Friday, November 7. 2014
Which of the following is more evil: Macbeth, or Lady Macbeth?
Are you sure?
1. All the Lies and Fantasies I Picked to Deny What is Right
That’s why you came to me, isn’t it, Captain? Because you knew I could do those things that you weren’t capable of doing? Well, it worked. And you’ll get what you want: a war between the Romulans and the Dominion.
And if your conscience is bothering you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Alpha Quadrant. And all it cost was the life of one Romulan senator, one criminal, and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer.
I don’t know about you, but I’d call that a bargain.
I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men.
I am an accessory to murder.
But the most damning thing of all...is that I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would.
Garak was right about one thing: a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant.
So I will learn to live with it.
Because I can live with it...
Does Duncan deserve to die?
This is, perhaps, a morbid question.
Let’s explore it further.
We know that in order to be a successful ruler, a king from olden times needed to be able to do at least three things:
1) Recognize and defeat threats to his country and his throne;
2) Earn the loyalty of his subjects by behaving virtuously (no hoarding treasure!);
3) Produce heirs – preferably male, and as many as possible.
The first qualification chiefly requires intelligence, enlightenment, perception, what have you. As king, you must correctly distinguish trustworthy parties from those that need monitoring. You must decide how to respond to your enemies: Should you follow the old adage of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, or would you prefer trying to overwhelm them by force instead of playing nice? Finally, you must be a sound tactician in order to avoid wasting lives; good kings didn’t pick fights with nations or enemies they couldn’t defeat. People will die for you if they think the cause is both righteous and necessary. If you ask people to sacrifice themselves unnecessarily, they will stop dying for you.
The second qualification requires strength of character – a matter of personal strength and understood identity – because kings must resist the obvious temptations of power. When people bring you the spoils of war without question, and when no checks exist on your will or whims, it’s extremely easy to abuse your position of authority. The best kings refrained from doing so.
The third qualification is more of an avoidance of a perceived flaw than anything else. If a king has no sons, the country is perpetually at risk; its security is threatened whenever its ruler is under fire, because the loss of the king would result in a power vacuum at the head of the state.
Kings who could not meet all three qualifications almost always wound up dying young. It’s not a harsh or cynical assessment. Rather, it’s a matter of inevitability. A king who fails on one or more of these counts will be a weaker ruler, and someone else will rise up against them, either from within or without. It’s also a matter of necessity; a country was probably better off in the long run if it risked its short-term stability to dispose of an ineffective king. (You’ll see this in Beowulf, when you study how Denmark fares under Heremod vs. under Shield, Beow, Halfdane, and Hrothgar.) In this way, the needs of the many – which may outweigh the needs of the few, or the one – are best served over time.
So the understanding in Macbeth’s era was simple: That good kings should thrive, and that bad kings should die. As kings, they deserve it.
Duncan certainly meets the demands of the third qualification, considering that he produces multiple sons. He also seems to be a model of good behavior and virtuous rule, his oddly passionate bloodlust (visible in his enthusiastic reactions to the reports of slaughters and executions he receives) notwithstanding.
But the first qualification…oh, how the first qualification proves problematic for Duncan.
Let’s look for a moment past the fact that Duncan didn’t see Norway’s massive attack coming. Let’s ignore the fact that Duncan wholeheartedly trusted the Thane of Cawdor, blind to a threat to his nation as it sat across the table from him. And let’s even ignore the fact that Duncan completely misses Macbeth’s plot to kill him, or that he so quickly places his trust in a new Thane of Cawdor so shortly after the old one betrayed him.
All of these mistakes count against Duncan, because all of these mistakes place Scotland at grave risk – the very thing a king exists to prevent. But there’s something far simpler we can notice, a black mark on Duncan’s first qualification that’s so obvious that it’s easy to miss (unless I point it out in a lecture).
When we begin the play, before we even meet Macbeth, Duncan’s citizens are already rebelling against him!
Shakespeare glosses over the reason that people have risen up against the crown, and in doing so allows most people to simply accept that the king must put down the rebellion. After all, his perspective is the first we really see, and in the absence of some compelling reason to believe his people had a good reason to rebel, we sympathize with him. Others figure that the Bard includes the uprising because he’s going by the “facts” in Holinshed’s famed history of Scotland.
In either case, the effect is the same. We accept that the king is in a different place because he needs to be kept safe, and don’t worry that his main source of information from the battlefield is from a wounded fighter who’s quickly bleeding out as he speaks; we don’t question whether this is any way to lead a nation or wage a war for its soul. We simply turn the page, already accepting that the rebellion against Duncan is wrong without even finding out what the fight is about. That’s awfully trusting of us, especially when the rebellion serves to further underscore Duncan’s complete (and soon-to-be-fatal) blindness to threats.
Shakespeare may have glossed over the reasons for the rebellion because they didn’t interest him, or because time spent on them would distract from his morality play. However, it’s more likely that he didn’t mention them because doing so threatens the play’s foundations – for in order to buy into the play’s moral conflict, we have to like Duncan, and must in turn condemn Macbeth for killing such a kind and effective leader.
But standards are standards, and Duncan fails to meet them.
Good kings thrive; bad kings die.
They deserve it.
2. She’ll Destroy Every Inch of Light
So, if you want an education, the odds aren’t with you: The professors are off doing what they call their own work; the other students, who’ve doped out the way the place runs, are busy leaving the professors alone and getting themselves in position for bright and shining futures; the student-services people are trying to keep everyone content, offering plenty of entertainment and building another state-of-the-art workout facility every few months. The development office is already scanning you for future donations. The primary function of Yale University, it’s recently been said, is to create prosperous alumni so as to enrich Yale University.
So why make trouble? Why not just go along? Let the profs roam free in the realms of pure thought, let yourselves party in the realms of impure pleasure, and let the student-services gang assert fewer prohibitions and newer delights for you. You’ll get a good job, you’ll have plenty of friends, you’ll have a driveway of your own.
You’ll also, if my father and I are right, be truly and righteously screwed. The reason for this is simple. The quest at the center of a liberal-arts education is not a luxury quest; it’s a necessity quest. If you do not undertake it, you risk leading a life of desperation – maybe quiet, maybe, in time, very loud – and I am not exaggerating. For you risk trying to be someone other than who you are, which, in the long run, is killing.
My indictment of Duncan is somewhat tongue-in-cheek; after all, even Macbeth admits that Duncan is a good king, which leaves my attack on his qualifications – not to mention his right to live – ringing a bit hollow.
But I do think that it’s fun to think about texts in this way, and I find that my internal debates over the kind of issues we so often take for granted almost always lead me to a better understanding of the world a book creates, as well as the characters who populate it.
For what it’s worth, I rather like Duncan, at least as much as I can like a character who’s alive for barely more than twenty minutes of the play. I do think that his blindness to the threat Macbeth poses is a fatal flaw, but that’s kind of the point – Duncan’s goodness and eagerness to trust those close to him blinds him to the (somewhat conflicted/ambiguous) evil Macbeth represents.
However, today is not the day to discuss love, trust, and betrayal. For now, we turn our attention back to the nature of human goodness, and to the simple question we’ve raised before, but never buried:
If someone offered you comfort – happiness – in exchange for your independence…would you take it?
It’s a serious question, and one that needs to be asked whenever we try to analyze Lady Macbeth. At first, we can’t understand her naked, seemingly unquenchable thirst for power. After all, what’s so bad about her life? She’s married to someone successful, seems to enjoy good health, and has been blessed with intelligence to spare.
Yet she is not free, at least not as a fully independent agent. We often forget this because we usually see her only when Macbeth is around, and she strikes a powerful contrast to her easily influenced husband. But that’s the extent of her power; she can manipulate Macbeth, and little else.
I find the Macbeth universe a particularly difficult one to make students understand on its own terms. To many of you, Lady Macbeth’s ability to manipulate Macbeth seems typical. If you’ve been raised on a steady diet of American television, you’ve been exposed to an embarrassingly large number of wife/mother figures who exist solely to nag, scold, and control their husbands, who inevitably act harried and much-abused upon being told to do something. (That the “something” is typically the sort of responsibility that mature adults fulfill without complaint usually goes unnoticed; our sympathies lie with the scolded.) Or you live in families where your mother’s influence is strongly felt, and it doesn’t strike you as particularly odd that someone would follow the whims of a matriarchal presence.
Well, that’s not the model of femininity advanced by Macbeth’s society – not at all. Women were powerless, and I mean that in every sense of the word. Nobody would have expected Lady Macbeth to have any property to her name. (She doesn’t have a name, for that matter – remember how much that mattered in Siddhartha?) She wouldn’t have been educated. She wouldn’t have been able to divorce her husband if he abused her. No recourse existed for her if she were, in fact, mistreated. With no education, no property, and no pull, a woman in Lady Macbeth’s position couldn’t even leave the castle without her husband permitting it. (She wouldn’t have been taught how to ride a horse.)
In any and all things, then, Scottish society was designed to silence Lady Macbeth, to render her seen and not heard or felt. That Macbeth seems to be under her sway at all is actually pretty remarkable: Lady Macbeth has no means of forcing him to listen to her! (The Macbeths’ relationship dynamics would’ve struck audiences as particularly bizarre at the time.)
But even if she is able to “control” Macbeth, what sort of influence could Lady Macbeth realistically hope to wield? Her husband has influence, but not enough to be remembered forever. (Think of being Thane of Glamis as a better version of “having a driveway of your own.”) And he’s a blunt instrument, which can be effective in certain circumstances – Macdonwald’s headless, unzipped body attests to this – and less so in others. If I gave you a hammer, you could help build a house or break a computer with it. But the list of things you couldn’t do with one far outstrips the list of possibilities you could pursue. And that’s not even considering the distinct possibility that Macbeth, with a mind of his own, won’t do as she requests – that he’ll make like the hammers in The Wall and march away.
