Week 4: Response to Student Discussions

Tragedy~WhitneyWhitney Griffin Martin 2/7/2017 7:57:03 PM
Identify a conflict that you see present in Macbeth (please refer to the list of conflicts). Describe a key conflict in the play and how it corresponds to a character’s development.The biggest conflict I saw was that of individual versus self. Macbeth is in constant conflict with himself in the beginning, which brings tragedy to himself and the story. This is seen in the beginning when Macbeth hears that he is becoming the thane of Cawdor, he says to himself,“I am thane of Cawdor.If good, why do I yield to that suggestionWhose horrid image doth unfix my hairAnd make my seated heart knock at my ribs,Against the use of nature? Present fearsAre less than horrible imaginings’ (Clugston, 2014, Act 1, Scene 3, Page 6).This is translated into “Now I’m the thane of Cawdor, just like they said I would be. But if this is a good thing, why do I find myself thinking about murdering King Duncan, a thought so horrifying that it makes my hair stand on end and my heart pound inside my chest? The dangers that actually threaten me here and now frighten me less than the horrible things I’m imagining” (Crowther, 2005, Act 1, Scene 3, Page 6). We see that he is beginning to fight the things he feels he will have to do. There is inner conflict with himself which continues on. After arriving home and beginning to get ready to host the King, Macbeth thinks to himself,“MACBETH(aside) The prince of Cumberland! That is a stepOn which I must fall down, or else o’erleap,For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;Let not light see my black and deep desires.The eye wink at the hand, yet let that beWhich the eye fears, when it is done, to see” (Clugston, 2014, Act 1, Scene 4, Page 3).Translation of this scene is, “MACBETH(to himself) Malcolm is now the prince of Cumberland! To become king myself, I’m either going to have to step over him or give up, because he’s in my way. Stars, hide your light so no one can see the terrible desires within me. I won’t let my eye look at what my hand is doing, but in the end I’m still going to do that thing I’d be horrified to see” (Crowther, 2005, Act 1, Scene 4, Page 3).Again he has conflict within himself that even he would be horrified to do and see. This continues into Act I, Scene 7,“I have no spurTo prick the sides of my intent, but onlyVaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itselfAnd falls on th’ other” (Clugston, 2014).“I can’t spur myself to action. The only thing motivating me is ambition, which makes people rush ahead of themselves toward disaster” (Crowther, 2005, Act 1, Scene 7). This last sentence is his admission that he is aware that this ambition can cause disaster. As he thinks to himself“But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,We’d jump the life to come. But in these casesWe still have judgment here, that we but teachBloody instructions…” (Clugston, 2014, Act 1, Scene 7).“… I would gladly put my soul and the afterlife at risk to do it. But for crimes like these there are still punishments in this world. By committing violent crimes, we only teach other people to commit violence” (Crowther, 2005, Act 1, Scene7). He is acknowledging that the crime to kill the King will result in punishment and create more violence, which is the path the story takes. Unfortunately, Macbeth overcomes his own personal conflicts, which affects the rest of the story.Clugston, R. W. (2014). Journey into literature (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved fromhttps://content.ashford.edu/ Shakespeare’s Macbeth from Appendix B of the Journey intoLiteratureCrowther, John, (Ed.). (2005). No Fear Macbeth. Retrieved January 20, 2017, fromhttp://nfs.sparknotes.com/macbeth/

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