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Discuss the Stages by Which Macbeth's Character Changes to Commit the Murder of Duncan

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Introduction

Discuss the Stages by Which Macbeth's Character Changes to Commit the Murder of Duncan Jessica Roberts The play begins with the king praising the brave and loyal fighter, Macbeth. After meeting with the evil witches, Macbeths wife plays on his emotions, convincing him to kill his king, and betray God, in order to become the heir, and fulfil the witches prophecy. In the first two scenes, we do not meet Macbeth. Instead we are hearing about his character, through the perception of others. In Act 1 Scene 1, we hear about Macbeth from the witches, and how they are planning to meet Macbeth 'When the hurly-burly's done, When the battles lost and won'. This shows that the witches have a double perception of things, and know that with the good comes the bad. It also shows that they are supernatural as the third witch says ' That will be ere the set of the sun', meaning they can tell the future, if they know when the battle is to end. Because the witches believe that fair is foul and foul is fair', and they are planning to meet with Macbeth, we get the impression that he can not be a good person, if he is associated with evil witches. ...read more.

Middle

After he has got used to the idea, he says to himself 'Glamis and thane of Cawdor. The greatest is behind.' This shows that Macbeth has started having faith in what the witches have said. Macbeth then goes on to talk about the rest of the prophecy. Saying that 'two truths are told as happy prologues to the swelling act of the imperial theme.' This means that as the other things that the witches said came true, then there is a possibility that the last part (about him becoming king) may also come true, even though if he did become king, he wouldn't feel like it was reality, more like he would be acting in a play. Macbeth becomes confused with what is happening, as it 'cannot be ill, cannot be good'. Showing that it is unclear. He recognises that what the witches said must be evil, as 'if good, why do I yeild to that suggestion, whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, and make my seated heart knock at my ribs, against the use of nature.' This shows that, because he feels his heart is beating unnaturally and the thought of becoming king is making his hair stand on end, it cannot be good. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows us as an audience that he is afraid that if he did actually kill the king, he would be caught and punished for his act of selfishness. He also praises the king, saying he is 'so clear in his great office, that his virtues will plead like angels. This shows that his character, at this point in the play is still a nice person, as he is even complimenting the person who may be his victim. Macbeth finally decides that he will not kill the king, saying 'we will proceed no further in this business. He hath honoured me of late' and the kings praise has bode well for Macbeth. Lady Macbeth then threatens her husband manhood, asking him 'art thou afeard'. This shows that she does not like Macbeths character at this point, as he is too much a moral man. To finally convince Macbeth to change his mind, Lady Macbeth tells him that she would rather kill her own child, having 'dashed the brains out' than go back on a promise, like she believes Macbeth has. Macbeth's character then becomes immoral and he asks 'if we should fail?' This shows that Macbeth has changed his mind and that he will now kill the king, telling the audience he can no longer be a good person, if he is about to kill someone for his own personal gain. ...read more.

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