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Macbeth's Ambition as Displayed in Act 1, Scene 7

Uploaded by shn725 on Feb 18, 2000

In Macbeth’s soliloquy in Act I, scene 7, Macbeth hesitates because of both pragmatic and moral causes; although, his moral scruples seem to overpower the pragmatic arguments. Macbeth is torn between these two issues, and his unique way of deciphering his problems is exhibited in this scene. Macbeth feels that if he were to assassinate the king, Duncan, that he better do it soon. The first line of Act I, scene 7 begins with, “If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well; It were done quickly.” So, basically, Macbeth feels that if the crime was committed when it needed to be, and if it were done quickly, then he would be safe. This argument is a moral concern toward Macbeth, this is the first thought that comes to his mind, because it is exhibited in the fist line of his soliloquy. Macbeth is hesitant to murder Duncan, because he feels that he would be eternally punished in hell for committing such a heinous crime. Macbeth expresses these feelings in lines 7-10, “But here upon this bank and shoal of time; We’d jump the life to come.” The “life to come”, is the afterlife, which would be an eternity of suffering for Macbeth, because of his assassination of Duncan. Thus, making this argument a moral concern, and one of Macbeth’s overpowering arguments in his soliloquy. Macbeth feels that if he were to succeed the throne from Duncan, the common people would feel a sense of mistrust toward Macbeth. Macbeth expresses these thoughts in lines 7-10, “Lines 7-10: “We still have judgment here, that we but teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague th’ inventor.” So, this quote basically means that Macbeth feels that the “bloody instructions” are the plans to kill Duncan, and that if he were to go through with those plans, the “bloody instructions” would eventually lead back to Macbeth (“return to plague th’ inventor). In addition, the common people would know that Macbeth was not the rightful heir, and that Macbeth killed Duncan. Making it extremely hard for Macbeth to win the people’s trust; therefore, making this argument a pragmatic concern. Macbeth feels that he is leading a double life toward Duncan. Moreover, because Macbeth invited Duncan to his house, Macbeth is now the host; a host is obligated to console their guests, not kill them. Macbeth expresses such thoughts in lines 12-14, “Here’s...

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Uploaded by:   shn725

Date:   02/18/2000

Category:   Macbeth

Length:   3 pages (625 words)

Views:   1755

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