So consider Lady Macbeth’s perspective. She’s more ambitious and intelligent than her husband. If you had been denied independence for your entire life – as she has – wouldn’t you thirst for influence just as strongly? (Similarly, imagine how intoxicating a queen’s power must be for someone who’s used to having none.) As young adults, don’t you look forward to the days of controlling your own destinies with anticipation, even if the control that accompanies adulthood is less exciting than you believed?
For the first time, she has the chance to control her own life. No one to answer to, and no one to impress; queens put on airs for no one. That possibility is dangled in front of her, and then – like everything else – pulled away before she can grasp it. The hammer-husband starts marching away; after all, if he doesn’t become king, nothing bad really happens to him. It’s Lady Macbeth’s life that was set to markedly change for the better. No wonder she reacts with such savagery over her husband’s complete disregard for her needs, her wants, her fears! She has no friends, no other company save perhaps servants we never see; Macbeth is likely the only person in the entire universe who ever pays attention to her, let alone have a genuine conversation with her. And if he won’t help her, nobody will. She will die as less than what she could have been.
Lady Macbeth is twisted, hateful, and greedy. Shakespeare’s portrayal of her, groundbreaking as it was, smacks of misogyny (he toughens her by emphasizing her masculinity), and it is unlikely he wanted anyone in his audience to feel sorry for her.
Yet when you consider her circumstances, when you study her in the context of the times, when you realize she is a brilliant individual who is a prisoner to her society’s marginalization of her gender – and whose potential, and life, have therefore been squandered – her most hateful qualities seem a bit more understandable. In fact, she may even emerge as a slightly (or oddly) sympathetic figure.
After all, the best villains are the ones who make us shiver – not because we fear them, but because we fear we can understand them.
3. ...And I Let Them Betray Me, By Faith and By Choice
Occasionally, my mother would tease him about women, asking about female Indian students at MIT, or showing him pictures of her younger cousins in India. “What do you think of her?” she would ask. “Isn’t she pretty?” She knew that she could never have Pranab Kaku for herself, and I suppose it was her attempt to keep him in the family. But, most important, in the beginning he was totally dependent on her, needing her for those months in a way my father never did in the whole history of their marriage. He brought to my mother the first and, I suspect, the only pure happiness she ever felt. I don’t think even my birth made her as happy. I was evidence of her marriage to my father, an assumed consequence of the life she had been raised to lead. But Pranab Kaku was different. He was the one totally unanticipated pleasure in her life.
I asked you whether Macbeth or Lady Macbeth is “more evil.” I also believe I can guess which name you wrote before you began this blog.
I would say that both are capable of great evil. however, I would also confess that I’m not sure that the capability of evil action indicates that a person is, in fact, evil. After all, aren’t all human beings capable of evil? Shouldn’t we evaluate the “evilness” of a person on the basis of their actions?
If we do so, I’d like to point out that the individual many feel is more evil, at least at first (Lady Macbeth) never harms a single living being over the course of the play. There’s blood on her hands, certainly. Where does it come from? From the corpse of a man she admits she couldn’t kill because of his resemblance to her father – probably the only man besides her husband who ever loved her, and someone she undoubtedly lost. And when her husband, the one person she has left to love – one wonders whether they ever had a child! – comes blundering through the door of their bedroom, ranting and raving about his crime, she takes his weapons, goes back to Duncan’s chamber, cuts the body of her father’s doppelganger, smears the blood on his guards, and returns. She does what she couldn’t bear to do in order to protect the person she loved. It’s this very action that saves her husband…and that ultimately costs Lady Macbeth her sanity.
Meanwhile, Macbeth racks up a fairly impressive body count – not just in the scenes preceding his coup, but in those that follow, as he maintains an increasingly desperate and bloody grasp on his ill-gotten throne. By the end of the play, he seems to be a more effective killer of friends and innocents than of enemy warriors; he’s particularly good at killing the children of those he perceives as threats.
But there’s always that awful point to consider: Macbeth resolved not to kill before being bullied into it. Lady Macbeth essentially manipulated him into it, even considering that we’ve already examined how bizarre it is that she can influence him at all.
How do you feel about a man who knows what he about to do is wrong, doesn’t want to do it, and then does it anyway?
Who is more evil – the planner, or the killer?
Perhaps some of you can see where I’m going with this. (Others may have no idea what I’m doing, which is also OK).
Clearly, neither Macbeth nor his wife are “good” people, although you can easily argue that Macbeth has many good qualities. (Conversely, we wonder if Duncan really is as good as Shakespeare claims he is.)
But we’ve never really established where the “tipping point” – the line separating “good but flawed” from “better avoid him/her, because that’s an evil person” – lies, despite repeated attempts to figure out what “good” really means.
+ We recognize that tipping point instantly (or should, in Duncan’s case). Well, how can you tell the difference – in other words, how can you tell that some people are good? Can we blame Duncan for his blindness?
+ Do our choices determine our “nature,” or is something nebulous inside of us (a conscience, a soul, etc.) more responsible? Is it possible for a person’s “nature” to change – for a good person to become evil, or for an evil person to become good?
+ Can you conclusively say that you are a “good” person? Are you somewhere between “good” and “bad,” leaning in a certain direction? What sort of criteria are you basing your response on – your actions, your thoughts, or both? Do you believe you will become a better person as you age, as you gain experience and knowledge, as you live, love, and learn – or will you decline?
+ Can you live with all the things you've done? Do you believe Sisko when he says he can live with his choices - and their consequences?
+ Finally, do you believe that other people can influence your “goodness,” for better or for worse? If so, how?
Before you post, jot down answers to all of the questions in the section directly above (even if they’re just a couple of words) on a separate sheet of paper or Word window. Take a look at your answers. Are your views consistent? (If they aren’t, it’s fine – you have time to reconcile them with one another, especially through writing this blog!)
But as always, you are not required to respond to every question.
This post is due to both Turnitin.com and the blog itself. Please submit your work to both sites no later than 11:59pm on Sunday, November 9th.
You are responsible for the following:
+ One main response, with a minimum length of three seven-sentence paragraphs. You should only come in at the minimum if your response warrants it - i.e., if you're writing profoundly enough to say what you need to say beautifully and concisely.
+ Two feedback responses. Make sure these are genuine continuations of the conversation started by your peer's original post. You can spin off of one of their points, discuss something in greater detail, comment on aspects of the work itself, etc. Congratulate them, praise them, ask them questions...reach out! There’s no comment limit for this thread, so if you feel like talking to your peers, follow your instincts! (You can even do this for anonymous posters; they’ll be reading the thread to see how you respond.) Check your work to see if someone left feedback for you, and start conversations with your readers – and classmates!
+ Two nominations, with ample justification for each nomination. You do not need to nominate the posts you replied to on the blog; you cannot nominate yourself; triangular trading is illegal. The nomination form can be found HERE.
Please try to post insightful, specific, and polished pieces.
Punctuation, grammar, and mechanics all count towards your grade.
Compose your replies carefully, and always remember to build your credibility - use proof, not hypothetical statements. Write the why for every what!
One more thing: as you develop as writers, your pieces should look more and more constructed. By that, I mean they should demonstrate not simply knowledge of writing as a craft, but an awareness of how to make your work truly profound. As we move through the semester, practice writing not simply as students, but as creators. Experiment with writing, in other words, as writers do.
As always, write well, think well…and good luck.
1. “I’m a Monster,” Ours, Distorted Lullabies
1a. Elim Garak, In the Pale Moonlight
1b. Ben Sisko, In the Pale Moonlight
2. “Blame It All On Me,” Sound the Alarm, Stay Inside
2a. Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here?, Mark Edmundson
3. “An Introduction: You Can’t Just Walk Away from Someone Who is Leaning on You,” Some by Sea, On Fire! (Igloo)
3a. Hell-Heaven, Jhumpa Lahiri
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
In my opinion, there is no solidified definition of what either a “good” or “bad” person consists of. As is most everything, it’s a matter of perspective, and personally, I have difficulty determining between the two. People are not always what they seem to be, even if you know them considerably well.
I put a lot of thought into this, and I guess it only sums up to those I remain closest to and those who I’ve willingly parted ways with (by choice). Not always because they have hurt or something as small as that. No, I believe it’s because of the thought process of any said individual. The majority of my closest, most beloved friends are innovative, vocalizing, insightful, all through the means of sheer experience. Additionally, it all tends to be in reserve. It’s something one would have to draw out, maybe meticulously or maybe just in the right conditions. Either way, I’m drawn to those colorful qualities of a person’s mind.
Now I do not mean to condemn those I’ve voluntarily drifted from as lacking any of those qualities, or being the polar opposites, like dull, shallow, and the likes of those. It’s just something I can’t put into words that doesn’t initially click with me. I always criticize myself for misreading or foreshadowing a personality, because, as I said, people are not always as they seem. I have a bad niche of doing that. Though I tend to always correctly judge, and eventually gravitate, to those who are wise, and of an ever-evolving capacity of thought, not always do they click, or fit. Perhaps I know these people, no matter how thoughtful or kind or seemingly amazing they are, something, maybe a choice, maybe an opinion, or maybe a side comment, draws me away from them. It’s not necessarily offensive, whatever that reason be. I just think It’s something that, fundamentally , I don’t agree with. It’s very hard to pinpoint, and I've haven’t really moved away from someone on my own accord, so only a few people do I hesitate to label as “bad” people. I greatly hesitate to say so because some these people embody admirable qualities, but it just doesn't always quantify.
In that respect, it’s a matter of thought. I greatly value a mind, as to me, it is the rawest form of a person, and an enigma that is replenishing. As I've grown older, those few close ties I have maintained, or the loose ends that I sporadically reattain, seem to be even more enlightening and occasionally fill me with a new feeling of... almost life.
"Good" and "bad" people are hard to discern in my opinion. I simply seek out those who I would possibly extract the most vivid colors from, not to use, but to understand. I believe, by my own judgment, for that very reason I am somewhere in between good and bad. I may be perceived as bad, for it sounds as though I'm simply using people, which is not my intention. Occasionally I am blind to myself, which, when it happens, is a considerable issue. However, I do think that because of the thought I've put into myself, others, and the knowledge I've gained through experience and others, I am a good person, and my personal capacity of thought is surprising to most.
