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Is Macbeth a hero or a murderous tyrant? Discuss.

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Introduction

Is Macbeth a hero or a murderous tyrant? Discuss. Macbeth, the Thane of Cawdor was a murderous tyrant without question. Macbeth was originally considered to be a 'hero' at an early stage in the play however; the people of his Kingdom soon saw another side of him which turned him into a 'butcher'. It is clear that through all of Macbeth's schemes of becoming king, such as killing King Duncan and then his friend Banquo, he was a bloodthirsty and ruthless man. This malicious and tyrannical behaviour was not evident in Macbeth's character early in the scenes, but became obvious as the play progressed and more and more people died because of him in an attempt to keep a secret. Killing Duncan for his position of King was the secret that Macbeth tried desperately to hide. He and Lady Macbeth thought that the crime they had committed would easily be erased with the simple washing of hands to remove the blood. ...read more.

Middle

This murderous intent from Macbeth was due to not only fear but also jealousy. Macbeth would not have royal descendants unlike Banquo according to the witches. So, by murdering Banquo, he thought he would succeed in concealing King Duncan's death once and for all. By murdering Fleance, he would also prevent the line of Banquo continuing and becoming kings themselves. These actions of Macbeth were the beginning of the stage where he became desensitised to cold-blooded murder and therefore, as it did not affect him anymore, he became a ruthless and murderous tyrant showing no mercy. Macbeth had already been responsible for two deaths (as Fleance escaped the attack) and was in no hurry to cease until his position of king was not threatened. His murderous ways had paid off to a degree and now, because of his confrontation with the three apparitions in the woods, he felt invincible as they said. None of woman born shall harm Macbeth...never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to Dunsinane Hill shall come against him. ...read more.

Conclusion

An explanation of this indifferent response is based upon himself becoming a murderous tyrant, desensitised to the unnecessary execution of many innocent lives. Therefore, his wife's death held no importance, in fact more of a nuisance as "She should have died hereafter; there would have been a time for such a word." Macbeth had no understanding anymore about his actions. Macbeth was a murderous tyrant. The barbaric and ruthless actions that he went through with were unnecessary and were carried out for the tyrant's personal power gain and stability in the throne. A tyrant cannot be a hero just as a hero cannot be a tyrant. The change from hero to tyrant in Macbeth's self is clearly evident and cannot be mistaken for anything but murderous. Not grieving his wife's death, organising for his friends murder and murdering a good and noble king is evidence to prove that Macbeth was desensitised to killing. Macbeth killed everyone that attempted to stand in his fate's way and regardless of innocence; they were brutally murdered. These actions clearly prove that Macbeth was an abominably murderous tyrant. 1022 words. Aimee Horne South Australia ...read more.

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