intelligence for the benefit of his nation, Macduff hesitates to get opportunities for personal gain and acts simply in light of a legitimate concern for his country, to which he shows supreme loyalty. This loyalty runs so deep down in Macduff that not even the murder of his family can demoralize him on his righteous mission to vanquish from the Scottish throne the evil that has surpassed it.
In his heroic qualities, Macduff develops as the real hero of Macbeth significantly more so than the main character, Macbeth, whose flaw of ambition drives him to the point of being a torment upon the country he so desires to rule. In the words of politician Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Macduff’s role as a good and decent man in Macbeth isn’t just to achieve equity to a mistreated country. Rather, his character reminds that justice is impossible without the mindfulness and activities of intelligent, ethical men and women who loyally put in all their efforts to maintain what is righteous, something that Macbeth didn’t get it.