Character changes in Macbeth

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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 consci...

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