Macbeth Character Changes

This essay Macbeth Character Changes has a total of 1353 words and 6 pages.

Macbeth - Character Changes


“This dead butcher and his fiend like queen”, is the way in which Malcolm describes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Describe the way in which these two characters changed during the course of the play.

At the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen as a courageous soldier who is loyal to the King but is corrupted from the witches prophecies and by his and Lady Macbeth’s ambition. This is because of the weakness of Macbeth’s character and the strong power of Lady Macbeth and how she is easily able to influence him. Her strength motivates him at the start but after he realises what he has done it is himself that continues in his murderous, bloody path. At the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth appears as a kind wife of Macbeth’s but underneath lies a scheming and treacherous woman.

In the beginning of the play Macbeth is a strong soldier who fights for the King without mercy but his strive for ambition and his curious nature leads him to the witches who give him a prophecy. Banquo realises that there must be a trick hidden in the witches prophecies somewhere but Macbeth refuses to accept that, and when Lady Macbeth finds out about the witches her strong desire for ambition and her cold nature leads Macbeth astray. Macbeth is a little ambitious at first, but Lady Macbeth’s far exceeds his and so she is able to get Macbeth to agree with her to kill King Duncan. Macbeth still has a conscience at this stage because he is very hesitant about killing the King but his weak nature over comes him. He has a conscience throughout the entire play as this is seen by the hallucinations of the dagger and the ghost of Banquo and his vivid imagination and his constant worry also provokes him. This is also evident in his terrible dreams which gives the solid theme that he has indeed “murdered sleep”.

Throughout the play we see the character of Macbeth change not from just the way he thinks and what we hear from the play, but from the actions he takes in the play, from killing Banquo, then having Lady Macduff and her children murdered, shows the insecurity that was present in Macbeth. After the murder of Duncan Macbeth becomes paranoid and his first step of killing the guards is one of many that Macbeth takes to secure himself. Macbeth is also very superstitious and this is shown when he believes the prophecy the witches told him that Banquo’s offspring would become Kings.

Towards the end of the play when Macbeth’s wife has died and the battle is drawing closer Macbeth shows some good which may have been. He wishes for a normal life for which he would have lived to an honourable age but he recognises that he has denied himself of this. Even when Macbeth hears that the prophecy has become true of Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane, he rejects this idea and fights on until he realises that Macduff wasn’t born in a natural birth but instead was “Untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb. When Macbeth hears of this he realises what he has done and how he has been tricked by the witches but instead he realises that it is useless and so he fights on only to be slain.

Macbeth can be summarised into a character although strong physically he is very weak mentally and it is this weakness which causes the downfall and change of Macbeth. Other factors do however also contribute to this change such as his wife whose ambition is very strong at first and is much more stronger mentally than Macbeth but it is also Macbeth’s ambition and his trust in the witches which ultimately change him.

Lady Macbeth seems to be almost opposite compared to that of Macbeth in physical and mental power. Lady Macbeth is the person who is able to persuade Macbeth into killing Duncan, assuring Macbeth that it will succeed, as Lady Macbeth’s ambition is far greater than that of Macbeth. This change in the character of Lady Macbeth is apparent after she reads the letter from Macbeth as she goes and talks to the evil spirits to make herself evil with lines such as “Fill me from the

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Topics Related to Macbeth Character Changes

Characters in Macbeth, English-language films, British films, Regicides, House of Moray, Macbeth, Macduff, Banquo, King Duncan, Gruoch of Scotland, Fleance, Three Witches

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