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Macbeth Seminar

Greed and Ambition compells man to do unjust deeds that lead to negative consequences such as chaos and death.
by

Team Evelyn YAY

on 17 January 2013

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Transcript of Macbeth Seminar

MACDUFF
[…] Either thou, Macbeth,
Or else my sword, ... with an unbatter'd edge,
I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be;
By this great clatter, one of greatest note
Seems bruited. Let me find him, Fortune!
And more I beg not. (5.8.1)

Macduff's lone ambition is to kill Macbeth, the guy who has murdered his wife and kids. He has no interest in personal gain and is the first character in the play to recognize that Fortune controls you. This is a certain indicator that he'll be the one to take down the oppressor, who is constantly challenging destiny. Connections Macbeth
Greed and Ambition Thesis: In William Shakespeare's famous play, "Macbeth", it is evident that greed and ambition compels one to do evil and unjust deeds which result in negative consequences, such as disorder and death. Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4 Act 5 “Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.” (1.4.58-61) “Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty.” (1.5.43-46) Connections to Frankenstein
Victor Frankenstein- Overly ambitious in creating new life, sacrificing two years of his life in doing so
Wished to create a new form of mankind and discover the secrets of life
Resulted in negative consequences- Deaths of many loved ones, disorder in himself, disorder in the monster Connections to Frankenstein
Robert Walton- Ambitious to discover a passage to the North Pole, and thus seek fame and fortune
Willing to do whatever it took to succeed, even sacrifice his own life and the lives of his crew members
Results in conflict and disorder among his crew- They wish to quit, but he wants to continue no matter what Greed for more power, ambition to become King compels him to murder King Duncan
Light vs. darkness- Knows his thoughts are filled with pure evil; states that even the stars should not shine their lights on his dark desires.
Decision to kill Duncan leads to many negative consequences- Macbeth's downfall, feelings of unrest, chaos and disorder in the country, and his eventual death Application- How does the image, Light vs. Darkness, demonstrate the severity of the evil deed Macbeth plans to carry out, and the resulting conflicts that follow? Ambitious to become Queen so she can obtain greater power
Willing to remove all her femininity for the assassination
Nature and the unnatural- Calling forth evil spirits to assist her in becoming more of a man in order to obtain the courage to proceed with the murder
Negative consequences- Disorder and turmoil in herself, development of her mental sickness which results in her death Discussion: Are Lady Macbeth's thoughts and emotions an accurate representation of the way women were expected to behave during that time period? MACBETH
[…]
Wherefore was that cry?
SEYTON
The ... queen, my lord, is dead.
MACBETH
She should have died hereafter;There would have been a time for such a word.To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,Creeps in this petty pace from day to dayTo the last syllable of recorded timeAnd all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life's but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more: it is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing. (5.5.2)

