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Loss in Macbeth

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on 21 May 2015

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Transcript of Loss in Macbeth

As Macbeth’s situation goes downhill, Macbeth starts to fully realize what he has done and the consequences for doing so. The reader can see that at the end of the play, Macbeth has lost all hope and knows what will happen to him.
Macbeth's only real family in the play is Lady Macbeth. She is very important to Macbeth, and they have a very close relationship. It is very obvious that they care a lot about each other, and Macbeth listens and cares about what Lady Macbeth has to say which is how she manages to convince him to kill Duncan. He starts to lose her metaphorically before he loses her physically. She starts to lose her mind due to guilt before she finally commits suicide and Macbeth loses her for good.
Macbeth loses a lot throughout the play. This includes loss of identity, courage, innocence, trust, respect and heroism. He also loses friends and his family.
As Macbeth’s downfall gets more and more out of hand, more and more people lose respect for him, and instead turn to other people for help and support in order to take Macbeth down. This is shown when Macduff goes to Malcolm for support to take Macbeth down. All the respect that Macbeth had previously, is gone.

The definition of loss is the fact or process of losing something or someone, a reduction of power, or the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value.
In Macbeth, the theme of loss is very significant. It is present in several forms and situations.
Loss as a Theme in Macbeth
When Macbeth decides to kill King Duncan, he loses his innocence and his identity. This is the point of the play that Macbeth’s downfall starts and he becomes someone other than who he used to be. When Macbeth first has the idea to kill Duncan, it is Lady Macbeth that pushes him to do so. But as the play progresses, he starts to call the shots and makes all the decisions. Lady Macbeth at that point had not much say in what was happening and Macbeth started to lose his identity.

As Macbeth loses himself, he starts to lose all sense of humanity and even ends up turning on his closest friends. As the play progresses, Macbeth loses everyone that cares about him and that used to respect him. One of the most surprising parts of the play is when Macbeth gets people to kill Banquo who originally was one of his closest friends and who had a lot of respect for Macbeth.
As Macbeth creates mayhem, and becomes more and more powerful, his whole country is turned upside down and it is a complete mess. Shakespeare creates a plot in his plays that start with order, shift to disorder, and then the play ends once everything is orderly again. When the climax happens, the orderliness is ended and disorder is created until Macbeth is taken down.
Shakespeare really incorporated the theme of loss into his play. It is present in every scene in many different ways and affects each character differently. Shakespeare also includes different types of loss including personal loss and emotional loss. This theme made the play even more tragic and gave the reader a more clear understanding of the piece and helped create a more tragic downfall for Macbeth's character.
Lady Macbeth starts out as a strong and powerful character. But as the play progresses she starts to become crazy with guilt and loses her sanity. Not only does this cause her to kill herself, but also gives the maid and the doctor more evidence to prove that Macbeth must be taken down.
Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth also loses herself by calling spirits to fill her with darkness. When she says "unsex me here", she is selling herself. It is also foreshadowing to her downfall because she ends up being filled with guilt.
I’m convinced, and I commit
Every part of my body to this terrible event.
This quote by Macbeth is said when he commits to kill Duncan.
Out, damned spot; out, I say. One, two,—why, then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
This quote shows how paranoid and guilt-ridden Lady Macbeth is.
Whence is that knocking?—
How is’t with me, when every noise appalls me?
What hands are here! Ha, they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.
After Macbeth kills Duncan, he is obviously feeling very guilty. This proves that Macbeth has feelings and is vital to his downfall. The reader can see how he reacts after killing the King, and can compare it to how Macbeth acted after killing other people later in the play.
“Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at most
I will advise you where to plant yourselves;
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time,
The moment on't; for't must be done to-night,
And something from the palace; always thought
That I require a clearness: and with him—
To leave no rubs nor botches in the work—
Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father's, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart:
I'll come to you anon.
Both Murderers
We are resolved, my lord.”
This quote is said by Macbeth to the murderers, telling them to kill Banquo and Fleance. This proves Macbeth's loss of innocence and shows how paranoid he has become that he feels the need to kill his closest friend.
"I have lost my hopes."

"Perchance even there where I did find my doubts.
Why in that rawness left you wife and child,
Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,
Without leave-taking? I pray you,
Let not my jealousies be your dishonours,
But mine own safeties. You may be rightly just,
Whatever I shall think."

"Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny! lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dare not cheque thee: wear thou
thy wrongs;
The title is affeer'd! Fare thee well, lord:
I would not be the villain that thou think'st
For the whole space that's in the tyrant's grasp,
And the rich East to boot."
This conversation between Macduff and Malcolm proves how desperate Macduff is to take Macbeth down. All the respect he originally had for Macbeth is replaced with fear and desperation as he reaches out for help to Malcolm.
“Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cow'd my better part of man!
And be these juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense;
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. I'll not fight with thee.”
Macbeth says this after finding out that Macduff was born via C-section, therefore was not "of woman born". He realizes that the witches were right the entire time and Macbeth tries to compromise with Macduff one last time, with no success.
“Hail, king! for so thou art: behold, where stands
The usurper's cursed head: the time is free:
I see thee compass'd with thy kingdom's pearl,
That speak my salutation in their minds;
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine:
Hail, King of Scotland!"

"Hail, King of Scotland!”
After Macbeth is killed, order is restored and therefore everyone can return to how everything was before the disorder.
“The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. 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! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry 'Hold, hold!”
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