How McBeth views the relativity of things in the play.

Essay by DealsCollege, UndergraduateA, December 2002

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Reality is Subjective

In the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the author is determined to present a character internally torn and tragically flawed. Macbeth, the central character in the play, and a relatively good man, is told the future by three witches. His comprehension of what the future was could have affected his way of thinking. The actions that followed the predictions of the future seem to be an effect of predictions themselves. The character produces the effect he desires in the future rather than waiting for that effect to come about without his intervention. In this play, it is evident that reality is subjective to the perceiver.

The fact that Macbeth is told he will be king, causes him to take action to become king. The third witch salutes him with "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter" (Act I scene iii, 50). This causes Macbeth to wonder about how he will become king.

In an aside, Macbeth addresses his concerns on becoming the king. His thoughts arouse uneasy feelings within: "why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs against the force of nature" (Act I scene iii, 134-7). These lines show what Macbeth thinks about the future. Here, the text shows a fear of the future, despite the good tidings the future holds. These thoughts prove also to have validity behind them, for Macbeth kills the king. With this action, Macbeth proves that because he believed he was going to be king, he made that belief a reality. Macbeth also perceives a murdered apparition of Banquo, when no one else witnesses anything.

Macbeth perceives the ghost of Banquo while no one else can see the ghost. Macbeth's reality is the ghost...