I agree with you whole-heartedly on perspective! There is always different angles and stories on a certain topic. Determining a person's qualities and goodness cannot be done by simply just reviewing one side. Good and Bad people are everywhere! It's not really your call to distinguish them, just hangout with whoever makes you happy
I believe that humans are not naturally good creatures. Most of us are inherently selfish, envious, greedy, and impatient. Basically we are all victims to the 7 deadly sins. It takes practice and conscious decisions to make “good” decisions.
Since every person has naturally bad thoughts, I wouldn’t consider someone’s nature the determining factor of whether someone is evil or not. For example, lets say that student A gets help from student B so that he/she can cheat on a test. On the day of the test, both student A and student B get caught sharing answers. Student A and student B are pulled over to the side by their teacher. Student A obviously does not want to get in trouble and could probably think of ways to get out of his/her pickle. There are two options: Own up to the fact that you cheated and say it had nothing to do with student B so that he/she doesn’t have to get in trouble OR both you and student B can get in trouble and get punished so you don’t look like the main criminal in the situation.
To me, a “good” person is someone who understands his or her choices but decides to make the more unselfish one. Therefore I think actions are worth more a person’s thoughts. Everyone has thoughts. Everyone has desires and cravings. But what does someone do with those thoughts and wants? That is what makes someone’s decision “good” or “bad”.
In actuality, there really is no way to label someone “good” or “bad”. Everyone makes good decisions and every makes bad decisions. It’s not very fair to label someone based off their mistakes or certain choices.
To make matters more personal, I’m going to talk about a person I know and I’m just going to call him Bob. I’ve known Bob since I was in the 4th grade and he was a lot older than I. I was never super close to him but I was around him enough to know that he was a very caring person and he loved him family to death. Bob didn’t have the best group of friends and they talked him into doing a lot of stupid things in high school. “Stupid” things turned into dangerous things and Bob ended up physically hurting a lot of people. Bob ended up in jail for a while and I didn’t see him for a very, very long time. Although some would disagree, I still think Bob is a good person. His dumb decisions are considered “bad” but I really don’t believe that he is a bad person. Bob I still that loving person I grew up around and to this day my view of him hasn’t changed.
So am I good person or a bad person? I really don’t know. I’ve made good decisions and I’ve also mad poor choices. Whatever my choices have been in the past, I don’t think they determine who I am or what I should be labeled.
I completely agree with you on most of your points, it takes a certain strength to go against our natural will to make the bad decisions. Yet, I wouldn't per say that making the unselfish one is always the best. I think sometimes people are too willing to make decisions for everyone but themselves, I guess it all depends on certain situations. Overall, I really liked your organization and examples.
Really enjoyed reading your post! I really liked the hypothetical question you asked in the end: "So am I a good person or a bad person?" It kept me absorbed and wanting to finish reading.
There is no set way of determining if a person is good or bad. In fact you can’t tell just by looking at someone. Take Ted Bundy for instance. On the outside he seemed like a good guy. He went to a good school and even volunteered at a suicide hotline. Why would a woman not trust him? He seemed like a decent guy, but in the 80’s he murdered over 40 women. In King Duncans case, he knew Macbeth was fighting on his side, he knew Macbeth defended him and was a respected fighter and there was no reason not to trust Macbeth in his case. People that always tell the truth just assume that everyone else does the same, and thats not the case. Macbeth was loyal to the King for a while, until an opportunity to be greater presented itself.
People can influence whether you do good or bad things, but they can not determine if you are a good or a bad person. Lady Macbeth convinced Macbeth to murder the king. Macbeth planted the seed in her head but Lady Macbeth was the one who forced him to do it. This causes a lot of people to think that Lady Macbeth is the bad person, and in some ways she is, but Macbeth was a bad person long before Lady Macbeth convinces him to murder. For one, He was a violent person. “Unzipping” people on the battlefield and when he was told he was going to be the king his first thought was to murder Duncan. Lady Macbeth influenced him to do a bad thing, but he is not bad because of her, he is bad cause he just is.
Macbeths choice to kill the king did not determine his nature. He was bad before he killed Duncan. Choices do not define you, why you did what you did does. I think everyone has made at least one bad decision in their lives and it does not make you a bad person. Being a bad person makes you a bad person. Ben Sisko made the decisions he did because he wanted to protect his people and he wanted them to live. Macbeth made the decisions he did because he was selfish and believed he could be king, and then was bullied by his wife to follow through. You could tell that Bens Siskos morals are good, he is a good guy with good intentions whereas Macbeths morals are bad, twisted. He did what he did because he wanted to not because he had to. He is a bad person with bad intentions.
When you say "being a bad person makes you a bad person," what categorizes someone as a bad person if it isn't their actions? Their intentions? Would you consider Lady Macbeth to be a bad person because she selfishly wanted a better life for herself? Or Macbeth because he killed a man to give his wife a better life?
I think though that there really isn't a set way to judge if someone is "good" or "evil". You can't look at one thing and decided what someone is so it wouldn't be fair to judge someone primarily on their actions. What if someone was mentally handicapped and didn't know they were doing something bad? I think that WHY you do something is more important. Did Macbeth kill the king only to give Lady Macbeth a better life? He planned to do it primarily so he could be king, not so she could be queen.
I completely agree with what you say about people's outer appearance. Ted Bundy is a perfect example of how things are not what they seem, a key lesson in Macbeth. its crazy how people can make us believe anything.
Miranda, I agree that people can influence you, but it is you who is making the choices. And also that you can not judge if someone is bad or good. I guess a bad person might be considered by their actions. Great Job!
The influence of others is so great, yet so unrecognized until truly thought about. Up until last year, I thought I was a rock. I thought my emotions and actions were purely dictated by myself. But, I had never been so wrong.
My game of choice at that time was the infamous Call of Duty. Freshman year I had just received my first non-Nintendo console and I was ready to play those “shoot-em-up” games. I was addicted because of the overwhelming fun that it gave me. But, looking back I realized that I let a game, dictate my mood. Whenever I was doing well, I felt great. But, when I was playing terribly, I was in a bad mood for the rest of the day. It goes to show how something so petty can turn your actions around from who you truly are. Another example of this was discussed in one of my early blog posts about the man behind the mask.
Though, not all outside influences are bad. I like to think that I am one of them, a so called “good person”. I think what makes a “good/bad person” is their positive influence on others. Positive influence isn’t always positive; positive in this context means encouraging the same behavior, they, themselves are doing. Negative behavior is something to the sort of seeing someone doing something and deciding that such thing is not right.
All this to say, our soul/will cannot completely control our own choices. So, our choices cannot define who we are. I believe that a nebulous inner is responsible, but I do not know how to find or understand it. My best guess is the gut feeling that you get when you talk to a person. Or it could be the aura/vibe that surrounds some people. It sounds crazy, but I’m fairly certain most of you have experienced this about someone. Some people have stronger auras than others, while some are unnoticeable.
Thinking in the mindset of how your actions will affect others would make you more aware and selfless; consequentially, making the world a better place. Sure, somewhere along the line, we will all hurt someone, intentional or not, but it’s best not to dwell in it, and if you do succumb, you have to hope that the good things you’ve done for others will prompt them to help you out. After all, we aren’t meant to do this life alone.
Your argument about human interactions and influences really stuck out to me. Its amazing how such little things in life, such as video games can really have an impact of our daily lives and attitudes towards one another. I also agree on your comments on a certain "gut feeling" that drives us to do some actions, bad or not. Some actions are just human instinct, whether it be a punch after someone knocks you down, or yelling back at someone for hurting you. Sometimes it's ok to be "bad".
Felt like I could relate to you here- your skeptic and philanthropic views were very familiar and a general pleasure to read. I will definitely think about this the next time I get engrossed within a game.
Lying is bad for your soul.
If you have ever spent more than an hour with me, you’ve probably heard me say this once or twice. I don’t know when I started saying this, or why for that matter. It started out as a joke but it stuck with me.
Ironically, I don’t even know if I believe in souls. I believe in God and heaven and hell, but souls? I’m not sure. I believe we choose who we are, what we like, how we behave - our nature. Nothing that is sitting inside of us somewhere determines if we are good or bad without giving us a say. We choose.
This is not to say that some people don’t have more potential than others, potential to be good, potential to be bad, potential to do good or bad. People can be raised under bad circumstances and influenced to do bad things but still turn into decent people because they choose to. In the same way, “good” people can snap and become serial killers.
I believe that people have both good and bad in them, no one is purely one or the other. I like to think that I personally lean more towards the good side; I suppose most people do. I like to think that I am more of a good person than bad because I can live with everything that I’ve done and I tend to have a very guilty conscience. Who knows if in five or ten years I will feel the same way, if I will have more skeletons in my closet than I can handle, but for now, my closet is clean.
Sisko thinks he can live with what he’s done, I don’t think he can. He was influenced by the darker people around him, making him believe that what he did was okay because the outcome was what they wanted. I think that Sisko leans more to the side of good, that the consequences will prove to be too much for him and eventually his guilty conscience will get the best of him. He let his “goodness” be influenced by people on the wrong side of the line and even though he thinks that he can live with it, he just put the first of many skeletons in his closet, and you can only put so much into a closet before you can’t close it anymore.
Simple shades of gray. That’s all we are. Simple shades of gray.
I never thought I would be the person to lie to my parents’ face. Never in a thousand years did I think I’d be the one to sneak off against my parents’ will and words.
But I did.
“I hope I made the right decision.”
That’s all I thought every time I disobeyed my parents. I didn’t feel good about it at all when I first started the whole process, but soon, disobedience became normal, and the sting of conscious became numb. Yet, I still live with it and hope that everything I did was okay.
In earlier blogs, I’ve mentioned my best friend Syd multiple times, but there are things that got us to where we are today. Lying, sneaking out, going against my parents’ will.
It sounds bad at first, but hear me out, it was never always like this, I was never like that.
