What is a paradox that helps describe Macbeth from the play Macbeth? (Adjective/Noun. One word used in a positive sense, the other in a negative sense)
Macbeth is a suffering villain. While he responds to his "vaulting ambition" and attains what he so desires through bloody deeds, unlike most villains, who delight in their crimes, Macbeth suffers from the pangs of his conscience, from his fears, and, most of all, from the horrors of his imagination.
Not content to wait on the witches' prediction that Macbeth will be king, Lady Macbeth scolds her husband when he has misgivings about killing his kinsman, King Duncan, in order to become king. Berating him, Lady Macbeth calls him cowardly and urges him on until he commits the crime. But, before he does, Macbeth suffers from the workings of his fears and imagination as he thinks he sees a dagger before him:
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?....
And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
Which was not so before. There’s no such thing.
It is the bloody business which informs
Thus to mine eyes (2.1.39-40, 47-50)
Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more!Macbeth does murder sleep” (2.2.35)
For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered;
Put rancors in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings! (3.1.68-73)