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Character Analysis of Macbeth

Every classic play has at least one interesting character who grabs the readers fascination. It is absolutely mandatory for the main character to develop throughout the play to possess the readers undivided attention. In the great play Macbeth, Shakespeare does an excellent job of characterizing Macbeth to own the audiences interest. Macbeth changes his character by leaps and bounds throughout the play Macbeth.

Macbeth starts out as a well-known and respected Thane. First of all, he is absolutely trusted by King Duncan in Act I Scene II. In this scene, King Duncan gives him praise for his bravery on the battlefield that shows how respected Macbeth is. This is a great honour for Macbeth considering that King Duncan just before found out about the Thane of Cawdor trading sides. Also, Macbeth is not only respected by the King, but also by his fellow comrades. Evidence of this is presented when a bloody soldier from the battlefield exclaims to King Duncan, For brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name(I. ii. l. 18). Soon thereafter, we also know that Macbeth is a noble and intelligent Thane, by showing us how much he respects King Duncan. This is exposed, when he was extremely angry with himself that he thought of killing Duncan, upon hearing Malcolm named to be King thereafter. He cannot believe he thought of such a horrendous though and vows never to do it again. In conclusion, it is evident that Macbeth began the play as a much respected and noble figure.

From a respected Thane, Macbeth transforms into a tyrant King. To begin with, the first piece of evidence that suggests that Macbeth was a tyrant King is when he plans the murder of Banquo, and his son, Fleance. Macbeth unbelievingly convinces the murderers, that all of their misfortune they have encountered thus far has been caused by Banquo. More to the point, he also does not inform Lady Macbeth about the murders, and instead keeps it to himself. Secondly, the fact that Macbeth is more concerned about the security of his kingship rather than Scotland is another point that suggests he was a tyrant King. This is revealed when Lennox states, that is swift blessing/ May soon return to this our suffering country/ Under a hand accursed (III. vi. l. 50-52). In this quote Lennox is hoping that Macduff will return with help so heal the suffering country of Scotland. Finally, his thought process in murdering McDuff s family is yet another proof that shows how much of an oppression Macbeth was. While his first two murders involved some thought, Macduffs familys murders were more instant, and Macbeths entourage also killed anyone who got in the way. Another important point is how this murder was

rushed and performed in broad daylight where as the first two which required some thought were done in the night. Consequently, anyone can see Macbeths character change from a noble Thane to a tyrant King.

From a tyrant King, Macbeth yet again changes his character to a dysfunctional being. For one thing, one of the major problems with Macbeth was his obsession with the witches. This showed he was mentally unstable because he could not do anything productive and was constantly thinking about the prophecies. Even though Macbeth knew he was losing his army and that Macduff was in Scotland to get help from King Edward, he did not bother to do anything, which ultimately brought him to his death. Moreover, yet another observation that suggests he was a lifeless body was when Lady Macbeth passed away. When she died, Macbeth acted as if nothing had happened and seemed rather disturbed it had to happen at such a pitiful time. He did not even bother to take a moment to mourn her death. Similarly, Macbeth proves to us he is a dysfunctional being, by going out to fight Malcolms army. After successfully defeating Young Siward, Macbeth triumphantly states, Thou wast born of women./ But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,/ Brandishd by man thats of a woman born(V. vii. l.16-18). Holding onto the last of the witches prophecies, and his confidence over Young Siwards death, Macbeth decides he will die fighting and receives a chance encounter with Macduff when the witches specifically told him, Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff;/ Beware the thane of Fife. (IV. i. l. 77-78). Therefore, any reader is able to identify numerous abnormalities in the function of Macbeth.

As a result the reader sees Macbeths character change dramatically to his unfortunate death. Macbeths constant change in character maintained the readers interest throughout the play. All in all, Shakespeare has done a great job in developing Macbeth as a character to remember. Other novels or play should follow suit with Shakespeare and try to include a character whose personality is dynamic.