As a kid, I was always the honest one, I never lied once to my parents, and if I did, I would admit it to them right away. It was easy to be truthful, I trusted my parents as much as they trusted me. Yet as high school hit, I began to become more “rebellious”; I developed my own opinions that contradicted their own. I’m not sure why, but they blamed my attitude, our family problems on Syd because that was around the time I met her. I would always hang out with Syd, and soon my mom became somewhat angry for this. She believed that I loved Syd more than I loved her, but then again, I couldn’t quite fathom how screaming at me for this would make me love her any more (or any less). It got to the point where she wanted me to stop talking to Syd. I didn’t, I did not believe giving up a friendship over my mom’s constant bickering of blame was worth it.
Instead, I would always find ways and reasons to talk to Syd. I would sneak out of the house to go on morning runs with her, I would stay a little longer so we could talk more. It was those little things that made my mom furious, but it was also those things that made our friendship stronger.
With every argument between my mom and I, tensions grew and so did the effort of mending our relationship. I never really felt that connection that some people have with their moms, but that’s somewhat why I hold friendship on such a high level. I sacrificed my morals for it, I did things that I wouldn’t have done if I were to stick to the “rule” book- I took a risk that I can live with.
The whole thing is now in the past, my mom and I don’t necessarily argue about it anymore, but I still do talk to Syd. I’m not sure how we made it through that roller coaster of emotions, but our friendship has lasted about 5 years and counting. I guess realizing that I’ve put Syd in a lot of my blogs has shown me how much she does mean to me and how I would make certain sacrifices in specific circumstances.
I don’t think I’m bad for it, but my decisions weren’t necessarily good. I believe it’s all a part of life, to do good and bad things. But I think the real question lies within what is worth sacrificing, because with every decision there is a consequence. We are all simple shades of grey, not fully good or fully bad, just human, and I guess that is the best part of life. There will be obstacles, decisions that will tear us to shreds, but in the end it defines who we are and what is important to us.
I agree with your statement, "We are all simple shades of grey." I do not believe that we can put people in a bucket labeled "good" and "bad." There is no black and white for good and bad, but variations in between. I love your personal story because many of us can relate to the rebellious stage and the conflicts among our parents.
Hi Sukhmani! I love how you pointed out that evil and bad isn't just like a Santa's good and bad list. It was interesting that you brought up the comparison of a panel of judges and how they judge you without knowing your motives. I can agree that motives can somehow be key to judging why someone did what they did.
I really like how you defined us: only human, just simple shades of grey. There is no hardened definition on what makes us good or bad, as we all make choices, sometimes inherently or sometimes with forethought, that shed both light and darkness on our persons, and we have to be consciously aware of both. Your example is perfect, as you defied your mother for your friend, placing it as a priority. It's a choice that could potentially go both ways, but is still one choice of an infinitesimal amount of choices you will make that will ultimately make you not good, not bad, but "only human."
Erika, I love the way how you make your blogs so personal and I like your quote, "Simple shades of gray. That’s all we are. Simple shades of gray."
“Evil isn’t born, it's made.” ~ Evil Queen (Regina) in Once Upon a Time
Going off this quote from the TV series of Once Upon a Time, I believe that Lady Macbeth is more evil than Macbeth. This quote was referring to the Evil Queen in Snow White, and how she has changed herself into a good person after harming and killing all the innocent people. It showed me that evil can be made simply but also as easily removed. It is all based on one’s motivation that determines whether or not the person is truly evil.
For example, in Once Upon a Time, the Evil Queen’s motivation in everything is for the love of her son’s. This shows that a person can be the determining factor on whether another person can be more good or evil. The Queen even turns into a hero though the motivation, being her son, which is a good and healthy one. Unlike Lady Macbeth, the Evil Queen’s motivation doesn’t involve killing the innocent to attain her desire. Even though the Evil Queen can easily use her magical powers to get her son to love her, she knows that she has to do it the right way, which is by being a good person.
Lady Macbeth is considered evil because of her actions and intentions. She single-mindedly wants to help her husband become king, and she’s willing to do anything to attain that for him. But, as much as it’s convinced that her motivation seems to be “for her husband”, deep down I feel like she’s doing it for the benefit of herself. It is because if Macbeth is king, then she’ll be queen. This given will give her the freedom and power that she’s never had. Lady Macbeth is evil because she can let go of her human morals, enacting things such as plotting to kill the king. She even asks the gods to help her on this heartless task, and asks them to darken the lights so that no one would see what she is going to do.
I believe that Lady Macbeth is more evil that Macbeth because unlike her husband, she’s never really had a good side with good intentions. Her motivations are all dark and evil. As to Macbeth, he started off good and loyal to his king and companions, but as Lady Macbeth forces and influences him to acquire what she thinks he wants, he becomes otherwise. So in the end, Lady Macbeth is the mastermind that controls and lures Macbeth into all his evil actions, making the planner more evil than the killer.
Yvonne, I really enjoyed reading your post! I loved how you were able to draw similarities between Once Upon A Time and Macbeth. Your point of view was clearly stated and it was very easy to understand where you were coming from. Great job!
Hey Yvonne! I definitely agree that Lady Mb is the more evil of the two. I feel like the characters of Lady MB and MB are sort of similar to another fiction universe: Emperor's New Groove. Lady MB being Yzma and MB being Kronk except smarter and with less of a heart. Also, known as the brain and the brawn. Another pairing could be Pinky and the Brain. Brain is definitely evil but is Pinky? I like your response but I don't believe that in the real world, people can change so easily. The 10% approval rating of congress and the 90% reelection rate goes to show how much we don't like change. I thought your response was well written and optimistic. For that I commend you!
There’s no black and white between good and bad, but there’s many shades of grey in between.
One of my favorite movies is Shutter Island, not only because of the twist at the end, but also of the impact of the dialogues. The main character, Teddy, is investigating the disappearance of a missing mental hospital patient, which seems impossible due to the fact that the hospital is on an island. During his stay, Teddy rediscovers disturbing incidents that occurred in his life. He knows that he must end his life before he inflicts harm on anyone else and himself. In the final scene, Teddy asks a question that makes you want to question his whole mental stability throughout the movie.
Which would be worse - to live as a monster? Or to die as a good man?
A good man knows his limits and knows when he has to stop or be stopped. A bad man keeps going, without considering the limitations he had passed. There’s not a Santa list labeled “good” and “bad.” It is more like a totem pole, where people are arranged from nice to nicer or bad to worse. Although we can label actions, beliefs, and ideals as good and bad, there is no sure way to put a label on every individual. We can try to count the tallies of good and bad things that person does throughout their life, but it is very difficult to account for every single thing.
Just imagine a panel of judges with a list of good and bad things you’ve done in your life. They do not have access to your motives to your actions while they are judging you. Seems unfair right?
Many people believe that if you don’t do anything illegal, then you’re a good person. But in Saudi Arabia women aren’t allowed to drive. Since I have grown up in this country, I think that is ridiculous, so I wouldn’t consider that a bad thing. But there’s many people who think it is. Although, there’s no absolute system of judging a person’s goodness or badness, but we think we can.
Duncan has an interesting case because he does not intentionally put his life in danger; he just has good luck going it. He does not learn from his past mistakes and that contributes to his death. He lacks the major quality of a good king, judgment. He can only blame himself for his downfall because he is the one that initiates it.
I love shutter island! I also totally agree with you. Duncan did not purposely put his life in danger, he is just clueless! I also agree that there is no set way to judge good and bad. I thought this was well written and I love how you connected it to shutter island! Great job!
Your definitions on what's considered "good" and "bad" are quite interesting to say the least. I also enjoyed your real-life example of Saudi Arabia's Sharia Laws and your experiences with it. Its examples like this, that make us question the so-called "good" laws that government executes and to either be "virtuous" or perform civil disobedience and be the "bad guy". Keep up the good work!
I love how you relate this to the different shades of grey. I completely agree that no one is really good or bad, black or white. People have different opinions and theres no real way to label someone as a good person or a bad person. great blog!
I really liked how you connected shutter island and the women in Saudi Arabia to your blog. Everything you wrote connected well and i totally agree that there is no way we can put a label on a specific individual. Nice job!
I believe that everyone is pure and innocent when he or she is born. I would say that people are naturally good. It depends on the people around you who influence you into a good or bad person. However, it all lays down to the choice you make. The world around you changes you to who you are.
When I was little, I thought I was bad at lying because I always got caught and I could only see that if I lied, I would get in trouble. Kids who are well taught know what is right from wrong. They don’t need an adult following them and telling them that is okay. But some kids as they grow up have people who are not great influences and end up hurting other people because of their pain. Those kids have thoughts and actions that are taken from people that are close to them. Not knowing that it is “evil”, because it isn't something new to them. Their goodness has disappeared because of the parents and adults.
People can be a very nice and good people, but the second you step into a bad track, your life changes. For instance, at school, there is a variety type of students. I have friends who are not really good, but I would not say evil. I need to make good choices for myself because that will keep me as a “good” person. I don’t want to be mean to my friends, but I try to avoid things that my parents don’t like. My parents have taught me well enough for me to think for myself and figure out the out coming consequences. But, I won’t say that I never lied, but I try to stay true to my family.
Most people are not perfect because they get “evil” thoughts. So I guess they are not good people? Evil might mean selfish, hatred, jealous, disrespect, and a thought of pay back. These are characteristic that even good people have. But the way you act after that moment may change into an evil thing. And after things are done once, it isn’t hard to do the same thing again because you get comfortable. I have all those aspects that a good person can have because I am not perfect. I am a human. However, I know how to stop myself from going into thoughts that might take action.
I feel like for a good person to turn evil, it depends how his or her environment changes. Plus, the people or group he or she is with. But I think the chances are less in my case. Thus, I think it will be harder to go from an evil person to a good person because your whole thought process needs to be changed. My opinion of an evil person is that they have a feeling that most people do not really like him or her and things do not work out for them the way they want it to. Hearing people shoot other people from the news shows that their mindset is fixed into a bad mode and will be really tough to change them.
