William Shakespeare through one of his most well known plays portrays a tragic downfall of a king through his ambition and human weakness. Shakespeare develops the play Macbeth by showing the changes in the protagonist and the effects others have on him.
Shakspeare's use of detail helps to show the changes in Macbeth through a gradual process. Before actually completing his horrendous act of killing the much loved King Duncan, Macbeth suffers mental conflict "having no spurs to prick the side of my intent" between the "vaulting ambition which leaps over itself and falls on the other" and the "deep damnation of his (Duncan's) taking off." At this point in time, scene 7 of the first act, Macbeth exposes sensitivity and knowledge of what he may do is wrong. Possibly the one time when the reader can relate to Macbeth the best, it is seen that he is very hesitant of his action, but what over takes him is the human flaw of ambition. As time progresses and Shakespeare shows Macbeth's initial "fear" of Banquo; but as his mind becomes engulfed in the his best friends murder he label's him as "your enemy" and making sure that he is left "no rubs nor botches in the work" Macbeth is obviously afraid of experiencing the same emotional trauma of his first murder. Although he think he is solving his problems, his damnation is ever progressing by making being indirectly involved in the murder of his one time best friend and father of a line of kings. The reader sees how ones desire for self - power can destroy himself completely.
Shakespeare's diction through other characters in the play also help to portray Macbeth's break down. In the beginning, when Macbeth still depicts his sensitivity and morality, Lady's Macbeth almost forces Macbeth to do the deed calling him a "coward in thine own esteem", mocking him saying, "you durst do it then you were a man," and comparing him to "a baby that milks me." Lady Macbeth serves as on of Macbeth's contrasting characters. It is with her biting tougne that Macbeth is inspired to achieve his ambition in becoming king. In the beginning of the play with the three weird sisters the first idea introduced is their meeting with Macbeth "when the battles lost and won."; upon this meeting, macbeth pleads, "tell me more you imperfect sisters;" later on one of the witches chimes, "by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." Through the witches' characters, the peculiar chants, the reader knows the power that other characters have upon Macbeth. As the play progresses, it is evident that Macbeth is tempted by the witches and has become evil by the catalyst of their powers. The reader recognizes the mental weakness Macbeth really has even though he has power in ambition.
The varying points of view of a play give the author more power for audience to become involved with the actions on stage. For example, Macbeth in one of his soliloquies says whole heartedly, "I am his kinsman and his subject," about the thoughts of killing Duncan only to be later plauged by vision of "thy blade and dudgeons gouts of blood." This first person point of view allows the audience to know Macbeth's thoughts that no other character in the play can. It is first seen that Macbeth truly is sensitive about killing the king, and then he shows the mental calamity that is kept hidden after going through with the deed. Banquo, another victim of Macbeth's ambition connects the "unnatural events" to what the "weird sisters promised." This character serves as an example of third person limited point of view, not knowing everyone's thoughts but to show that at least someone is aware of Macbeth's actions. The audience understands the dramatic irony Shakespeare provides creating more suspense to the plot. The combination of the first person and third person point of view allow the audience the become involved in the play, predicting and understanding what will occur later on.