What Is Nemesis? Comment On The Nemesis Of Macbeth.


1 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
What was it all for? The glorious prospect of kingship has proved illusory, and he envies Duncan, sleeping peacefully in death, with his reputation intact. Instead of “honour, love, obedience, troops of friends” he has “curses” and “mouth-honour” (lip-service; Act 5, scene 3). The queen's death reminds him of the brevity and meaninglessness of life: “...a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing”.
While he is forced to wait for his enemies, they are seen moving inexorably northwards, their numbers growing all the time. It is a popular cause, almost a moral crusade and many “unrough youths” are fighting for the first time. Caithness notes how wild and unrestrained Macbeth's actions are, but Angus passes the most damning judgement. He notes how Macbeth feels his “secret murders sticking to his hands” (echoing Macbeth's words on the night of Duncan's murder, and those of Lady Macbeth more recently). Every minute, says Angus, a new revolt breaks out, and those who serve the tyrant do so only out of fear. A good king (like Duncan) has great moral stature but Macbeth lacks this - so his “royal title” appears as ridiculous as would “...a giant's robe/Upon a dwarfish thief”.
When Birnam Wood does come to Dunsinane, Macbeth supposes that no mortal can harm him, and when he kills Young Siward he is more confident still. Macduff's disclosure may strike audiences as a silly or hair-splitting distinction, but the point is well made by Macbeth that they are “juggling fiends...that palter with us in a double sense”. He has been thinking of the reference to “woman” while all the time the critical word was ’ - and Macduff was ripped from the womb “untimely”.

Shakespeare shows us in Macbeth a rapid degeneration from loyal general to bloody despot - a story, by the way, which has many parallels in the modern world. He also manipulates the audience's sympathy. At the start of the play we see Macbeth's inner debate, and even after Duncan's death we are sympathetic, seeing all that Macbeth has lost. Perhaps the watershed is the killing of Lady Macduff and her children. And we now see Macbeth from many other people's viewpoints - those of Macduff, Malcolm, Lennox, Angus and Ross). In Act 4, the action moves to England to show the contrast with Scotland (or what Scotland has lost through Duncan's murder). In Act 5, as Macbeth reviews his life, and sees how little he has really gained, we feel a slight renewal of sympathy. The killing of Macbeth is just, but also necessary - to purge Scotland of its moral sickness and restore its health. There is, therefore, a clear symmetry in the play: It begins and ends with the overthrow of a traitor. And Macdonwald's executioner now suffers at the hand of another.

Answer Question