Inprinciple, Macbethis a tragedy by William Shakespeare that seeks to demonstrate thedetrimental physical and mental effects of seeking power for its ownsake. Inherently, the play begins when Macbeth, a brave Scottishgeneral, receives a prophecy from a group of witches that he will oneday become king, but the child of his best friend will succeed him,instead of his own offspring.1Correspondingly, this fuels his ambition and lust for power and hemurders King Duncan of Scotland and ascends the throne. However, hebegins to be haunted by guilt and paranoia, which further leads himto commit more murders in order to keep his crimes a secret andprolong his reign. In time, he becomes a tyrannical ruler who killsmany people in order to cling to power and deter the last half of thewitches’ prophecy. Despite his efforts, he is in the end killed byMcDuff, who is on a quest to avenge the murder of his family by themad king. 1Essentially,the most prominent theme in Macbethisself-fulfillment, which is the accomplishment of one’s hopes andambitions. The author seemingly supposes that the rigorous pursuit ofself-fulfillment can be a harmful task that can lead to thedeterioration of one’s psychological and physical state, as seen inthe case of Macbeth.
Inprinciple, the fate of Macbeth in the narrative is an example of howthe relentless pursuit of self-fulfillment can culminate indetrimental psychological and physical effects. When Macbeth was toldby the trio of witches that he would one day rule Scotland, hisambition and greed or power amplify. Consequently, this made himrestless he resorted to killing King Duncan to fulfill his desire tobecome king much faster — this is something he would normally nothave done.1Here, his quest for self-fulfillment caused him to undermine hisintegrity and commit murder. Immediately after committing thealtercation, Macbeth realized what he had done and he became fearfuland paranoid. Essentially, he grew worried that people wouldeventually find out what he had done therefore, he resorted tokilling more people in order to keep his crimes secretive. Despitethis attempted cover up, Macbeth started being haunted by the latterpart of the witches’ prophecy, which warned him to beware“Macduff”. Effectively, this made him paranoid, driving both himand his wife, who was also his partner in crime, to the verge ofmadness. Intrinsically, the author (Shakespeare) intends this to bean illustration of the psychological damage that self-fulfillment canelicit on a person. Besides, while Macbeth was busy killing threatsin order protect his selfish interests, he ended up killing Macduff’sfamily, which ironically drove Macduff to murder the mad king in aquest for vengeance — this is a perfect example of howself-fulfillment can lead to one’s physical harm it led to thedeath of Macbeth.
Fundamentally,Macbethisa classic example of a self-fulfillment prophecy this refers to aprediction that either directly or indirectly influences one’sbeliefs and behavior in order to ultimately cause its fulfillment.The effects of a self-fulfillment prophecy can be either negative orpositive in Macbeth,Shakespeare uses the technique to demonstrate the negative physicaland psychological effects of the relentless pursuit of one’sdesires and ambitions. I agree completely with Shakespeare that thequest for self-fulfillment can change a person for the worse,especially when it is targeted at self-benefits at the expense ofothers. Inherently, this claim is based on personal experience Ihave seen cases in the news where managers and other business ownerspartake in fraudulent activities in order to satisfy their ownselfish agendas, such as to get rich quickly. However, most of themend up paranoid or restless, haunted by the fear of being found out.Consequently, this leads to the deterioration of their physical andpsychological health, proving Shakespeare’s feelings aboutself-fulfillment.
Inconclusion, the author of Macbethseemingly asserts that an individual’s quest for self-fulfillmentis an avenue towards psychological and physical deterioration.Inherently, this is seen in the case of the tragedy’s maincharacter, Macbeth, who kills King Duncan in order to fulfill hisselfish desires of assuming the throne. Nevertheless, his actionshaunt him psychologically disturbed. Moreover, he becomes paranoidthat Macduff is after his throne, driving him to become a despot.Correspondingly, he resorts to murdering even more people in order tohold on to the throne and cover up his crimes. Ironically, however,Macduff kills him in the end, as revenge for the mad king murderinghis family. Here, Macbeth’s pursuit of self-fulfillment hadundesirable effects on both his psychological and physical status.Notably, Shakespeare uses a self-fulfillment prophecy in order topass his message across this is in the form of the prediction by thetrio of witches who tell Macbeth that he will become king, but warnhim to beware Macduff. Overall, the author supposes thatself-fulfillment should be guided by conscious, thoughtful decisionslest it leads to one`s psychological and physical destruction.
Pittman L. M. Authorizing Shakespeare on film and television: Gender, class, and ethnicity in adaptation. New York: Peter Lang 2011.