What was Macbeth's lack of morals as seen in the play, Macbeth? 

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Macbeth's immoral behavior results from his overwhelming ambition for power and wealth: He wants to become King of Scotland, no matter the cost to his character or even to his immortal soul. Once he gives in to his "black and deep desires," Macbeth sets out to gain the crown, committing numerous immoral acts, one after another with increasing frequency.

Macbeth's secret desire to become King of Scotland first turns him from an honest and valiant soldier and friend into a liar and deceiver--and then into a murderer of innocent men, women, and even children. Before he is finally destroyed, Macbeth murders King Duncan, casts guilt upon Duncan's sons, arranges the murders of Banquo and his son (Fleance does escape), and orders the destruction of Macduff's entire household, including his wife, children and servants. 

Macbeth's immorality and depravity are great, and even he understands the depths to which he has sunk to gain power: 

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood

Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather

The multitudinous seas incarnadine,

Making the green one red.

Macbeth understands how much blood he has on his hands, but it does not deter him. The strength of his ambition is far greater than that of his conscience.

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