Waste in Macbeth Essay

981 Words Feb 21st, 2011 4 Pages
Waste in Macbeth

Throughout the play Macbeth, characters change and so do their relationships with other characters. Life is taken for granted, and tossed away as if it’s merely an old toy. Honour and potential of great men tarnished due to their greed and power hunger. The plot develops the idea that A.C Bradley proposes: The central feeling of a tragedy is one of waste. Macbeth is portrayed as a tragic hero, someone who has it all at first but decides to give it all up. Throughout the story the waste of potential, the waste of life and finally the waste of innocence are just some of the types of wastes that can be found, but they are enough to prove the theory. According to critic A.C. Bradley, the central feeling of a tragedy is
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His potential is no more at that point as he has ruined any chance. “Ere we will eat our meal in fear and sleep” (Macbeth, Act III, scene ii) shows that Macbeth’s potential has gone from something great to having to be in fear all the time. But it is not only his potential that is lost, but Banquo’s as well when he takes his life. In this play one of the main purposes of Banquo's character is to act as a contrast to the character of Macbeth. Banquo is brave and noble - characteristics that Macbeth arguably doesn't. The most evident type of waste in the play is the waste of life. Life is so carelessly thrown away by Macbeth and shows that it has no meaning to him and he takes it at disposal. “The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees, Is left this vault to brag of.” (Macbeth, Act II, scene iii) is a quote that symbolizes life has no real meaning and can therefore be carelessly wasted. His humanness gets lost because of his power hunger and it’s because of the waste of life throughout the play, that the play becomes one of tragedy and an overall feeling of waste. The following quote, “I will not yield To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,” (Macbeth, Act V, scene viii) shows that he is even willing to waste his own life because of his legacy and pride