• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What factors contribute to his change in character and which dramatic devices help the audience become aware of this descent into evil?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In committing Duncan's murder and organising the murder of other influential characters, Macbeth's character changes from good to evil. What factors contribute to his change in character and which dramatic devices help the audience become aware of this descent into evil? The play 'Macbeth' gives the audience plenty of opportunities to consider the reasons for the main character's actions. In this essay I will consider the many factors which contribute to Macbeth's descent into evil; many factors play a pivotal role in deciding his ill-fated future. With his wife's cajoling, and the three witches' foretelling of his future Macbeth, will stop at nothing to gain position as King of Scotland. Macbeth's ambition also drives this same will as well as his feelings of fear and insecurity. The witches and their prophecies are the first major influence on Macbeth's actions. Macbeth is content with his position as Thane of Glamis, until the three witches tell him, "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee Thane of Glamis. All hail Macbeth, hail to thee Thane of Cawdor All hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter." This prophecy startled Macbeth. He believes that his title is still Thane of Glamis; yet here he has just been told that he shall be King. After hearing this Macbeth and his loyal friend Banquo find out that Macdonwald has been sentenced to death for betraying his country, and that King Duncan has named Macbeth Thane of Cawdor. ...read more.

Middle

And this will enable him to commit the murder. As he does not wish to be a coward and ruin his honour as "brave Macbeth". Lady Macbeth believes that Macbeth's downfall is his vaulting ambition "Thou wouldst be great, art not without ambition." Macbeth's ambition is ever present and mentioned by Macbeth himself, "His besetting sin: I have no spur, to prick the sides of my Intent, but only vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself." At the very start of the play the audience discovers that Macbeth is a brave warrior "For brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name." I believe that Macbeth's ambition could have been stirred up as he is the King's cousin and he did not just want to be seen as a Thane or just a brave warrior he wished to be seen as a greater asset to his country. It is clear to the audience that Lady Macbeth is intent to help Macbeth achieve his ambition we learn this after she reads her letter, in the soliloquy she revels this by saying, "The illness should attend it." Macbeth's ambition also pushes him towards the murder of Duncan in many other ways. Macbeth clearly feels that killing Duncan is an option as he uses soliloquy's often in order to show his true feelings to the audience, "Present fears... ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point the audience become increasingly aware of Macbeth's increasing insecurity and obsession with fear. But Macbeth's fear and insecurity does also lead more to his descent into evil as it leads to more deaths, Macbeth fear of Macduff being a threat to his position as king and also his fear that Banquo's descendants will become King greater drives him into his descent into evil as his fear of these things cause him to kill again and again. In conclusion it is clear that there are many possible reasons why Macbeth may have behaved like he did, committing murders and following his descent into evil but, the killing of Duncan starts an unstoppable chain of events in the play that ends with the murder of Macbeth and the suicide of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth chooses to murder Duncan. Macbeth, in the beginning had all the qualities of an honourable gentleman who could become anything. This is all shattered when his ambition overrides his sense of morality. Although Macbeth is warned as to the validity of the witches prophesies, he is tempted and refuses to listen to reasons from Banquo. When the second set of prophesies Macbeth receives begin to show their faults Macbeth blames the witches for deceiving him with half truths. While the witches are not totally responsible for the actions of Macbeth, they are responsible for introducing the ideas to Macbeth which in turn fired up Macbeth's ambition and led to a disastrous and unnecessary chain of events. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Macbeth essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Villain or victim? Is Macbeth a victim of external circumstances or a man solely ...

    4 star(s)

    His reign of terror is all over within a matter of weeks, but within that time he has caused a wave of destruction, terror and misery throughout the whole of Scotland, 'Alas, poor country! Almost afraid to know itself.' (Again, personification here emphasises the scale of the problem within the country.)

  2. Character Analysis of Macbeth

    life to come '' meaning he is aware he will be punished in the afterlife. In Act 5 scene 3 we see that regret and guilt has affected to the extent that he nearly loses the will to live and feels that live is void of meaning ''I have lived

  1. By considering the soliloquies, analyse how Macbeth's character changes as the play progresses.

    the Thane of Cawdor - King Duncon has showed him a lot of respect. Macbeth is speaking as his servants are preparing for Duncon's arrival at Macbeth's castle. This is also a time when Macbeth realises that what the witches predicted is beginning to come true.

  2. Macbeth - Do the witches heighten the dramatic impact of the play?

    what they are saying because at that time people didn't know to much of about witches rhyming their spells so they would have been surprised to hear them rhyming what they are saying. When the witches first appear in the play the image that is connected with them is a

  1. What is the role of the witches in Macbeth?

    The witches then say would you like us to say your future or their masters. Macbeth replies with ignorance he wants to see their masters. Then the first witch applies a pig that has eaten its offspring and sweat from a murderer before he is hung.

  2. 'Macbeth is full of highly dramatic scenes. Choose two scenes and explore how Shakespeare ...

    he doesn't become insecure after the witches promise his great things unlike Macbeth. He seems more morally directed. It is with the two characters very different reactions that Shakespeare introduces an exciting force to the play. From here on soliloquy is used to express Macbeth's inner thoughts.

  1. There Are Many Supernatural Elements In "Macbeth". What Effect Do They Have On The ...

    Shakespeare uses repetition when the first witch repeats "I'll do I'll do" Ominously. They also show that they are powerful enough to change the weather. "I'll give thee wind," and they can also cast spells on people by hinting at things to come "sleep shall neither night nor day/ hang upon his penthouse lid/I'll drain him dry as hay."

  2. This essay will thoroughly canvass the main themes of Hamlet and Macbeth, and will ...

    When the King arrives to Macbeth's castle, both wife and husband pretend to be welcoming and amicable. However, behind that fallacy, there were two souls full of hatred, ambition, greed and madness. This "masquerade" enables them to fulfill their will to take the throne.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work