The Character Macbeth In The Play Macbeth Essay, Research Paper
Just so you know i made an 85 on this so you may want to look over it
The character Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth
In 1606 William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) (Truex, 289), the Bard of Avon (Taylor, notes), wrote a tragedy, Macbeth, for his new patron, James I (James VI of Scotland), following the death of Queen Elizabeth (Truex, 289). The play is a tribute to James in the fact that one of the characters, Banqou, was an ancestor of James(Truex, 299). The play itself tells the story of a man (Macbeth), urged by his wife and foretold by prophecy, who commits regicide in order to gain power.
In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, there are many characters with which undergo a character change. The character that changes the most from beginning to end is the tragic hero, Macbeth. At the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen as a courageous solider who is loyal to the King but is corrupted from the witches prophecies and by his and Lady Macbeth’s ambition. This is because of the weakness of Macbeth’s character and the strong power of Lady Macbeth and how she is easily able to influence him. Her strength motivates him at the start but after he realizes what he has done it is himself that continues in his murderous, bloody path.
In the beginning of the play Macbeth is a strong solider who fights for the King without mercy but his strive for ambition and his curious nature leads him to the witched who give him a prophecy (I.1). Macbeth is a little ambitious at first, but Lady Macbeth’s far exceeds his and so she is able to get Macbeth to agree with her to kill King Duncan. Macbeth still has a conscience at this stage because he is very hesitant about killing the King but his weak nature over comes him. He has a conscience throughout the entire play as the hallucinations of the dagger (I.3.1-69) and the ghost of Banquo (III.4.) and his vivid imagination see this and his constant worry also provokes him.
Throughout the play we see the character of Macbeth change not from just the way he thinks and what we hear from the play, but from the actions he takes in the play, from killing Banquo (III.3.), then having Lady Macduff and her children murdered, shows the insecurity that was present in Macbeth. After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth becomes quite paranoid and his first step of killing the guards is one of many that Macbeth takes to secure himself. Macbeth is also very superstitious and this is shown when he believes the prophecy the witches told him that Banquo’s offspring would become Kings.
Towards the end of the play when Macbeth’s wife has dies and the battle is drawing closer Macbeth shows some good that may have been. He wishes for a normal life for which he would have lived to an honorable age but he recognizes that he has denied himself of this. Even when Macbeth hears that the prophecy has become true of Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane, he rejects this idea and fights on until he realizes that Macduff wasn’t born in a natural birth but instead was “Untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb. When Macbeth realizes what he has done and how the witches have tricked him but instead he realizes that it is useless and so he fights on only to be slain.
Macbeth can be summarized into a character although strong physically he is very weak mentally and it is this weakness, which causes the downfall and change of Macbeth. Other factors do however also contribute to this change such as his wife whose ambition is very strong at first and is much more stronger mentally than Macbeth but it is also Macbeth’s ambition and his trust in the witches which ultimately change him.
Macbeth, William Shakespeare. Elements of Literature, Sixith Course: Literature of Britain. Megan Truex, et. al. Austin: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1997.