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Is it a fair assessment of Macbeth's character to call him nothing but a ruthless and brutal villain?

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Introduction

Is it a fair assessment of Macbeth's character to call him nothing but a ruthless and brutal villain? Macbeth is definitely barbaric sometimes with some of the things he does, but he is not brutal all of the time. It can be argued that he is not responsible for his actions as he is driven by his fatal flaw and is influenced by witches and his wife. Macbeth is very brutal on the battlefield. We see this in Act 1 Scene 2 where he kills so many on the battlefield that "his brandished steel ... smoked with bloody execution." This shows that he is killing people so quickly his sword is nearly on fire. The captain goes on to say that "he carved out his passage." His passage is people and he is carving through it as if it were just long grass, something in the way of what he wants to get to, the leader of the oppostition. When he reaches him he doesn't just stab him, but he "unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps." This means that, with his sword, he pierced the man's flesh at his stomach and then lifted the blade up through the man's body until it had reached his chin. ...read more.

Middle

Then he blames Malcolm and Donalblain later in the play. Young Siward says that "the devil himself could not pronounce a title more hateful to mine ear" He means that he hates Macbeth more than the devil because Macbeth is worse. Macbeth doesn't care about his friends, he kills Banquo, who was supposedly his best friend. He also kills Macduff's wife and children. When Lady Macbeth dies Macbeth does not seem to care. He says "had she died hereafter / there would have been time for such a word". A good person would care that their wife had just died and would be greatly saddened by it. Scotland suffers during Macbeth's reign as King. Scotland is described as a "nation miserable" in Act 5 Scene 8. He is called an "untitled tyrant", untitled meaning he is not the true king. The position of king "hang[s] loose about him like a giant's robe upon a dwarfish thief". This uses clothes imagery to show the position of king is too big a position for Macbeth to have. However Macbeth is not always a ruthless and brutal villain. At the start of the play in Act1 Scene 2 he is praised by the King and the captain. Captain calls him "brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)." ...read more.

Conclusion

"Was the hope drunk," she asks suggesting that Macbeth is too much of a coward to say something unless he is drunk. She claims that Macbeth promised to kill Duncan when he never did. She says he Macbeth is not a real man if he does not kill Duncan. It is her who has the idea of killing Duncan, not Macbeth. When Macbeth tells her he will not kill Duncan she calls him a coward, accuses him of not being a real man and puts words into his mouth by saying he promised to kill Duncan when he never did. Macbeth is a tragic hero and therefore he is led by his fatal flaw. He is different to tragic heroes in one way and that is that he knows that his ambition will lead to his downfall when he says it is "vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself / and falls on the other." Tragic heroes are always good people apart from their fatal flaw. Thus to conclude, although many of Macbeth's actions are ruthless and brutal he also has a kind side to his character as he feels guilty about what he has done. He is not completely to blame for his actions as he is influenced by Lady Macbeth, the witches and his fatal flaw. Thus it is not a fir assessment of Macbeth's character to say he is nothing but a ruthless and brutal villain. ...read more.

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