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How does Macbeths character change throughout the play

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Introduction

How does Macbeth's character change throughout the play The play 'Macbeth' is famous for it's darkness, twistedness, blood and gore and is mainly about the gradual fall from valour and prosperity to sacreligion and chaos. This is probably why it was so appealing to the audiences of the time, because the thought of killing a king was so disgusting. In this essay I will be discussing how Macbeth's rise to king is parallel to the disintegration of his mind and sanity. Firstly, in the opening scenes, he is portrayed as a honourable, noble warrior. This is shown to the audience in the lines "O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman". This is to show that he starts in a good place and is happy and content, this contrasts with his character and the entire mood later in the play. Secondly, Macbeth meets the three witches and receives a prophecy. He is confused by what they say, this shows when Macbeth says "Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more". This contrasts with the opening scenes as he is suddenly thrown from contentedness and security to panic, confusion and unease. ...read more.

Middle

This is portrayed by the lines " Banquo was your enemy" and "With bloody thrusts". This shows that he has been brought in by the power enough to kill his best friend but still has enough of a conscience that he cannot do it himself or even mention the words to the murderers. He also doesn't want to do and feel the things that occurred on the night of Duncan's death. Macbeth goes to the witches again, they warn him 'beware macduff' so he decides to have macduff's family killed as macduff has fled. This is shown in the lines "Thou anticipat'st my dread exploits;" and " seize upon fife; give to th'edge o'th'sword his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line.". This shows he has become entirely confident with the prophecies and does not think Macduff can harm him, as Burnham wood moving could not be possible in his view and Macduff was born by a woman. This also shows that he has reached his highest point of power and now as he has done so much already, he has no bad feelings of it. ...read more.

Conclusion

path to king by the prophecy turning his contentedness to unease, panic and confusion, then brought to a slight feel of ambition by the first part coming true, which, in turn is brought up to confidence enough to kill Duncan, aided by his wife, then up to total dependance on the prophecy by his fears that fleance will take the throne. This then leads to the major turning point for his insanity as he decides he must kill his best friend but cannot directly say what he wants from the murderers, then, as his mental health reaches its lowest point, he is able to order the killing of what he knows to be his most worthy enemy's family without fear, as he has become now so sure of and high from his prophecy that he believes he cannot be brought down, he then hears of his wife's death, and comes out of his shell, realizing how what he has done has affected his mind and finally accepting his death from macduff as he realizes completely how futile and pointless it was but how he was obsessed with it. ...read more.

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