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Examine Macbeth's mental deterioration throughout the play.

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Introduction

Examine Macbeth's mental deterioration throughout the play. Macbeth's character goes through a mental path during the play ?Macbeth?. He is initially emotionally stable and devoted to his king; he then feels unsure about his intentions and deteriorates into an awareness based purely on belief; when this belief becomes less he feels unsure again. He ends his life in a noble death caused by his ?return? to his stability and devotion. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth loves king Duncan, but when he is tempted by the three witches he starts his deteriorating mental path into evil. Initially the Captain of the battle tells Duncan that Macbeth has fought powerfully for his king and that is why he can be called "brave Macbeth". The following quotation is the one in which the Captain speaks to the King: For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name) Disdaining Fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smok'd with bloody execution, Like valor's minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; (Captain, Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 18-22) These few lines are used by Shakespeare to give the first idea of how Macbeth is. ...read more.

Middle

MACBETH: Then live Macduff: what need I fear of thee? But yet I'll make assurance double sure, And take a bond of Fate: thou shalt not live, (Act 4 Scene 1 Lines 77-92) The first two apparitions are speaking here. Macbeth, even though he has heard both the first and the second one decides to give more credit to the last of these. Why is this? Why would someone listen only one of two warnings? He only wants to listen to what gives him better news. He is full of himself now that he is king and cannot accept that someone could beat him. The final line of Macbeth's speech in this quotation shows to the reader that he would do anything to maintain his power: even to kill someone he is sure could never harm him. The repetition of the name "Macbeth" in the first line and the three adjectives used by the first line of the second apparition are two examples of trinity. The trinity, which would normally be the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is often present in the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Though Birnam Wood be come to Dusinane, And thous oppos'd, being of no woman born, Yet I will try the last. before my body, I throw my warlike shield: lay on Macduff, And damn'd be him, that first cries hold, enough. (Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 7 Lines 67-74) The protagonist states that even though every one of the things that should not have happened have now occured, he will still fight. With these final lines, after which Macbeth is killed by his nemesis Macduff, the protagonist gets back to his noble beginning and shows he has finally got rid of the spiral which lead him to his death. This final step in the main character's life is the only one which brings him away of his process of mental deterioration which began with the three witches' predictions. Macbeth's mental deterioration goes on throughout the play, with the exception of his last scene in which he goes back to his initial state. As it can be seen by the different passages here described, the mental deterioration goes through three different steps. The protagonist's life ends with a return to his noble initial state. ...read more.

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