The Negative Outlook on Macbeth


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Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Hearing this his wife, Lady Macbeths takes action into murdering the present king of Scotland, Duncan. As the plan executes, Macbeth is filled with guilt into commiting murder. Both authors Hollinshed and Trave’s put different portrayals on Macbeth, Hollinshed makes Macbeth into a positive representation as Trave’s represents him negatively. If Shakespeare had established his play on Trave’s historically, precise, positive view on Macbeth as a replacement of Holinshed’s negative version, it would have a more of a different perspective on Macbeth and showed his great accomplishments during his reign. With no murder invloved in the play and only Macbeths sucesful reign was stated, it would have showed the great king of Scotland and his rule at the time.

In Hollisheds version, Macbeth is consdiered a cruel person who is pushed by his wife and the Three weird sisters that he is deserved to be the king of Scotland through murder. Holinshed portrays Duncan as a poor king, ‘soft and gentle in nature,’ and Macbeth as a ruthless yet valiant leader. “…usurp the kingdom by force, having a just quarrel, Hollinshed portrays that Macbeth acted out in selfish ways. Showing Macbeth in a negative light gave more excitement and drama to the play. In addition, “…partly against his natural inclination, to purchase thereby the favor of the people.”Macbeth shows that the citizens of Scotland would favor him more over Duncan so killing him would not be a bad deed. Portraying Macbeth in a negative light gives the reader more entertainment also shows how a Scottish general decided to execute one of his desires.

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Whereas in “Out, Damn Slander, Out” Traves shows his portrayal of Macbeth, he enforces that Macbeth had been drastically misinterpreted in Shakespeare’s play. Traves brings attention to how Macbeth’s reign was successful, “Macbeth is credited with spreading Christianity throughout Scotland, which prospered under his rule”. Macbeth being considered a “faithless killer”, shows how Macbeth’s name was defamed dramatically. replacing the murder in Shakesperece with his victrious reign would have portryed Macbeth in a postive light. Adittonaly , dissassociating Macbeths name with murder, Trave’s brings up how sucesffal of a king he was in Scotland. He often let up a great influence on Scotland “some of the ancient Highland clans looked to Macbeth as the last great Celtic ruler in Scotland”. Trave states that macbeth influenced scotland’s history in a way that no king had ever done before. Slandering his name with false stories distracts the impact he had on Scotland. As Trave’s evidence suggests, Macbeth was a tremendour ruler of Scotland and was misconceived in Shakespeare’s play.

To summarize, replacing the negative outlook on Macbeth with a more positive view would have changed the play drastically as well as have a more positive ending .With no murder involved in the play and only Macbeth’s prosperous reign being mentioned it would shed more of a positive perspective on Macbeth. As hollinshed made Macbeth into commiting the act of murder, it made the play entertaining as well as suspensul. However, As trave specifically showed Macbeth’s reign and how triumphant a king he was it would have showed a historically accurate view of macbeth. Most audiences would prefer a dramatic play and showing a general acting in selfish ways would have made the play more exciting, but showing how a king’s reign was would also be enjoyable.

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