I really hope that people could only give good influences than being the person to introduce evil things. That would make the world a safer place to be.
I agree with you that everyone is born good and it changes as you get older depending on who you surround yourself with and how you were raised. I don't think that anyone is necessarily born bad. Well written- good job!
I agree, it would be best for everyone to influence the world positively.
Interesting point, but what you define as a "good" influence? It's when you start defining the line between good and evil where things get a little confusing. Some times the line is clear cut; many times it is not.
Like you said, Adolf Hitler was born pure and innocent. Now Humanity almost universally recognizes him as a terrible dictator who committed unspeakable atrocities against mankind. But acting as the devil's advocate, what if you were to step in his shoes? Hitler started the Holocaust not thinking that he was committing a terrible deed, but thinking that he was genuinely helping the human race through genocide. Through his eyes, his actions were "good." To him, he was helping Germany rise out of the hole they were put in after WWI. He never thought that any of his actions were evil.
So how do we make "good" choices if we don't have a clear definition of what "good" is? What if we think we're doing "good", when in reality we are committing horrible atrocities to others? It's a stretch, but I hope I will live long enough to see an answer to this.
There was a story that someone once told me. I had once believed that choices shouldn’t determine our “nature.” Now, I am not so sure.
There was a man who did everything he could to earn money. He was paid to lie, trick, manipulate. He took bribes. But this was conflicting because he believed in justice; he tries to uphold justice. He is a lawyer. Yet, he still continued to defend those who manipulate laws for their interests even though it goes against his principles and morals.
The impression of this man would probably be negative. Oh, I forgot to mention that he is paralyzed from the waist down. His life wasn’t a devastating one, as he had a wife and a really good friend—a cop. This cop helped him in times of despair, and didn't shun him. Did I mention that the person who indirectly caused the lawyer to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life was also this close friend? All these years, the cop felt guilty for indirectly hurting the lawyer, and wanted to stay by his side. His intentions are good. His actions support his intentions. But he has a guilty conscience and he can’t live with it.
This still wasn’t necessary for the lawyer to go against his morals still, right? He had to. Because of the discrimination he faced, there were no opportunities for him. Society shunned him. Therefore he needed to prove his abilities, and the only way was by gaining trust, climbing up the social ladder, and helping the billionaires who only cared for results. Only then is he able to pay for a new possible medical treatment. For example, before he married his wife, he was paid to make sure she gets convicted because she was the scapegoat for his boss. But, he fell in love, and she became his motivation to stop his deeds because he sees that there is no need for the treatment. He can’t stop though. In order to prevent her from knowing his deeds, he has to continue to work for his bosses. He is terrible.
When the truth became known, he loses her. To win her back, he gives up everything and decides be an undercover agent for the cops to expose his boss. He is good again. Good but flawed?
I’m not sure exactly if I could definitely say that our choices determine our “nature.” It varies with each situation. The lawyer is a good person. It seemed that all hope was lost after his accident. All he wanted was to survive in the society. He sincerely cares for his wife. Even so, his actions contradict his true nature. He hurt the innocent to achieve his goals, to protect the ones he loved. The lawyer is selfish. He wants a better life. He wants his wife back. However, who isn’t selfish? As long as we want something for ourselves, aren’t we all considered selfish? It seems as if there is never a clear distinction between black and white. Everything is gray.
He confesses at the end and goes to jail. His actions portray his repentance. Yay, he’s a good person! Unfortunately, we are left with a scene of him with eyes focused on the sky, and a vicious smile. Did evil then eventually conquer his conscience? The ending is a cliffhanger. It is implied that he did not actually repent. He confessed to win her trust. He didn't confess because he had repented. Who knows if he has another motive? Initially his actions did not determine his “nature.” Now, they do. So, a good person can turn bad. This is true for his case.
Since, we are never given a background of his life before the accident, how do we really know he was always good though. Ultimately, like Sisko, he can live with his choices. I believe both of them can, and they have to. As for me, I don’t believe I can. I still doubt if actions actually determine our nature.
Hi Maddie! I love how you used a story to determine your ideas on good and evil. It was very interesting to see the character in your story develop based on what he thought was right.
Evil is defined as profoundly immoral and malevolent. This ultimately depends on what you think is evil and what is not. In my opinion, everyone is naturally evil and there is no way to measure ones evilness. God created the Ten Commandments which are basically a set of laws we are not allowed to do. One of the commandments are thou shall not lie, and another one is thou shall not kill. Of course as a society, killing a person is way worse than lying. So you wouldn’t go to jail for lying to your mom about going to a party, but you will if you kill a person. In God’s eyes a sin is a sin so there is no real way to say which sin is worse. Everyone is evil and sometimes we might not know that we are evil, sometimes we know exactly what we are doing is wrong, yet, we do it anyway. That is just human nature, we do everything for a reason whether it is for a good cause by helping others or for your selfish benefits. As long as you are sorry for what you did I think it’s alright. Just like when you pray, as long as you ask for forgiveness than you will go to heaven. All the bad and evil things that I have done, I definitely regret but I wouldn’t change anything and yes I could live with it. Only because I learned from it and it was a great experience. No one is perfect, I’ve done bad things in the past, and I’m probably going to do bad things in the future.
Everyone has a conscience or a figurative “devil and angel” telling them what they should do. If the devil wins it’s mostly because you don’t think what you are doing is all that bad. Again everyone is different on what they think is bad. You are the biggest impact on your decisions but sometimes, other people could influence you in a bad way. But that would make you evil for listening to them. Like Macbeth, he has second thoughts about killing king Duncan, but by letting his wife, Lady Macbeth, convince him to go through with it, he is evil.
We are also capable of good but we tend to do more evil acts than good things. BRUH
I agree that people are capable of good, and that we seem to do more bad than good in this world.
I agree with your assertion that everyone has a choice, regardless of the influence of others. They can either choose to do good or bad things, as it is ultimately up to them and them alone. Great post!
Choices are an extension of our nature because our “nature” shape how we think and our thoughts then influence our choices. The degree of our nature also determines how far we will go with our choices, but ultimately, yes, I think the choices we make do determine our nature.
Lady Macbeth’s choices in the play are influenced by her desire and Macbeth’s promise for a better life and as Mr. Feraco talked about in class, it’s only natural that she feels the need to achieve this better life. As readers we would automatically assume Lady Macbeth as an evil person that would assist in killing the very king that she is supposed to be loyal to. We start thinking about her actions versus her natural right to get what she wants but we should also consider the path she takes to achieve this.
Macbeth’s actions after hearing the prophecy about him becoming king led him to his desire to speed up this greater life by murdering Duncan. Macbeth’s nature is to become someone greater and when he was told that he was going to become king, his desires and intentions focused on achieving this better life. I personally don’t think Macbeth’s actions were justified either than his individual right to strive for a better life. The nature of his desires inspired him to go forth with his decision to kill Duncan.
In my opinion, even though both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are evil, Macbeth is much more evil. Macbeth can only justify his decision to murder Duncan with his desire to become king while Lady Macbeth can justify her decision to help Macbeth with her desire for a better life for herself and Macbeth and the promise Macbeth made to her.
I agree with your assertion that Lady Macbeth. I believe she is doing it out of love, so she and her husband can have a better life. Macbeth is blinded by the prophecy, which leads to his desire of the crown. He wanted to be king without a reason to do so. When Lady Macbeth presents him with her thoughts and desires, he hesitates. Thus, his justification for killing Duncan is weak. I like how you presented your argument, comparing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
- Jeremiah 17:9
Have you ever noticed that at a certain age, children develop behaviors such as lying? When they do something they are not supposed to and they lie to their mommy or daddy about it. Were they taught to lie? Or was it just something they came to develop naturally? And isn’t lying considered a “bad” thing in our society?
From an early age, I was taught that all of us are capable of “evil” which is why we need God in our lives. Some of us might not be murderers, but we all have at least done a few things in our lives that are considered “bad” or “not good.”
Like I said we’re all capable of evil, but some of us make the choice to dismiss the temptations of bad behaviors we have developed over time. Some of us were taught to resist them. We were taught what things are considered moral and immoral and over time we develop what is called a “conscience,” that little voice in your head that says “do it” or “don’t do it,” and therefore we make an effort to try to not lie, cheat, steal, etc.
We make an effort. Meaning we can’t completely not do anything considerably bad.
We all lie from time to time and if you say you don’t then you are probably lying right now.
But then there are some who don’t make an effort or have mental issues that enable them from making an effort. They ignore that little voice in their head and they do whatever pleases them. They go back to their evil nature. These are the people that most of society label “evil.”
But aren’t we all capable of evil? Didn’t we all start off the same way?
With that little lie to mommy and daddy…
AHAHAH! As kids we all started our compulsive lying habits. We all lie, and sometimes its for very irrelevant issues. That;s one the our problems as humans is that we are quick to dismiss something because it's not a big deal. Everyone has different morals and a different level of conscience I believe, however, some people are just better at following theirs than others... nice post btw!
I started laughing when I read, "We all lie from time to time and if you say you don’t then you are probably lying right now." because just before I read it, I was thinking sarcastically to myself that I don't lie, I'm a good child. Well anyways, what do you think of society labeling someone mentally ill as evil even though, like you said, they have mental issues that enable them from making an effort. Is it fair that they are still evil even though their mental issues make them incapable of knowing what they did wrong? Do you think evil is defined? Oh and that last bit, also made me smile.
Wow this is so true, like when I was little I had no idea what a lie was yet it came naturally when I lied to my mommy and daddy. This blog was truly amazing, YAASS you go Bianca!
I remember there was a scene in “Shutter Island” where the main character was talking to the warden on a jeep while they were driving somewhere in the mental institution and the warden was telling him how the only difference between the mental patients and the rest of society is action. Though there is a very distinct line between thought and action the question about morality is uncertain. Everyone has thought of something, even for a second, even if you regretted thinking about such a thing after, that would land us in the nut house if we did it. We've all had those crazy thoughts (or am I alone on that one?). This ties in very well with the troubles of Macbeth.
