Macbeth vs Macduff
In the daily lives of people, individuals often attain factors that affect them in their routines. These factors may include family, work, education, and sometimes even religion, which ultimately forms a basic foundation of who they are based on the level on importance they place on each factor. To these factors, whatever they may be, people attach a certain level of importance in order to determine and distinguish which factors are top priorities in their lives.
In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the level of importance that Macbeth and Macduff place on factors that affect their lives greatly differentiates the role that they each take on in the play. These factors include their family, their country, and last but not least the importance they place, or fail to place, on themselves. According to the importance that Shakespeare portrays each character to have, Shakespeare succeeds at demonstrating that Macbeth is nothing but an ambitious tyrant, as he viciously intended make the line of kings come to an end.
Macduff is showed off as a brave hero, a key character in the development of the tragic story. While Macduff places a great deal of importance on his country, and his family, Macbeth focuses all of his energy, on himself. Shakespeare commences to show the first few traces of Macbeth’s character as soon as Act 1 Scene 2. Macbeth is established as a brave individual who conveys to have a true love for his country and king. “I am his kinsman, and his subject” (1. 7. 13). He exhibits passion for his country, and a passion to serve his king in war.
Macbeth is shown as a noble and caring man, worthy of an elevated title. As Shakespeare moves forward with the play, and the plot is further developed, Macbeth takes initiative towards the advancement of his own impassionate tyranny. Macbeth retrogressed from saving his country, to causing chaos in Scotland to save only himself. The best interest of the country was not something he possessed, as his ambitious personality got in the way of protecting Scotland. Macbeth’s fear that his line of family would not be kings took over him, and washed away any intentions of good he might have had for his country.
Macbeth fails to have sympathy for the lives of others, only being interested in himself. His tyrant nature takes over his whole identity and does not allow him to achieve inner peace. In contrast to Macbeth, Macduff is demonstrated as the antagonist of the play. Unlike Macbeth, Macduff’s actions are directed towards the betterment of Scotland and its citizens. Macduff is seen as a hero because of his bravery, and his loyalty, towards Duncan and the country. The importance that Macbeth and Macduff place on their country also helps solidify the great difference between the protagonist and antagonist.
As Macbeth desired to achieve complete power and control, Macduff’s best interests was for the good of the country. Macduff shows love and dedication towards serving his country. He shoes Macbeth’s true violent nature when he states “Not in the legions of horrid hell can come a devil more damned in evils to top Macbeth” (4. 3. 63-65). Not only does this prove Macbeths accursed and loathsome intentions, it shows that his evil is an evil like no other. The evil and controlling self that takes over Macbeth is what ultimately drives him to his grave. Another factor of importance that is placed in the play is family.
In the beginning, Macbeth is shown to be a caring individual towards his family. But as time progressed, and he got “deeper in blood,” Macbeth’s true carelessness started to shine through, and a heartless tyrant was born. When the Doctor informs Macbeth of Lady Macbeth’s trouble sleeping, and states that she has a tortured soul, he disregards it and says “Throw physic to the dogs, I’ll have none of it-Come, put mine armour on; give me my staff” (5. 3. 55-56). This shows that Macbeth is unconcerned with the well being of his wife, and that he is more anxious to proceed with his fighting matters.
Another example of Macbeth’s carelessness that he portrays towards his family he hears that his wife is dead, he states that “She should have died hereafter-There would have been time for such a word” (5. 5. 17-18). With this quote, Shakespeare shows Macbeth’s reckless qualities, by showing that Macbeth fails to care about Lady Macbeth’s death. When the quote is translated, it states that “She would have died later anyway. That news was bound to come someday. ” This exposes Macbeth’s emotionless soul, when the one closest to him, his wife, dies. With this Macbeth reveals the true hideous monster he has become.
As Macduff’s character is analyzed, Macduff demonstrates love towards his family. He was a protector and guide among his family, and was willing to sacrifice anything in order to protect them. In opposition to Macbeth’s reaction to his dead wife, when Macduff discovers his wife’s and children’s death, he says “I cannot but remember such things were/That were most precious to me” (4. 3. 229-230). His pain and suffering when the discovery of his dead wife and children was made, is the opposite of Macbeth’s reaction to Lady Macbeth’s death, with his response being that she should have died earlier.
Macbeth’s best interest was not for his country, or family, but for himself. Macbeth was dumbfounded when the Weird Sisters blinded him with hopeless prophecies. The decisions that Macbeth was willing to make in order to make those prophecies become a part of his reality is what conclusively defines Macbeth’s character. The decisions Macbeth decides to act upon reveals a critical flaw in Macbeth. He was too weak to allow fate to find its own path, and instead let his ambition take over, as he dragged matters along his own terms.
The prophecies create the impression to be a test of strength towards Macbeth. The prophecies tested his ability to obtain such information and still obtain composure, and ultimately tested Macbeth in a way that would reveal if he would possibly crack under pressure with his newly given titles. Macbeth’s mission to dictate Scotland was the true breaking point that showed the inadmissible flaw that he possessed. This weakness that led him to crave total domination helped eliminate his best interest for the country.
The absolutist nature that ran through his body only gave him the intentions to kill in order to stay in power. Howe’er you come to know it—answer me. Though you untie the winds and let them fight/Against the churches, though the yeasty waves/Confound and swallow navigation up, /Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down, /Though castles topple on their warders’ heads, /Though palaces and pyramids do slope/Their heads to their foundations, though the treasure/Of nature’s germens tumble all together, /Even till destruction sicken, answer me/To what I ask you (4. . 50-61) This quote shoes that Macbeth is willing to do whatever it takes to obtain what he wants, even if it means killing and causing deathly destructions. Macduff wanted the country to be at peace. His intentions were never to have total control of Scotland. Macduff stressed over Macbeths ambitious mission and ultimately wanted it to come to an end. He stayed loyal to Duncan and his country to the very end. Macduff, this noble passion, /Child of integrity, hath from my soul/Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts/to thy good truth and honour.
Devilish Macbeth/By many of these trains hath sought to win me/into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me/From over credulous haste. But God above/Deal between thee and me (4. 3. 128-135). With this Malcolm acknowledges Macduff’s noble passion to save the country and free Scotland of such a tyrant and ambitious leader. Macduff, unlike many others taking part in the play, stood up and took action against Macbeth in an attempt to provide Scotland with a better future and prevent any potential downfalls.
He sacrifices his life for the good of the country, while Macbeth sacrifices others for the good of himself. This shows the little importance Macduff places on himself, meanwhile Macbeth strives to benefit himself only. Macduff is portrayed to place very little importance on himself. His actions never intend to make him superior from the nation. Macbeth’s actions are carefully aimed to predominate himself from everyone else. Macbeth and Macduff are both highly recognized characters in Macbeth for the expectations they fulfill, or fail to fulfill.
Whilst both personalities do not fail to attach importance to their family, country and self, the altered levels of importance that they place on each factor is what greatly differentiates them. As Macbeth places the most importance on himself, Macduff contradicts this and places the most importance on his family, and his country. The great distinctness both characters posses is what ultimately drives one to success, and the other to death.