The play, Macbeth, is a fascinating study of violent crime and its impact, particularly on those who commit it. Discuss the causes and effects of violence as they are presented in Macbeth. Although violence and murder can never be justified, its origins often . aw’ The play ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare, effectively explores and captures the nature of violent crime, demonstrating the negative and rippling effects it often has. This violence is explored through the characters of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macduff where their lives are dominated by acts of violence, both positive and negative, and all lead to almost tragic endings.
Shakespeare explores the effects on those both directly, and indirectly involved. The protagonist, Macbeth, demonstrates the impacts of violent crime and power by the extent he is willing to go to obtain the highest acknowledgement, king. When Macbeth is first associated with violence, it is as a noble and honorable warrior. Duncan refers to him as ‘honourable Macbeth’ and rewards him for his courage giving him the title of ‘Thane of Cawdor’. Despite this however, Macbeth’s honorability ends up being overpowered by his determination.
This is seen in Macbeths next association with violence as it becomes that of a power-driven, ambitious man. His actions of killing the King, are heavily influenced by his wife, Lady Macbeth as she questions his courage and manhood ‘when you durst do it, then you were a man’. The consequences of the death of the king had an enormous impact on not only Macbeth but also many others. Macbeth is corrupted by his guilt, evident when hes says ‘Macbeth doth murder sleep’. His guilty conscious is beginning to deteriorate inside so he builds up calluses to it which essentially drives him to the murders of many innocent people.
His actions only ever having a negative impact, burning houses and tearing families apart, and evidently he tore his only family apart, driving a wedge between him and his wife.. In contrast, throughout the play, Macduff is constantly associated with violence however for the most part it does not immediately affect him. Macduff’s violence devises from an honorable cause, which in turn leads to adversely affect many honorable people. To begin with, Macduff is led by his will for justice and peace but soon his judgment is clouded.
His actions have a negative impact and lead to the death of the people closest to him, his wife, children and servants. Towards the end of the play, his thirst for revenge is joined by avenge for his family and is most evident. When he loses Macbeth he yells, "Tyrant, show thy face! If thou be'st slain and with no stroke of mine, my wife and children's ghosts will haunt me still" as he wishes to fight him. The violence portrayed from Macduff causes the town of Scotland to be free from the tyrant, and eventually crown the real King.
Lady Macbeth is the most prominent character that shows even when you do not commit an act of violent crime yourself, you can be influential in the actions of other people and it could effectively cause you the most damage. Lady Macbeth was however, the determining factor in the murder of Duncan, and was essentially the creator of a killing machine. In the beginning she had no conscience, fear or hesitation and believes ‘a little water clears us of this deed’, it can be easily clensed.
However, later on Lady Macbeths thoughhts change and she suffers internally from the guilt she has for her involvement with Duncan's death, and creating the character of Macbeth. This inner turmoil is shown when she sleepwalks and speaks of her remorse; "Here is the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand’. She suffers greatly as she cannot confess her shame to anyone, and as the turmoil built up, it led to eventual suicide. Even though she was most often indirectly involved, she was possible the most affected.