Macbeth wanting to be King is an understandable one, he is nobleman, connected quite well with the King, and he is also a national hero. The stretch for him to become King is not a far one and I’m pretty certain he has had thoughts of becoming king even before the encounter with the witches (because come on, who doesn’t want to be King?) (Irony intended). Macbeth does have many good qualities, he at least questions himself. The argument of whether he or Lady Macbeth is more evil cannot be fairly answered because though Lady Macbeth does seem more evil, Macbeth is also very much at fault. Macbeth shows that he is not very willing to go through with the plan of killing Duncan, and he reminds himself that Duncan is a very nice king and that he himself has been having it good as a thane. This doesn't change the fact that in the end he allows himself to be influenced by Lady Macbeth. Macbeth knows that killing Duncan is a bad thing but he goes through with the plan anyways. We see Macbeth struggling with his moral side and think that it makes him a better person, but thoughts and words of repentance mean nothing against conscience action. If Macbeth truly meant all the eternal strife about honor and loyalty he would not have gone through with it. As impossible as it seems, there ARE ways to get away with not doing what your wife tells you to do. Macbeth did what he did because deep down in his heart he himself wanted to do it, Lady Macbeth was just wood to the fire.
Lady Macbeth is the go to person to blame, though when you look at it, she lives a pretty oppressed life. It’s only logical that she wants out. A queen’s influence is like a juicy steak to her hunger and when you look at it that way, you can sort of, kind of, justify it, not really. I would never murder someone for power, so in that aspect I cannot relate to her, but I can relate to her eagerness to break out of that bubble when she has a chance to. Being a teenager we all want to make our own decisions and do things are own way. We think the adults are stupid and all we ever want to do is get rid of them. I hear a lot of, “My mom sucks” and “My parents are like sooo lame” in the hallways and that’s what Lady Macbeth is going through in a way. I used to be like that, but I grew older, I understand what my parents go through and I respect them for it, but I definitely went through the same thought process of wanting to become more influential especially of my own life. This does not justify what she did, and what she did was very evil indeed, but it makes for a better understanding of her.
I’m not an entirely good person either, but I can live with the things I’ve done, I mean I kind of have to don’t I? It doesn’t mean I’ll sleep like a baby at night or that I’ll forget all the bad things I’ve done, it just means I’ll live, I’ll get through each day. As the years pass by the pain does ease, this much is true, but it’ll still be there. Sisko has a family to take care of; he has friends who care about him, so he has to live with it, for the needs of the many outweigh the needs of one man, as Garak said, “And if your conscience is bothering you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Alpha Quadrant. And all it cost was the life of one Romulan senator, one criminal, and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer.” As for me, I still remember all the bad things I’ve done, my conscience won’t allow me to forget it, and so it’s etched in there. I’ve grown pretty good at hiding the pain, but look closer and you’ll definitely see it. It’s painful, but I’ll live, because I’ve learned to live with it, and I can live with it. After all, I kind of have to don’t I.
Hey Andy, I see your perspective about judging which is more evil, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth, because both have done evil things, but they have their reasons to compensate for their wrong doing, in a way. I liked how you compared Lady Macbeth's desires to yourself (and a regular high school student) about being in the aforementioned bubble. We all desire something with a passion, but there's always a limit to where we'll be forced to abandon that desire. Nicely written blog (:
"Over and in, last call for sin.
While everyone’s lost, the battle is won.
With all these things that I’ve done."
- The Killers
Let’s face it, we’ve all had a lapse in judgment or made some poor decisions at some point in our lives.
But, we’re humans, right? It’s hard not to do “bad things” as we’re constantly tempted by this imperfect world. Friends, parents, and even society can contribute to our thoughts and ultimately shape how we do things. So, in some ways, yes we are influenced by others and the environment around us. Yet, isn’t it up to us on whether or not we choose to be influenced? The choice is ours for the taking, and sometimes we do the right thing, and other times we do not. I do believe that we all at least know right from wrong, but sometimes the lines just get a bit blurred. But in no way does that make us bad people. There are no set guidelines on what qualities or actions make a person either good or bad.
Yet, it is immensely easy to dwell on certain aspects of our lives that we think to be good or bad. From a young age, we have all had preconceived notions of what those two words mean and how they eventually define us and our lives. Personally, I try not to let my past judgments dictate my future actions. I have made good and poor decisions over the years, both of which do not define me or the person I plan to be. With that being said, I cannot honestly say whether or not I am a good or bad person. Only time will tell. But for now, I can only learn and mature from the mistakes I’ve made.
Or at least, I can try. It’s sometimes difficult, but never
I completely agree that there is so set way to categorize all people into either good or bad. Do you think intentions over rule outcome? If a person has good intentions but a bad outcome does that make the person a worse person, in your opinion?
I agree with you that it is "sometimes difficult, but never impossible." I really enjoyed your post.
I agree that we have or will make poor decisions. I like how you stated both side how we can be influenced, but it is for our choice to take it in. Yeah, it is never impossible to learn from your mistakes. Great blog.
Yo Bruh, I totally agree when you said that it's kind of our fault for letting other people influence our decisions. Omg I love the Killers too. And great blog, not too long so I'm not lazy to read it
Hey Lauren! I know I already told you this in person but, that song is great. I completely agree that our environment does dictate how we act and how we are born into a world of sin. It took me a while to figure out what defines a good person, and like you I don't think there is a clear cut definition, but I do believe there are guidelines. I commend you for trying to leave the past behind, whether good or bad, but I think you shouldn't let go of everything. While you are right when it comes to not letting the past define us, we still need to reflect on it every once in a while to further our character. Well written Lauren, good job!
The topic of what is good and bad is interesting to me, especially when you point out that we adopt preconceived notions of morality from the very start. What part of our actions do we define as "good?" The good intentions, or the good consequences?
Fritz Haber managed to find a way to synthesize ammonia, which could then be used to make synthetic fertilizer. Because of his discovery the world was able to ramp up its food production to unprecedented levels and prevent starvation for billions of people around the world. His work probably saved more lives than anybody else in human history. It's also interesting to mention that his discovery of the process was a complete accident when he was trying to find a way to make more explosives for Germany during WWI. He also made the gas that Germans used to kill Jews during the Holocaust. There is a reason why he is remembered as "the father of chemical warfare."
His work killed millions and could potentially kill more, yet our booming population could not have existed without his contribution to science. So, was Haber "good" or "bad"?
Life is punishment, yet rewarding. Just like life, mankind has its good and bad; one cannot exist without the other. The actions we perform, our behavior we normally follow, and our thoughts we ponder are all attributes to base someone on good or bad. Although not all of our judgments are the same, do we all share one mind condensed with the single decision making of whether someone is good or bad? No, humans have evolved differently. We all choose to do something a certain way, it can be similar to others but it is never be the same. Our choices shape our human nature.
The choices we make lead to either good or bad consequences and whether the outcome is positive or negative, we must take full responsibility. The way we are raised and however way we are influenced, we still make decisions to choose what is right and what is wrong. Our “nature” is defined by our choices, but we are not set in one “nature”. It is possible for someone to change and it’s the decisions this person makes that will alter an individual’s morals.
I choose to believe that I’m a good person. I can describe myself with qualities like, “I’m generous” or “I never steal” but I rather share an anecdote that happened on Wednesday, November 5, 2014:
A young girl sat down at Honey Boba – the place I work – and waited there until closing time. It was 10:00 PM and people started exiting and so did she, but I noticed that she didn’t leave; she just chose to wait outside for a parent to pick her up. So, I approached her and told her she could wait inside because it was too cold to be out, and we weren’t officially closed yet, we were just closed to the public. She agreed and sat down inside. My coworkers and I were nearly closing and her parent still hasn’t arrived. I gave her our company phone to call her mother and she took the phone. She was on the phone about 10 minutes and then she gave me the phone and told me her mother would like to speak to me. I grabbed the phone and we spoke. She explained that something urgent had occurred and that she’s stuck on the freeway and asked if there was anyway we could stay after hours and watch over her. I explained that we couldn’t do so but I did offer to look out for her until she came to pick her up. She told me to take her to the Denny’s down Santa Anita and wait.
We arrived at Denny’s around 10:45 PM. Her name is Emeree and she’s a very sweet but shy girl, but who wouldn’t be shy around a 17 year-old boy that randomly took you to Denny’s who you don’t know? We talked, I bought us dinner because I didn’t eat and I could tell she didn’t either, so we had a very satisfying meal. It was a while until her mother arrived, a very long while. Her mother didn’t show up until 12:00 AM. I was exhausted and had loads of homework to do. However, I didn’t just get up and leave when Jessica, her mom, came in. We spoke and she kept offering to pay for our meal – which I already bought – but I just wouldn’t take it. I understood what their lifestyle must be like and how difficult it can be to be a single mother, so, I just sat and listened. Boy could she talk; we didn’t finish our conversation until 12:30 AM. However, I was able to manage to cut the conversation and although the mother kept offering to reward me, I just wouldn’t accept it. The genuine gratitude from the mother and her sincerity was all I needed to feel fulfilled in my action, my choice to watch out for her daughter.
Oh, and this is also a reason why I showed up late for class the next day Mr. Feraco!
I really enjoyed your anecdote, and how you used that to support your view. I agree with you that we must take responsibility for our decisions. Overall it was a nice read!
I really enjoyed reading your story, it was engaging. What grade was she in? Did you ever wonder how her mom trusted you so easily?
Loved the story! Seems like you have so many crazy stories that stem from you work place; I find myself jealous that you have such a colorful life from the most mundane job.