The story of Macbeth and his spouse serves as a warning tale for the excessively ambitious. By the play's end, power hungry Lady Macbeth is overwhelmed with guilt and turns to suicide. Macbeth's reaction to the news of his wife's death is just as miserable. The words "to-morrow, and, to-morrow, and to-morrow" propose that the world has lost all significance for him. He states life is a "tale" "full of sound and fury" and, eventually, the story signifies "nothing." In the end, Macbeth looks at himself as nothing more than a person in a story that has completely no meaning, which is a extremely depressing point of view. “Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them king, the seed of Banquo Kings!
Rather than so, come, fate, into the list,
And champion me to the utterance” (3.1.75-78)
Macbeth desperately wants the position of the King and hold power
Macbeth wants to get rid of Banquo before his children becomes the king instead of him, because the witches have said so
Negative consequences: Macbeth loses trust in others and vice-versa, his ambition has taken over him causing him to do evil deeds, caused the death of Banquo “As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes above wisdom, grace, and fear.”
(3.5.28-31) Shows how Hacate is also ambitious and she will for sure make Macbeth confused and give him false hope to bring him down from what he has tried to achieve
Leads to Macbeth feeling too confident and kills everyone that is a threat to his position of the king
Negative consequences: because Macbeth killed Macduff's family, which caused Macduff to take revenge and kill him Application: If Macbeth did not decide to kill Banquo, how do you think the plot or the ending would have changed? Is this a dagger, which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?"
(2.1.41-47) Macbeth used believe that fate would take its course and he would become King without any murdering (because the witches never told him how he was going to become King). After feeling the dagger, he took it as a sign that he should take matter into his own hands. He then has this ambitious and greedy notion to make sure he is King. This leads to chaos in the future because Macbeth kills other people that he thought to be as "suspicious" such as Macduff, and as a result; he died from Macduff's anger and revenge. Connection As Macbeth and Victor had a greed to gain power; it lead to chaos and death to those close to them.
Victor created a monster that ended up killing William, Justine, Elizabeth and Henry.
Macbeth created a monster within him, and he ended up killing Lady Macbeth (indirectly), Banquo and Macduff. "These deeds must not be thought
After these ways. So, it will make us mad."
(2.2.41-42) Macbeth had just killed Duncan, and he's panicking that he's just going to regret it. Lady Macbeth is trying to slap some sense into him. Then she says this, and it gives him some ambition later on to forget and move on. Later in the play, Lady Macbeth contradicts what she says (by sleepwalking) and it leads to her own death. But the fact that Macbeth didn't think about it, he didn't gain a guilty conscience and he's able to kill other people and not feel remorse. Connections to World “Along with being full of lust, I'm also incredibly greedy. If I became king, I would steal the nobles' lands, taking jewels from one guy and houses from another. The more I had, the greedier I would grow, until I'd invent false quarrels with my good and loyal subjects, destroying them so I could get my hands on their wealth.” ( 4.3.72-75) Hitler
Ambitious in taking over Europe in order go gain greater power
Led to negative consequences- Disorder in the country (violence in the streets, protests, economic crises, resistance from other countries), deaths of countless lives, Hitler's own downfall and death
Charlie Sheen
Paid 2 million per episode, but claimed he was "underpaid"
Greed for more money-> Poor reputation, was considered insane, as well as other personal issues Connections to Society Throughout the play we only see Macbeth as the being the greedy one, but in this passage Malcolm admits to Macduff that he too would most likely become greedy if he was presented with the throne. He would tax the people and take their land, plus his greed would only grow, he even states that he would destroy their lives just to have their wealth. This shows how mature and responsible Malcolm’s character is considering he admits to being greedy but instead of jumping on the opportunity to have unlimited wealth and power he declines the offer that way he is not tempted. He is always looking out for the good of his people to avoid causing more disorder. Stealing, cheating on taxes, fighting for inheritance are examples of greed- Wanting more than you already have
Businesses- Exploit their customers or their employees for their own benefit
Downfall or disadvantage of another company is seen as an advantage to them
Can you think of any more examples of how greed is evident in our everyday lives? What may be some of the repercussions of this greed? I conjure you by that which you profess—
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. ( 4.1.50- 60) In Act 4 Macbeth decide to go speak with the witches because at this point people are starting to suspect him and even turn against him. Macbeth orders the witches to use their dark powers too “unleash violent winds on churches and conjure up foamy waves to take down sailors on ships” also he wants them to “make castles fall on the heads of their inhabitants”. At this point Macbeth is getting nervous, he is grasping at whatever straws he can get that way he can hold on the throne he worked so hard to achieve. This shows my thesis of how the greed always leads to disorder. At this point Macbeth can’t turn back therefore he wants to do whatever he can to win the battle and hold onto his wealth and power so he decides to cause chaos onto the people. Discussion Questions 1. Do you think wealth just makes people more greedy and anyone in this situation would become like Malcolm? 2. Who in our society compares to what the great chain of being was? Do you think they are just as corrupt now as they were back then ? Why do you think the 3 witches showed Macbeth the 8 figures (resembling Banquo)? Did it motivate him to have ambition to make sure he eliminates all possibilities of another King? Do you think Macbeth killed King Duncan because Lady Macbeth convinced him to, or because he actually wanted the title of King? Connection to Frankenstein Macbeth and Victor, both were very ambitious and both never gave up on there goals. Yet, both went to far and it has caused both of them to lose their life over their ambition. Discussion Question: What was the difference between the greed and ambition that took place in Victor and Macbeth's life? If Macduff had no ambition would he have killed Macbeth? Would she have survived if she hadn't been so greedy to become queen?
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