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Is macbeth nothing more than a bloody tyrant or can we take pity on him?

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Introduction

Is Macbeth nothing more than a "bloody tyrant" or can we take pity on him? We learn a lot about Macbeth throughout the play and we learn a lot about Lady Macbeth who at first appears to be kind and caring "give him tending", but turns out to be an evil, malicious woman. Macbeth changes from a brave, loyal soldier to a murdering treacherous King. Macbeth goes through many changes throughout the play and will have to make some very crucial decisions. William Shakespeare was born in 1564, he wrote Macbeth around 1605 and 1606. It was performed to King James and all his Kinsmen. King James believed in witches and even wrote a book on them, so it was appropriate to have them in his play manipulating Kings. Shakespeare also changes some factual information in the play as King Duncan is made out to be an old and very holy ruler, whereas, in fact he was a young inefficient ruler. This change in character was most likely done so as it would not offend King James. In the beginning of the play Macbeth seems to be a noble man who is devoted to serving King Duncan, "noble Macbeth hath won". He is a courageous soldier who leads Duncan's army and defeats his enemies, "For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name" King Duncan rewards Macbeth by giving him the title of The Thane of Cawdor. ...read more.

Middle

This shows us how much of an influence Lady Macbeth has on Macbeth and again shows his moral weakness. This is a scene were we can take pity on Macbeth and maybe put part of the blame on Lady Macbeth for her powerful control over him. In Act 1 Scene 5 Macbeth has invited King Duncan to his castle to celebrate his honour of victory in battle but is really planning to kill him. Macbeth backs out of the plan again "He's here in double trust: First, as I am his Kinsman and his subject", but once again Lady Macbeth convinces him to carry out the task. "When you durst do it, then you were a man". Beforehand Lady Macbeth had been praying to the devil, this really shows her character and what she has become. "His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt of our great quell?" Macbeth is astounded by the evil she possesses, "bring forth men-children only, for thy undaunted mettle should compose nothing but males", He is saying she is too evil and malicious to bear girls as children. Macbeth carries out the murder and is regretting it, "false face must hide what the false heart don't know". For anyone to carry out a murder they have to possess some evil in them to have the guts to end someone's life but Macbeth regrets deeply what he has done. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Tomorrow creeps in this pretty pace". Macbeth shines in the light in the first scenes but slips away and is dragged into the darkness by the witches and by Lady Macbeth. Nearing the end of the play in the last scenes Macbeth is contemplating whether or not to kill him self, "why should I play the Roman fool and die on my own sword". The witches and Macbeth's greed for kingship have left him a murderer and a tyrant. In Act 5 Scene 8 near the end of the play Macbeth realises that his life is coming to an end as he finds out that Macduff had been surgically removed from the womb. "Untimely ripped from my mother's womb". We start to see the old courageous Macbeth again and not the weak treacherous one we saw throughout the play. "Of all men else I have avoided thee, but get thee back, my soul is too much charged". I felt Lady Macbeth was the driving force behind Macbeth and that she was mostly to blame for Macbeth's downfall as Macbeth has a weak personality and she a very strong one. She took advantage of this weakness to get what she wanted. I feel a lot of sympathy for Macbeth but we do have to realise that he did commit so many murders and this is the reason why he was described by Malcolm as a "bloody tyrant". ?? ?? ?? ?? Ross Adams 1 ...read more.

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