You should have introduced Colin to her haha
But the most damning thing of all is... I think I can live with it. And if I'd have to do it all over again... I would.- Benjamin Sisko
You see it all the time on TV. Hundreds of soldiers, “terrorists”, kids, animals, you name it, being killed. But in today’s society we have grown accustomed and almost nonchalant about events like these. Everyday, hundreds of bombs are dropped in the Middle East promoting “freedom” and “humanity”. I’m not saying we are wrong or right, but morally speaking isn’t it quote dangerous for a species to justify murder so easily? We see hundreds of people get blown up by some drones and we immediately dismiss it because they are “terrorists” or a threat to the United States. But do ever stop and think about how they got that label? I mean in retrospect we could just technically label any other country as terrorists and bomb them. For them, we are probably the terrorists and invasive country that continues to threaten THEIR own freedom. IT IS ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. How you view things has an effect on whether or not you can justify/live with them like Ben Sisko, or feel guilty. Are we willing to cross lines, burn bridges to obtain what we want? Does every man really have his price?
Just like Duncan, we sometimes fall victim to being trustful. We trust ourselves, others, and much more, without any evidence or proof these things are actually honest. Duncan’s flaw is that he trust men who will betray him, but to his defense they seem like good people. I think thats the biggest question asked of today's society… What makes people tick? People seem so wholesome and have good qualities when they speak to us, put once we turn around they begin to scheme. I think this notion correlates with a lot of mass shootings. Mostly, the shooters we hear about are “normal” people. It’s almost like a script every time. Captain on the football team, homecoming king, popular in school, well-respected by classmates, and academically successful. Coupled with a nourishing family, these kids have everything going for them. So it brings about the question… “ Why do good people do such sh!!ty things”?. Now obviously there may be underlying issues at school and personally in their family, but on paper these kids have what every child dreams off. So what provokes them to commit such atrocities? Your answer most likely depends on how you view the human mind and morals. You might say that maybe if these people were more religious they wouldn’t have done it. Some people think that religion teaches morals. Some might argue religion is useless, and that morals are influenced by your environment, and everyone is born with a certain moral-code. There’s so many arguments but at the end of the day, my personal belief is that everyone has a dark-side. Everyone to some extent has done things that go against their moral fiber, and what they truly believe in. Stealing gum, candy, newspapers, pencils, and maybe even a few dollars may all seem harmless. But in the grand scheme of things what differentiates stealing 5 dollars and robbing a bank? At first glance, a bank is much worse because you’re “ stealing other peoples money, and putting more people in danger”. But thats where the folly of man lies. You see, we justify stealing the 5 dollars because in our mind it’s “harmless”. 5 dollars is nothing nowadays. But stealing 50,000 is a huge NO-NO! No with federal insurance and the FDIC everyone is guaranteed their money regardless, lets say. So why do we make such a big deal? Stealing is stealing, nonetheless. If stealing is against your moral code, you're breaking it when you're stealing 5 dollars or you just cleaned out a casino for 8 million. More risk, more reward, and larger scale robberies are want garner attention and represent “ the bad people”. However, in reality there is nothing different between the two. Money is the only thing separating the two cases. You stole in both of them, regardless. We see this pattern throughout all the short stories and right now in Macbeth. We see Captain Sisko justifying his “illegal activities” because he feels there not a big deal. A few gallons of bio-metric fuel, 1 annoying senator, a few lives… sounds like a bargain.
As I have stated in a lot of my previous blogs, NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE. That’s why when I see things like “it was a bargain”, I just laugh. Something being a bargain, or being reasonable does not justify the death of others. Just because you feel like killing someone will save someone else, it doesn't give you the right to go and take their life. Murder is murder regardless. However, it’s much easier to murder someone how Sisko did. He indirectly had the senator killed, his actions lead to it, but he didn’t necessarily do it with his bare hands. He was able to live with it, because he felt as if it wasn't even his fault. In his mind, Garak is just a rogue operative, and the people killed were just a part of the cycle of war. A few casualties wouldn’t hurt on the larger scale. That brings us to our main question about evil in the play of Macbeth. While Lady Macbeth is manipulative and plans the murder of Duncan she doesn’t necessarily commit it herself. The theme we see of “proxy” ties into Sisko’s case as well. Killing from beyond the battlefield and from long distance softens the emotional connection and pain associated with murder or death. This isn’t to say that Lady Macbeth is a great person. Obviously she has her faults, however, Macbeth knew of her plans and allowed himself to be convinced by her. He went against her moral code of killing someone he was loyal too, in order to satisfy his wife. So is justifying Duncan's murder appropriate if Macbeth simply blames it on a controlling wife?
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
Macbeth is a murderer nonetheless. In my opinion he is more evil solely based on the sheer numbers of people he has killed. His death toll is incredibly high, and he is described as a ruthless warrior throughout the book. Macbeth knows the plans of his wife, and still follows through with them. Negligence is not a sufficient defense in Macbeth’s case. You cannot argue that killing someone is justifiable if you “had no idea of their intentions”. To me, actions define a mans worth. In the classroom, outside of it, at a party, at the gym, or even in the privacy of his own home. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. So with this in mind, we see Macbeth's true self. You cannot argue and claim he is a righteous patriotic man when he is slaughtering men. People would like to justify his murders, however his actions define who he is. You cannot argue that his intentions are harmless either. “ Poor guy just wants to follow the prophecy” is not a sufficient argument. Some people do however have good intentions but still end up causing harm. Maybe you didn’t want to tell your friend she looked fat in her prom dress and you decided to keep your mouth shut. You thought you did the right thing and didn't want to hurt her, until you find out her date said it to her and ruined her entire night, Things to go astray! That’s life. No one or nothing is perfect and that’s a problem we see in todays world. There is hate, anger, greed, and much more out there all hiding behind a mask of kindness. Humans have flaws they are sneaky, they are liars, and they are cheaters.
Don’t trust any body. I'm not saying question your mom when she tells you what shes making for dinner, I’m telling you to be more cautious when divulging secrets.
Everyone has a price. Those people you look up too and worship have all committed bad things before.
You cannot justify terrible things. Stealing is stealing. It’s black and white
Your actions represent you, and someone is always watching so make them count
In college your decisions and morals will be influenced by people around you. Surround yourself with people that benefit you.
Look at things from a new perspective. There is 3 sides to every story. His side, her side, and then THE TRUTH. Don’t jump to conclusions!
Some of us can live with what we have done, and that is a problem. We have been taught to push everything to the side and forget about it.
Don’t judge other simply because they sin differently than you. Don’t make fun of someone for stealing from the mall, when you are at the mall buying clothes you stole from a friend.
Good intentions can sometimes ruin relationships. It’s best to just act on the most honest and natural thing you can do at the time.
Be social and open, but do not allow yourself to be vulnerable. Do not appear weak or people will take advantage of that.
Rob didn't look this old the last time I saw him. It was subtle, but I still remembered some things from when we were little. He used to always wear a grin and laugh at everything we said, no matter if it was a good joke or not and his face was always bright no matter where he went and what happened. His hair used to bounce at every step and his eyes were always darting from one corner of the room to the other; if he wasn’t in a room his body would follow wherever his eyes went as if a cat chasing a laser. And wherever he went he would bring this infectious carefree attitude that made it so fun to hang out with him. Back then he looked happy.
But a lot changed in a year. We could all sympathize when he moved as we walked by his house, watching as it was bulldozed to make room for another alabaster mansion on Santa Anita but we quickly forgot about him as school became busier. But I could never abandon his memory- we were friends since grade school and it was hard to forget the chemistry that we had, our carefree, tendency towards mischief.
I saw him age in intervals as we caught up once in a blue moon. The last time I saw him he said he was on something- I regarded it as just a phase and brushed it off with a short chuckle as we pushed down the streets. Jaunt a month and he looked tired and weary, his eyes a dull glassy blue that seemed to look past you. His hair was shorter, his face gaunt, and his skin seemed to have lost it’s elasticity. He said he wasn’t addicted but there was room for doubt; it was evident that my prior assumptions had been wrong. I was scared for him yet he disregarded it with a detachment that it was alright, that it was only until he were free of his home that he called home.
Society told me that he was a loser, that he would lead me down a path of temptation and vice and that the only solution would be to ostracize him from my life. Society told me that he would come under a black veil and force his nihilistic lifestyle on me. Society told me to judge him in absolutes- black for bad and white for good.
What society never told me was that he would still be a good man, that Rob was still the same loving, fun, and compassionate friend that I grew up with. Society never told me that Rob was living a hell and that this was the only crutch that he could lean on. Society never told me that he would be my best friend.
I really enjoyed reading your post! Your use of imagery is always detailed and your word choice is spot on as usual.
I really enjoyed your blog. it was really well written and it flowed nicely. Its saddening how society tells us to be so selfish sometimes but its great that you were able to realize that you needed to be there for your friend.
Lady Macbeth is more evil because although Macbeth is the one who comes up with the idea to murder Duncan, he ends up not wanting to go through with it. Lady Macbeth is the one who re-convinces him to do it. She tells him how he isn’t a man and she questions his love for her—and because he loves her, he will do it. She even prays to be “unsexed,” meaning she wants to get rid of the nice, kind “feminine” qualities she may possess that hinder her from doing something so brutal.
I think people’s actions do not necessarily define them as a person—although that is what people base their judgment. I don’t believe that just because a good person does a bad thing makes them a bad person, and I don’t think a bad person doing a good thing makes them a good person. For the most part, I don’t even think there are bad people—just good people who make bad decisions. A lot of good people make bad choices or say bad things etc. that perceive them to be bad, but I don’t think actions necessarily define you as a person.
I have watched friends rip each other apart (verbally), but I do not think that makes them bad people. I think it makes them human, saying and doing things they don’t mean because they are not in a clear state of mind. And I think that’s normal. Whenever someone feels hurt, it’s natural to want to hurt whoever who hurt you. It’s natural to want to reflect whatever emotion you are feeling back at the other person.
We are all easily influenced by the people around us, however, it seems harder to positively influence someone rather than negatively. All choices affect you in some way, obviously, good or bad. I don’t regret anything for the most part, and although there are some things that seem to reappear in my memories, they make me who I am today and have ultimately affected anything I would have done after that point in my life.
