Skip to content

Internal Conflicts In Macbeth Essay

Macduff's conflicts are primarily external.  He leaves his family and goes to England in hopes of convincing Malcolm to return to Scotland and take back the Scottish throne by force. Clearly Macduff's conflict is with Macbeth.  Macduff views Macbeth as the enemy who is destroying his country.  He describes the damage Macbeth has done to Scotland:

Each new morn

New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows

Strike heaven on the face . . .

...

Macduff's conflicts are primarily external.  He leaves his family and goes to England in hopes of convincing Malcolm to return to Scotland and take back the Scottish throne by force. Clearly Macduff's conflict is with Macbeth.  Macduff views Macbeth as the enemy who is destroying his country.  He describes the damage Macbeth has done to Scotland:

Each new morn

New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows

Strike heaven on the face . . .

Later, Macduff learns that his wife, children and servants have all been killed by Macbeth.  Again, his conflict is external.  Macbeth vows to fight Macbeth "front to front." Since Macduff has no soliloquies, it is difficult to determine whether or not he has internal conflicts.  However, it might be assumed that he may have struggled with leaving the family he clearly loves and going to Scotland.  In other words, when he had to choose between his country and his family, he chose his country.  When he finds out that his family is dead, he blames himself:

Sinful Macduff,

They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am.

Not for heir own demerits but for mine

Fell slaughter on their souls.

Macduff feels responsible for their deaths, and struggles in this scene between his guilt over leaving them, his extreme grief, and his need to revenge.  In fact, his emotions quite overcome him as he tells Malcolm that before he can act, he must grieve:

I must also feel it as a man.

In this powerful scene, Shakespeare realistically portrays a strong, good man made weak with grief and despair.  But this grief is soon converted to action as he converts his grief to anger, and the conflict becomes external once again.

Macbeth - Conflict Essay

1468 Words6 Pages

"Conflict is central to the dramatic development of any play."

Prior to deciding whether or not conflict is central to the dramatic development of MACBETH, one must consider all the dramatic factors that contribute to the Shakespearean play. The gradual decline of the protagonist , the role portrayed by characters and the order in which the events occur, greatly influence the direction in which the development of the play takes place. After reading the text MACBETH, by Shakespeare and viewing the film version, directed by Roman Polanski, it is logical to see that ambition and the deceptive appearances of what really is, is central to the dramatic development of…show more content…

Take Lady Macbeth's first invocation to darkness in Act I, Scene V:

"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!'"

This vividly illustrates the imagery used in MACBETH and is interpreted to mean that night equals evil, as does Hell, which is not necessarily correct. This also implies that darkness is necessary for the carrying out of Duncan's murder. Meaning the blanket that covers him affords no protection in the darkness against the evil deed and the cry envisions the imaginary voice which MACBETH hears as he 'murders Sleep'. This encompasses the central action of the play, murder.

On the night MACBETH brutally kills the King of Scotland, Banquo fearful of his own 'cursed thoughts' observes that:

"There's husbandry in heaven;
Their candles are all out." (Act II, Scene I)

The darkness itself, which is ironically equated with Heaven, but seemingly appropriate for the acts of Hell, provides the natural cover for the unnatural murder. MACBETH in the same scene, refers to the fact that 'Nature seems dead', symbolically representing what Duncan is soon to be.

Another continuance of imagery is the 'clothes' sequence, relating to deceptive appearances to gain MACBETH's ambition by hiding the truth. This begins with MACBETH's 'borrowed robes' and has its central

Show More