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Discuss the character of Macbeth in the first two acts up to and including the murder of Duncan

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Introduction

Discuss the character of Macbeth in the first two acts up to and including the murder of Duncan In the first two acts up to and including the murder of Duncan we find out a lot about the character of Macbeth. First of all we find out that he is a great warrior in battle. He is a vicious and ruthless killer because on page 2 the Captain said that "He unseam'd him from the knave to th' chaps and fix'd his head upon our battlements." He is thought of as being brave and courageous because Malcolm says "this is the sergeant who like a good and hardy soldier fought 'gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend..." The captain also thinks of Macbeth as being brave and courageous as he says "... for brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name..." He is also a noble and great leader as Duncan says, "What he hast lost, noble Macbeth hath won." Macbeth is seen as a hero in the eyes of others because he saved the kingdom from an uprising and an invasion. ...read more.

Middle

He also goes to pieces at the murder because he is very nervous about killing Duncan. He is so nervous that he starts to hallucinate when he sees a dagger which is not really there, "is this a dagger which I see before me..." We also see that he is easily influenced by the supernatural. In Act 1 Scene 3 the witches call Macbeth the "Thane of Cawdor." He is very shocked by this and doesn't say anything. Macbeth runs after them, as they disappear, asking questions. He says "Tell me more." The fact that is struck by the comment means that he has been thinking about this before. When he is told that he is the "Thane of Cawdor" he is not really bothered but when he really begins to think that he will become king it has an even bigger impact on him after being told he is "Cawdor." Banquo tries to persuade that Macbeth that the witches are trying to trick him and that he should be very cautious because on page 9 line 123 Banquo calls the witches "The instruments of darkness." ...read more.

Conclusion

He is cunning in hiding his secret thoughts because he never lets them show in any way. He is also ambitious for power which can be seen from the speech that he makes on page 9 line 126 - 144. He wants to desperately become king and "Thane of Cawdor" and so he will go as far as to kill Duncan to succeed in his ambitions. There are also a number of different effects on Macbeth after doing the murder. After he has committed the murder he has a sense of no turning back. He is very shocked at what he has done; he feels very guilty and is paralysed with fear. He is so full of guilt and shame that he wants to disown himself. Macbeth was standing, frozen, outside the chamber in which Duncan was lying dead, with the dagger in his hand. He was covered in blood. He would have been caught "red handed" if it wasn't for Lady Macbeth who snapped Macbeth out of his terrified state. From all these different aspects of Macbeths' character, we can see that he is a brave man but when it comes to power and success, he will do anything to achieve it. ...read more.

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