Internal Struggle In Macbeth

1125 Words5 Pages
An internal struggle is a “psychological struggle within the mind of a literary or dramatic character, the resolution of which creates the plot's suspense” ( In the drama Macbeth by William Shakespeare one could go as far as saying that the internal struggle of the main character is the base of the plot itself. The entire drama revolves around the facets of Macbeth’s internal struggle and the actions which he takes as a result of this. Catalysed by low self esteem a struggle begins in which Macbeth seeks to be admired by attempting to take power in ways which conflict with conscience. This struggle is manifold and complex but for the purpose of analysis can be divided into three governing factors. Primarily, Macbeth…show more content…
Perhaps the most significant action which Macbeth is forced to take in his journey to satisfying his lust for power and admiration is the murder of Duncan which catalyses the struggle between his ambition and his conscience. Macbeth is extraordinarily aware that with “(Duncan’s) surcease, success,” (I,vii,4) will come to him, yet he is “afraid to think what (he) has done” (II,ii,54) as his guilt plagues him. Insight into this struggle is offered to the audience in Macbeth’s soliloquy which concludes the first scene of the second act. His emotional turmoil is evident in his “fatal vision,”(II,i,36) of “a dagger,” (II,i,33) which represents his knowledge that he has to commit a crime to satisfy his ambition and the culmination of his guilt. As the drama develops from there his conscience ebbs away and denial takes its place allowing him to be ruled by his ambition. Macbeth’s pitiful attempts to justify his actions by convincing himself the “Returning (to morality) were as tedious as go’or,” (III,ii,138) bring his denial into prominence. This aided by dramatic irony as the audience is aware that Macbeth’s increasing ruthlessness will be his downfall while he believes it will bind him permanently to the throne. The dramatic irony which creates a feeling of suspense in the audience is in contrast with the soliloquies which…show more content…
Macbeth’s infatuation with power and his insatiable ambition are consequences of his craving for admiration which can be interpreted once again as an attempt to build his low self esteem. The first appearance of Macbeth’s hunger for praise can be seen his actions during the war against Norway’s King in which he “Disdain(es)Fortune, with his brandish’d steel,”(I,ii,17) in order to be admired by the present king: Duncan. One can also deduce his hunger for admiration from his interactions with Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth’s threats to “account (his) love” (I,vii,39) as “green and pale” (I,vii,37) convince Macbeth to “do all that may become a man” (I,vii,47). This shows how the possibility of losing admiration or gaining it can lead Macbeth to do anything. Even in his dying moments when he is sure that Macduff will let him only “live to be the show and gaze o’th’time” (V,viii,24) Macbeth “will not yield” (V,viii,27) but clings to fruitless hops of remaining king. The reference to the “show and gaze o’th’time” (V,viii,24) alludes to the “fixed head upon … battlements” (I,ii,23) which was used to symbolise a victory and denounce the defeated warrior. This explains Macbeth’s refusal to be defeated and enthroned as it would mean he himself would be denounced, the opposite of being admired. Consequentially, it must be noted that Macbeth’s hunger of admiration

More about Internal Struggle In Macbeth

Open Document