Macbeth's Change From Hero To Tyrant Throughout William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth
Macbeth's Change from Hero to Tyrant Throughout William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth
Macbeth at the beginning of the play seams to start off as the hero of
the play how he has helped win the battle against the rebels. He is
regarded by a wounded captain from the battle that himself and banquo
have helped significantly. Macbeth caught the traitor, the thane of
cawdor. And he was rewarded. The title of thane of cawdor was
transferred to Macbeth and the old thane was executed.
In act 1 scene 3 Macbeth and banquo appear at the witches' heath. The
witches predict part of Macbeth's future. As soon as they tell him
that he will be thane of cawdor. His impressions of the witches start
to change, he cannot understand how the have so quickly found out
about him becoming the new thane of cawdor. They then tell him that he
will become the new king of Scotland. His immediate thoughts of the
witches have now changed and he is starting to realise how much power
he could actually have. Having realised how much power he could have
he pleads for more. But they will not tell him. As early in the play
Macbeth is having mixed emotions.
Duncan the king of Scotlandannounces that he will be visiting the
castleof Macbeth. He then names his oldest son Malcolm the successor
to the throne. Macbeth writes a letter to his mistress lady Macbeth,
he tells her the good news of how he has become the new thane of
cawdor and the predictions that he received from the 3 witches.
Lady Macbeth looks up on this opportunity and rejoices that this could
present the chance of the murder of Duncan. These thoughts are evil
and suspicions are asking weather she is a 4th witch or not. Lady
Macbeth then realises that Macbeth is"too full of the milk of a human
kindness" meaning that Macbeth does not have the power to commit this
terrible crime. This gives us the evidence that she does not want to
commit the murder, she is just planning it, and she wants Macbeth to
do the murder.
In the last scene from the first act Macbeth has returned to his
castle to make the final preparations for the arrival of the king of
Scotland. Macbeth contemplates the killing of one of his blood
relatives. He gives this impression by saying"if it were done, when
'tis done; then 'there well/It were done quickly." He is obviously
upset and emotional about killing as he is not only blood relative but
he is also the king of Scotland. Lady Macbeth continuously challenges
Macbeth and finally he is persuaded and involved. He is enlightened by
Lady Macbeth's reaction and ambition.
At the beginning of act two it sets the scene for the killing of
Duncan. It is at this point when Macbeth starts to get the first of
the hallucinations. He sees a bloody dagger pointing in the direction
of the king. He is suddenly snapped out of this hallucination and he
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A tragic hero is someone whos fatal flaw, combined with other external factors, bring about ones demise, which is demonstrated by Macbeth in Shakespeares play Macbeth. Macbeth is portrayed as a courageous, brave and noble man who was haunted by superstition and an overpowering ambition. Factors that contributed to the degeneration of Macbeth include the prophecies told to him by the witches, the influence and manipulation of his wife, Lady Macbeth, and finally, Macbeths deep driven intent to become king. Although seen as a daring and valiant hero at the beginning of the play, Macbeths evil desires and long time ambition causes his downfall. Even though Macbeth seems like a malevolent and murderous tyrant towards the end of the play, he is ultimately a tragic hero. The prophecies given by the witches contributed to the degeneration of Macbeths character. The witches foretold that Macbeth would become Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and the King of Scotland. If not for the prophecies, Macbeths curiosity and ambition to become King might never have aroused.
To be king stood not within the prospect of belief to him before he had heard the prophecies, however, when hearing the prophecies of becoming king, horrible imaginings of murder, though fantastical, had come across his mind. As the play progresses, Macbeth increasingly relies on the prophecies given by the witches stirring up Macbeths curiosity and ambition which factor in corrupting his character and sending him to his dusty death. The manipulation and influence of Lady Macbeth was also a factor of Macbeths downfall. When Lady Macbeth reads her husbands letter, she is afraid that Macbeth is not evil enough to do what he must to seize the crown. She wishes her husband a quick return so that she can pour her spirits in his ear and chastise with the valour of her tongue. Although Lady Macbeth seems like a lovely and polite lady, she is in fact a vicious and manipulative woman full of malice.
She is also a horrible influence on Macbeth telling him to look like the innocent flower, but to be the serpent undert as well as telling him he was a coward when he was afraid to murder King Duncan. After Macbeth had slaughtered King Duncan, he was filled with a guilty conscience, regretting his wrong. His wife however, thought he was infirm of purpose. This was the first murder that Macbeth had experienced, however after the first murder, killing seemed to be the only solution to maintain his reign as king.