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Choices and Consequences in Macbeth

            William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was a great and extremely skillful English writer. He composed numerous poems and plays that influenced artists, poets, philosophers and thinkers all over the world. One of his most successful plays, The Tragedy of Macbeth, was written between 1603 and 1607 for King James I, to illustrate the consequences of mutiny. In the beginning of the play there is a war between Scotland and Norway. The Thane of Cawdor betrays Scotland and fights for Norway, leaving King Duncan of Scotland to execute him and pass the title to Macbeth. Later Macbeth receives foresight from oracles promising him the throne of Scotland; in response he kills Duncan, his best friend, Banquo and Macduff's family to secure his throne. Later Macduff takes revenge and slays Macbeth, continuing the vicious circle of treachery. However, Macduff's choice to kill Macbeth resulted in peace and order for the people of Scotland, who suffered from Macbeth's avarice. Therefore, Shakespeare implies that every choice that is made may lead to good or bad consequences in the end.
             At the beginning of the play, King Duncan gave Macbeth the title "Thane of Cawdor" because the first thane was a traitor and supported Norway. Duncan's choice to make Macbeth Thane of Cawdor resulted in surprising consequences. After receiving the title, Macbeth's greed for power started to grow. He began to have "black and deep desires" (Shakespeare, 1.4.53) and ultimately decided to murder King Duncan to assure his throne. Earning the title ignited Macbeth's evil ambition and his great thirst to do anything to become King of Scotland; even if it meant to commit treason. After assassinating Duncan and "once given in to evil" (MOE, Par. 7), Macbeth was under control of greed, which gradually led to his destruction. Duncan's minor choice to crown Macbeth "Thane of Cawdor " resulted in his own death and Macbeth's corruption and compulsion for more power.

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