A Guide to the Play, H. R. Coursen
In Macbeth: A Guide to the Play, H. R. Coursen says about Macbeth that “even with the physical crown on his head, he lives in torment.” In the “Multiplying Villianies of Nature”, Robin Grove argues that we must “put aside the standard accounts of the play as a tragedy of Ambition”, saying instead “that Shakespeare intimates that self-destruction is more mysterious, and more commonplace. Macbeth struggles with conscience only after he has found it possible, in ‘thought’, to murder the King; and it is to the sides of already moving ‘intent’ that he applies the spur of vaulting ambition. To him, if he can but bring himself to believe it, foul is fair already.” Describe what you see as Macbeth’s “torment”. What other factors beyond ambition are at work in creating his torment and downfall?
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