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Is Macbeth evil or weak and easily led?

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Is Macbeth evil or weak and easily led? In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the central character Macbeth changes and develops throughout the play. In the beginning, we see him as weak and easily led by Lady Macbeth into murdering Duncan, but as the play progresses and Macbeth's rule of Scotland turns to tyranny he proves himself to be evil, in the truest sense of the word. Macbeth's performance on the battlefield buys him praise from all sorts of people. The king himself describes Macbeth as a 'worthy gentleman', showing us how highly he is valued by Duncan. Also in the opening scene, the Thane of Ross, gives Macbeth the name 'Bellona's Bridegroom'. Bellona was the goddess of war, so to be likened to her bridegroom shows us what a good and brave man Macbeth was considered to be. Macbeth is obviously not an evil person at this point in the play. The witches meet Macbeth and promise him that he will be Thane of Glamis and then king. They also promise that Banquo's children will be kings. ...read more.


Murder is an evil deed and it proves itself to be so later on. Now that he is king, Macbeth realises that as the witches predictions have come true for him, that Banquo's children might be kings. If this is true then he has killed Duncan for nothing. He decides that the only way is to murder Banquo and his son Fleance. In Act 3, Scene 1, we see Macbeth meet with murderers, who he reminds of an earlier conversation when he told them that Banquo was their enemy. Macbeth arranges a place far away from the castle, where they can murder Banquo and his son. Macbeth convinces them that Banquo is to blame for all their problems and that he is helping them, rather than himself. This scene shows Macbeth to be a manipulative and devious man. It also shows that he no longer has to commit murder himself, he can get other people to do it for him. Murder has solved his problems once, so he will use it again. ...read more.


Before, the murderers come a messenger arrives to warn lady Macduff to escape with her children. She doesn't take his advice because she can't see why anyone would want to murder her, 'I have done no harm'. This innocence adds to the wickedness of their murder. Macbeth ordered all of their deaths. By now, Macbeth has got about as evil as it is possible to be. From here he just carries on as he has been, rather than getting any worse. More proof that Macbeth's rule of Scotland had turned to evil tyranny can be found in Act 5, Scene 3, Line 37; "Hang those that talk of fear". Macbeth declares himself to 'have almost forgot the taste of fears' because he has 'supped full of horrors'. This is a realistic view of his life since Duncan's death - full of fear, death and guilt. By the time he dies, Macbeth has been through a character reversal, starting out weak and easily led and ending up a bloody tyrant. Although it happens slowly and progressively, I feel that the murder of Macduff's innocent family is a turning point in the play in as much as it marks Macbeth's entry into wickedness. ...read more.

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