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treacherous 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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JuvenileViolence

Two boys at an Arkansas middle school killed four girls and one teacher in what police called a carefully planned ambush on the afternoon of Tuesday March 25, 1998.  Nine other girls and one other teacher were also wounded in the attack at the Westside Middle School, located in a quiet rural area just west of Jonesboro, Arkansas.  In a similar incident in Littleton, Colorado, two students, cloaked in black trench coats and armed with guns and bombs, opened fire on the morning of Tuesday April 21, 1999 at Columbine High School, killing 15 people and wounding 28 others in the worst school shooting in U.S. history.   What do both of these real-life scenarios have in common?  All of these crimes were committed by juveniles or young adults.   What is it that ignites such violence in troubled juveniles such as the ones mentioned?  Many different factors cause violent behavior.  In this paper I will explore the roots of juvenile violence in order to understand why the atrocious acts in Jonesboro, Arkansas and Littleton, Colorado were committed.
Violence is not committed without a reason.  Violence is the act of intentionally hurting someone.  A number of reasons could lead to a violent outbreak.    Individually, the more factors present in one's life, the more likely that person is to commit an act of violence. Some factors that contribute to violent behavior include:  
homes where parents are abusive or absent
Access to or fascination with guns
Each of the characteristics  above can be summed up into two major categories, family problems, and social problems.  
Social problems were present in both the Westside Middle School and the Columbine High School murders.  One thing that was associated with all of the murders was bullying.  Bullying is where a child or group of children keep taking advantage of the power they have to hurt or reject someone else.  Some young people are bullied for many reasons, but mainly because they will not stand up for themselves.  Having been victims of bullying, Harris and Klebold were constantly disrespected.  "He [Harris] was going after jocks.  He hated them with a passion, because they always made fun of him and they always threatened him.  They did it especially his sophomore year, and he just hated them."    Why do some children bully?  The main reason children bully is to get attention or make other people afraid of them.  In 13-year-old Mitchell's case, he was a bully and was reported to have been upset because of girl problems (rejection).  Another thing in common with both murder cases is that the victimizers had easy access to guns.  "Access to guns is the biggest predictor for people committing homicides.  If kids don't have guns, these kind of situations don't escalate as fast"  Eleven-year-old Andrew Golden learned to shoot from his father.  Prior to the Columbine High School murders Eric Harris would talk of buying guns in class.  "Harris talked constantly in philosophy class of buying a gun, especially since he recently turned 18-years-old."
Family problems, the second major category of juvenile violence are perhaps the most prevalent cause of juvenile violence.  "To oversimplify it grossly, parents are not doing the jobs they used to do in terms of transmitting values to kids.  The slack is being picked up by the entertainment world, whether it's television or movies or rap music or video games."   On the same note, a staff psychologist referring to the Columbine High School murders states, "Violent children live in homes where parents are abusive and absent. A lot of times, an absent father is a predictor for violent aggressive males."   As was the case with both 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson of the Westside Middle School murders and 18-year-old Eric Harris of the Columbine High School murders.   Research indicates that the one person being the most capable of changing the antisocial aggression of a boy is his biological father.  Johnson's parents were divorced and Johnson rarely saw his father.  In a similar situation Harris's father was immersed in the Marines up until the time he retired and settled down in Littleton, Colorado, in 1993.  In both situations, Johnson and Harris lacked the need for attention and respect, something that is needed most by children at the ... more

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