Macbeth- Fear And Ambition

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 behavior 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

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.



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