The basic purpose of a dam is to hold a river – the power of water gushing and sweeping everything in its path – from reaching its full potential. Beyond the dam, land is dry and stable. The river trickles downstream, never reaching the height of its power because it yielded to the dam. But at the point where the dam is built, the river builds up with potential energy – whether it is energy ready to be harnessed with hydroelectric plants and put to use, or energy that is ready to be unleashed and crash down and wash away the nearby village, should the dam collapse.
Human beings are a lot like rivers. We have so much potential – the potential to be a genius, an expert musician, a famous and talented actor, or even the first person to colonize another planet. The only thing that is keeping us from fulfilling our true potential is ourselves – we set up our own dams, willingly or not, so that we keep our potential from crashing down and overwhelming us.
We all have the potential to be good, and the potential to be bad. The only thing preventing us from going to either extremes are the dams we place on ourselves to keep it from being that way. You may not notice it, but we reinforce these dams everyday with our actions. Don’t steal this from your friend because you’ll upset him and it’s immoral. Don’t pick up the litter because there’s no trash can in sight and you don’t want to get your hands dirty. Don’t waste your time sleeping in because there are more important things to get on top of. Don’t turn in that assignment on time because you are tired and too lazy to start on it. The list goes on.
Our choices ultimately decide if we are good or bad. We all have the ability to become as good or as bad as we want – it all depends on what choices you make. Which dam do you loosen to allow the river to flow stronger – the dam holding in the good, or the dam holding in the bad?
Everybody wants to be good – anyone who says they don’t is a blatant liar. Oddly enough, however, we don’t always make good decisions. Sometimes we do it out of poor judgment or laziness, or sometimes our intentions were good and our decisions didn’t turn out to be the same. Ben Sisko’s actions were not in the slightest good. He lied to his friends, gave away material that could potential make bioweapons to an untrustworthy client; he freed a convicted criminal to get what he wanted and bribed to cover his crimes; he intentionally tried to fool the Romulans to get involved in a war they did not want to get involved in, and he was an accessory to murder. But his intentions were good. He committed atrocities so he could end the war quickly and prevent more from dying; he did it so he wouldn’t have to post those casualty reports every Friday.
Sisko was a naturally good man who did terrible deeds in order to do the right thing. As it turns out, the difference between good and bad isn’t as clear cut as black and white. Morality is a vaguely defined gray spectrum, with no agreeable or scientific way to tell where we are at on the spectrum. But that does not mean we shouldn’t strive to reach for the good side – that isn’t reason enough for us not to want to change from evil to good. And I believe that we can all change, from one side of the spectrum to the other, and vice versa. Sisko wanted desperately to end the war so that he can stop leading lives to their inevitable slaughter, and as a result he changed for the worse because of his good intentions. After all, we are human beings, and human beings naturally change. It is entirely up to you and your choices that decide whether you change for the better or worse.
Eric, I really liked the how you compare human potential to that of a dam. We went on the hike for APES this weekend and I was wondering, did the hike have an influence on this blog? Anyway, nicely written blog!
Perks of being a goalkeeper in soccer:
-Not that much running.
-Being able to see the whole field.
-The team moves at the word of your command.
-You get to be the only one with a different jersey.
-One mistake, and you’re gone.
There were many times in school or other interviews where I had to describe myself with three words. The one word that always made the first spot on my list was ‘responsible’. I am very proud of myself as what I have accomplished as a soccer player. I love being a goalkeeper. I always try to feel responsible for the mistakes and the goals I let in. Goalkeepers don’t usually score; they make saves. Tim Howard became a national hero after his heroic performance against Belgium in the 2014 world cup, only conceding two goals out of more than thirty shots against him, giving him nicknames such as Captain America or the secretary of defense of the United States. We ended up losing that game 2-1. But what if one of those two goals were caused by Howard’s mistake? Or what if he caused both the goals? It sucks because in soccer, one mistake from the goalkeeper makes him the one to blame.
This general consensus in soccer just makes me really mad sometimes. There are moments when one of the defenders make a mistake, allowing the opponents to have a perfect opportunity to shoot on me, and eventually to score. Then I feel the people looking daggers at my back. Do I have to feel responsible for these kind of goals? I TRIED. It’s a completely different story with the field players. A player passes to his teammate who was surrounded by five players from the other team. The receiver tries to make a move or a pass but it is impossible to even try. We don’t blame the player who gave it away; we blame the player who passed it to him: Not letting him know what was going on around him, and not making a better choice of distributing the ball. There are clearly different situations of actions that people should be or shouldn't be responsible for. It depends on whether the situation that the person making an action was created by the environment, or by that person’s previous decisions of his actions. From what I have seen at school, most people are responsible for their actions. Their choices are due to both personal agency and influences; they still seem to be responsible for what they have done. Same with myself. The goals that I allow from my mistakes could fall into the ‘personal agency’ category, and the goals from my teammates’ mistakes to ‘influences’. I do feel responsible for all the goals I allow; I never feel blameless.
I guess it’s quite ambiguous to analyze the responsibilities the ‘people’ have due to their actions. Everybody’s in different situations in different lifestyles. The magnitude of the blaming to two different people could differ even if they were doing the same action. But actions should never be blameless. We live in a world with countless consequences. Your action could make a butterfly effect causing a death of a random person living thousands of miles away. You just need to do what you believe what is the right thing to do, and realize how that would affect the environment around you. That’s why I always get back up after allowing the goals. To make another action that could lead my team to victory.
Soccer season is coming soon people.
We've been taught that all humans make mistakes, ever since our days in elementary school and in under the surveillance of our parents. Our superiors really enforced the idea of forgiveness and judgement when it comes to these mistakes. I mean, we can't judge a book by its cover? In order to truly judge a book, we must delve deep within its pages and read through all its content to truly understand it. This sort of philosophy also applies to humans and their actions as well.
Take for example, Siddhartha, in the beginning of the novel, he comes off as a misguided and somewhat "rude" person, abandoning and breaking off relationships with people that care for him. However, we know that his intentions for these "bad" actions are good, as throughout the book, he does these things in order to achieve enlightenment and wisdom.
This also applies to Macbeth as well, as we first perceive him as a fair and loyal disciple under King Duncan. However, under the facade of a fair man, lies a truly evil man, willing to kill a man that trusted him as not only his disciple, but his friend as well. Macbeth shrugs off his conscience and decides to abandon all of his morals to finish his selfish, and ultimately fatal dream of becoming king.
We never want to do the bad thing, due to the fact that it may go against our morals, and that society shuns those who disobey the set laws that define "good" and "bad". However, these such laws don't necessarily define what makes a good or a bad man. This can also be said about the actions that one does. Breaking a law doesn't necessarily mean that the person is bad, take for example civil disobedience during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's. We tend to be blinded by what people do on the outside, than what's going on the inside.
Don't judge a book by it's cover. (Sorry if it's cliche)
There are two kinds of evil people in this world: Those who do evil things and those who see evil things and don't try to stop it.
~ Janis Ian, Mean Girls
Just think about it for a few seconds. How many times have you seen someone copy off someone else's homework and not tell the teacher about it? Or seen your friend talk behind her best friends back about 'how annoying she is' and not let her know?
I know I know, these things seem so miniscule compared to what Macbeth had in store for Duncan, but does that take away the fact that by Janis Ian's definition, we are all guilty of being evil? Not at all. Ever since we were born, we have been taught to understand that things like lying, stealing, and cheating are bad and we are never to do them. But at the same time during that growth of understanding, we see horrible things that go on in this word like school shootings, murders, bank robberies, the list goes on. It is through these acts of horrible violence and betrayal that plague us from seeing the good in our society. The ironic thing is that many people often blame society for our corruption, but the thing is we are society. WE are so blinded by all the horrible things that go on in the world that we forget to realize we are the root of the problem. I guess the question is now, can you live with it ?
Can you live with with all the things you've done? Can you live with the fact that at least once in your life, you have lied and cheated in order to get where you are now? Can you? You have to.
We live in a society, especially in Arcadia, that is geared to live at a fast pace. Everything we do is either to benefit our self, or to benefit our future. Are you really volunteering for City of Hope because you are genuinely interested in the medical field and helping cancer patients, or is it to add more fluff onto your college apps? We have to live with the things we've done because if we don't, we won't succeed.
Being evil is the easy way of living life, and being good, well, that's the choice you have to make.
I personally do not think there is a one-hundred percent good person or one-hundred percent bad person. There is only choices making, and the most important fact is that it is depends on situations. For example, a poor man who steals food from a store to feed his kids, so he is a bad person or a bad dad? Someone who is willing to put himself in danger trying to support his family, we should respect them. Although the way he tries to do is not wise, what if he had no more other ways to feed his kids. He might not be a good person based on what he did in society over all, but as a Dad he tries his best in that kind of harsh condition.
I wouldn’t say I am a good person. All I can say is most of times I might be a good person, it depends on what things. I based my criterion on both action and thoughts. Sometimes, even if some who looks very nice and willing to help you no matter what situation you are in. You will never know what they think in their hearts. They might think you are stupid or you are useless. They do it because it is polite to do so and this makes others think he/she is nice. Political people often do that; they say something and do exactly the opposite of it. An old story can explain this concept very clearly:
Long time ago, a good person and a bad person both are living in this small town. Good person is someone willing to help others for free, no matter who needs help, he would go there first. He would clean yards for the elders; he would fetching water for them. And there is a bad person; he basically did whatever things those are bad. He is lazy, never helped one person. Everyone in the town disliked him. One day, good person is sick; he couldn’t even get up from the bed. So he didn’t go to clean the yards; he didn’t fetching water. Neighbors call him to help because of his sickness so he refused to do so. The following day, a message was spread that the good person is pretending all the time; actually he is a bad person. Another day, robber steals money from a lady, when he escaped accidently stumble by the bad person. The lady sees this and told all the people in the town. The bad person became the good one. No matter what you did in the past, people always judge you by what they see. This is unfair, but it is reality. They will never understand what is inside of you.
As age goes on, I believe I will become a better person for others, but I will decline within myself because I have to follow the “rules”-------------to lie and to be fake to myself.
Only users who are logged in may leave comments on this blog. Please follow the link below in order to log in.
Click here to log in