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Character changes in Macbeth
In Shakespeare's play Macbeth we see the main character, Macbeth changes from a well-regarded and loyal soldier of the Scottish king to a murderous tyrant. At the start of the play Macbeth is courageous, ambitious, superstitious and devoted to his wife. These characteristics are shown through the victory against the rebels, Macbeth's trust in the witches and his letter to his wife. In the second half of the play Macbeth becomes cruel and treacherous, insecure and distant from Lady Macbeth. The events that show this change are the murders Macbeth commits, his voluntary return to the witches and his reaction to his wife's death.
One of the first events of the play occurs when King Duncan's army, led by Macbeth and Banquo defeat the rebels. Macbeth fought ferociously, risking his own life to save his country. King Duncan praises "noble" Macbeth. Macbeth is seen as a strong soldier who is loyal and courageous, a truly heroic figure. To Duncan he was the "worthiest cousin"; to the wounded sergeant "Valour's minion"; to Banquo, "My noble partner". King Duncan cannot reward him enough for all he has done. "More is thy due than more than all can pay." Macbeth is made Thane of Cawdor, but begins to be tempted by his own "vaulting ambition" to become king.
Another characteristic of Macbeth is his striving ambition and curious nature, which leads him and his partner Banquo to the witches who give him a prophecy. Banquo realises that there must be a trick hidden in the witches' prophecies but Macbeth refuses to accept that. Macbeth chooses to let the witches influence him, but Banquo does not. This event showed Macbeth was superstitious because he trusted the witches. The witches' prophecies "stroked the fires of his ambition" to be king.
Macbeth was also devoted to his wife. He told his wife everything and confided in her via a secret letter. Macbeth even called his wife "my dearest partner of greatness". This proves the affection and trust he had in Lady Macbeth. Together they plot to murder Duncan. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's own ambition are influences of evil that Macbeth chooses to accept. Macbeth also accepts advice from his wife. Lady Macbeth gets him to act by appealing to his manhood and courage, "When you durst do it more the man.", showing Macbeth is morally weak. He is very hesitant about killing the king though, showing he has a conscience.
However, Macbeth begins to act alone, and Lady Macbeth loses her control over him. He follows his murder of Duncan with the quick murder of the two sleepy grooms. Macbeth becomes cruel and treacherous; the voice of conscience within him is gone; he no longer hesitates to follow courses of evil: "The very firstlings of my heart shall be The firstlings of my hand." He does not need to be urged to the deed in planning the murder of Banquo and of Fleance. Macbeth fears Banquo because he recognises in him a moral courage, which he lacked - Banquo kept his "bosom franchised and allegiance clear". Macbeth also believed the prophecy that Banquo's descendants would become king. He had become obsessed with his own safety. Macbeth's imagination and insecurity is shown when the ghost of Banquo appeared at the banquet. His degradation carries him to the level where he vents his savage frenzy upon the innocent heads of "His [Macduff's] wife, his babes" for no reason, but his savage determination to maintain the throne. These murders show the insecurity that was present in Macbeth.
Macbeth voluntarily and deliberately returns to the witches alone. This time he is more assertive towards them. He is not over awed and he demands to know if Banquo's descendants will become kings. The witches deliberately mislead Macbeth but he believes them, showing his overconfidence.
Later, Macbeth becomes distant and cold towards Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth can no longer control Macbeth, and after killing Duncan he begins to act alone. Macbeth even tells the doctor to cure her of her mental illness, and makes no effort himself to help cure her. When Lady Macbeth dies, Macbeth states "She should have died hereafter. There would have been time for such a word." He hears ... more
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Macbeth As A Machiavellian Man
Macbeth was a Machiavellian man. He committed many devilish crimes and he bribed men to do his murderous schemes. He used the power he had against other men to get what he wanted. Macbeth wanted to rule Scotland and when he was in command, if he was worried about someone or something, he made sure everything was taken care of to keep his mind at rest. He had regrets when he killed Duncan, but none of his sins evaded his mind, and he remained happy during the time he reigned as king. The only thing that he absolutely feared was Macduff and his own death.
Macbeth used two men to accomplish his sin of killing Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth wanted Banquo and Fleance dead because Macbeth did not want any of Banquos descendants to acquire his position after he died. To turn the men against Banquo, Macbeth said that it was all Banquos fault that they were poor and did not have anything else to live for. That it was he in the times past, which held you/ So under fortune. (3.1.117-118) Macbeth keeps telling them how mean, selfish and heartless Banquo was. He made the men believe that Banquo was their rival. Both of you/ Know Banquo was your enemy. (3.1.131-132) Macbeth asks the men if they forgive Banquo for what he has done, to test their loyalty towards Banquo. To pray for this good man and for his issue,/ Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave. (3.1.99-100) Macbeth can divert the mind of a person with his performance.
Macbeth wanted to rule Scotland and if anything got in his way, he was sure to get rid of it, no matter what it took. When Duncan was king, Macbeth killed him to acquire his reign. When Banquo suspected Macbeth of killing the king, Macbeth was worried that Banquo might find who really killed Duncan. Macbeth hired two men to kill Banquo. Macbeth also killed the family of Macduff because Macbeth was scared of him. The castle Macduff I will surprise/ Seize upon Fife, give to th edge o th sword (4.1.171-172) Macduff was his opponent. Macbeth knew Macduff could kill him in an instant.
Macbeth had his regrets after he killed King Duncan. When he killed Banquo, his ghost haunted his conscience by making Macbeth regret killing his human form. At the time that Macbeth killed Macduffs family, Macbeth had no regrets what so ever. Macbeth never though twice about the killings, because Macduff was unfaithful to his king. After Macbeth killed
Duncan, Macbeth wished he had not murdered him. To know my deed twere best not know myself./ Wake Duncan with thy knocking. (2.3.93-94) Once Macbeth was accustomed with murdering people, he did not have any regrets.
There were only two things that really made Macbeth worry and made him scared, those being his own death and Macduff himself. Macbeth was terrified of dying for he wished to be King of Scotland forever. One other reason why he was afraid of his death was that the witches predicted
that Banquos descendants would become king, and the line of kings would be long. Macbeth believed that he would live forever he trusted the witches which also told him that he would never be harmed until Birnam Wood climbed Dunsinane Hill and only a person who was not born from a woman could kill him. The reason that Macbeth was afraid of Macduff was because Macbeth knew that he was the real person who killed the king. Also, Macduff was gone to England to get the British army to fight Macbeth. Macbeth was scared of Macduff because he was able and strong enough to kill him and everyone was on the side of Macduff, since no one agreed with Macbeths ways anymore.
Finally, Macbeth was very cruel and mean. He was an evil man who could go to any length to be in control. He used men to work, accomplishing his schemes, and was scared of nothing but death and his opponent. He did not have any regrets. Macbeth was very machiavelinious.
He had all the characteristics of a Machavellian man. He was undoubtfully the man with the ... more
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