MacBeth – Analysis of Fear

Fear, this motivates us to do
many things no matter if they are right or wrong. In the play
Macbeth it was fear that was the main motivating factor
that influenced the outcome of the play. This can be proved
by the subsequent murders that followed after Duncan’s,
why were these committed? Because Macbeth was scared
of being caught and having to pay for the wrongs he had
done. Also look at Lady Macbeth, he constant washing of
her hands, sleepwalking and other behaviour like this. All
done out of fear, and like her husband fear of being caught.

The final piece of proof I offer is Macbeth’s actions, they
were all due to fear, not only of being caught but of the
witches’ prophecies, he was scared of them coming true
and tried to stop them from happening. This whole play
was inspired by fear and what it and do to a person. To
begin, we’ll address Macbeth’s subsequent murders,
following Duncan’s. For Macbeth, he’s just killed the King
of Scotland and blamed it on his son. It worked and he
became King, however he remembered the witches’
prophecies. They claimed that Macbeth would be King,
but it would be Banquo’s children that would follow after
him. This made Macbeth very angry, he risked everything
to become King and after him none of his family will follow.

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Only for them; and mine eternal jewel Given to the
common enemy of man, To make them kings, the seeds of
Banquo kings! Act III, S I, L 72-75 Here Macbeth
realizes that if something is not done to Banquo, then his
sons will become King. Macbeth can’t have this, he’s
already worried that his soul will go to hell for what he’s
already done. His fear become evident in this scene also,
“But to be safely thus: our fears in Banquo Stick deep;”
Act III, S I, L 53-54 Macbeth then has Banquo
murdered, however his son Fleance escapes in the attack.

Next Macduff refuses to accept Macbeth as king and flees
to England to join Malcom. And also the witches tell him to
beware of Macduff, which angers Macbeth and drives him
to kill Macduff’s family. More fear of losing the impending
battle with England, makes Macbeth start doing anything
that will give him an edge in the final battle. Macbeth’s fear
is starting to consume him, he can no longer sleep and is
ravaged by guilt over what he’s done. As well Lady
Macbeth is being comsumed by fear and guilt, she is
slowing losing her sanity. This is a result of her not being
able to handle what she has done to Duncan. As shown in
this quote Out, damned spot!out,I say!One;Two:why, then
’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier
and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none
can call our power to account? Act V, S I, L 32-35 Here
Lady Macbeth is trying to wash out what she sees as being
blood on her hands. As well she mentions hell an obvious
fear of going there for what she has done. At the start Lady
Macbeth was the one pushing on Macbeth to kill Duncan
but as the play goes on she becomes weaker as Macbeth
becomes stronger, Macbeth isn’t troubled by what he has
done to the extent Lady Macbeth is. Her role in the play
slowly becomes smaller and smaller as she ends up being
driven mad by the guilt and soon can no longer take, and
ends up taking her own life hoping that her torment will end
now that she is dead. “The Queen, my Lord is dead” Act
V, S 5, L 18, Lady Macbeth takes her life right before the
battle against the english is about to begin. This taking of
her own life demonstrates her fear and in the end what that
fear can do to a person. Now we come to the witches
prophecies, these are a main source of fear for Macbeth,
after all where has he learned everything from. With each
new vision, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into an evil
spiral. From the witches first prediction of Macbeth being
king, which made Macbeth kill to become king. As well as
Banquo’s children becoming kings, this scared Macbeth as
I previously mentioned. Also when he went back to see the
witches he gained some more knowledge, “Macbeth!
Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff; Beware the thane of
Fife.” Act IV, S I, L 77, well now that Macbeth has
heard this, he believes that he must kill Macduff, however
he learns that Macduff has fled to England, so Macbeth
desides to kill his family. Next in the cave Macbeth is told
he can’t be killed by any man born of woman, well this
gives him confidence that no matter what the English will
not defeat him. And he is also told that he will not be
defeated until the trees of Birnam Wood move towards his
castle. He has put all his faith in these prophecies, what the
witches say must be true because of the first prediction. In
conclusion you can see what fear can do to a person, it
made Macbeth mad for power which he ended up getting.

But after the first of his crimes the rest became easier for
him, pretty soon he’d just order it and not think twice. That
was not the case when he first murdered Duncan. All
though the play his fear of being caught, and the witches
prophecies coming true make him do all these evil deeds.

Fear had become the main movating factor in the play.

Hopefully you have a better understanding of the play from
all this.