Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Macbeth, Macbeth’s soliloquy “To be thus is nothing’’ is a masterpiece of self-deception. On what premise is it based? What is a rebuttal to Macbeth's "logic"? Consider why Macbeth seems obsessed with the notion that he is holding “a barren scepter” and why he is so paranoid about Banquo.

In Macbeth, Macbeth's "To be thus is nothing" soliloquy is based on an either/or conclusion. He feels he can either be a king that passes his throne on to his descendants or it simply isn't worth it to be a king at all. To rebut Macbeth's logic, one might remind him that there are other possibilities. He could accept that he has no children of his own and choose to be happy to be king now with his wife as queen.

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In this soliloquy, Macbeth bases his argument on an either/or conclusion: in essence, he says, I can either be king the precise way I want to be king (passing the crown to my own descendants and not to Banquo's) or it's not worth being king at all. He thinks of these two choices as being his only options. So, since he already sullied his soul and spilled blood by killing his king, friend, and cousin (Duncan ), he figures that he may as well go ahead and continue to keep his crown by whatever...

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