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Is Macbeth a hero or a murdering tyrant?

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Introduction

Andrew Opobo 11D Is Macbeth a hero or a murdering tyrant? Macbeth is a play that was written by William Shakespeare as a gift to King James I. It was based on Scottish history. In the original story Banquo was also one of Duncan's killers. However, Shakespeare changed his role in the play as James I was believed to be a descendant of him so it would not be in Shakespeare's interest to imply the king was related to a murderer. Shakespeare's depiction of the story tells of the rise and fall of a warrior within the Scotland. In this essay, I will the question of whether Macbeth was a hero or a tyrant. Act one This is the only Act, in which Macbeth can be described as a loyal or heroic character. "For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name" Scene 2 Lines 16 & 17 Macbeth is being honoured with compliments on his performance in the battle against the Norwegians. ...read more.

Middle

Although Macbeth is about to kill Duncan, he's conscience is intact which is why he has been having doubts about killing Duncan. This is an important milestone along the changes Macbeth inhibited throughout the play. "To know my deed 'twere best no know myself" Scene 2 line 73 Macbeth is in a state of disgust, he now realises how dirty the "deed" was, he is accepted Duncan's death but he feels guilty, this is perhaps the final point at which Macbeth is in control Act three It is in this act that Macbeth reaches his final state of mind, he becomes paranoid, and sloppy in his murders. It is at this point that he has no remorse and shows know signs of having a conscience. He has began to see murder as a rational solutions to his problems, and he has become more like his wife in Act 1. "Know that it was he, in times past, which held you So under fortune" Scene 1 lines 77-78 Rather than simply ...read more.

Conclusion

Act five Act 5 depicts the fall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and the extreme changes of their characters. "This disease is beyond my practice...who have died holily on their beds" Scene 1 lines 56 -58 The doctor is describing Lady Macbeth's state of mind as a disease, she has become insane because of the evil deeds her and her husband have committed and now she will come to an untimely end. Hail king for so thou art. Behold where stands The usurper's cursed head" Scene 7 lines 83 & 84 Macbeth has now also come to an untimely end, described as an usurper. Macbeth has now gone from being seen as a victor and a loyal subject, to being seen as evil. Conclusion I do not believe Macbeth was a tyrant, but that he was weak minded. Having not heard the witch's prophecy of him becoming Thane of Cawdor Macbeth's actions may not have directed him the same way they did when the witch's prophecy came true. Nevertheless, if he were a true hero the witch's prophecies would not have made any influence on his loyalty to Duncan. ...read more.

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