• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


GCSE English Coursework How and Why does Macbeth Turn from War Hero to Murderer? The tragedy "Macbeth" was written by William Shakespeare at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In that period, people were highly preoccupied by witchcraft. It was a controversial topic, as King James himself was interested in the issue. This Zeitgeist given, it seemed like a good way for Shakespeare to start his play in the spirit of three witches making predictions, as it would guarantee the tragedy's appeal to the general public and the king. We are therefore presented, in Act 1, scene 1, with three witches in a deserted place. They plot to meet Macbeth and make predictions about the future. Some of the representative lines which potentially lie behind the further action are "Fair is foul, and foul is fair: / Hover through the fog and filthy air," (Act 1, scene 1). One interpretation of this is the imminent change set to happen in the universe, the transition of the good into bad and the bad into good. ...read more.


that suggestion / Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, / And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, / Against the use of nature? Present fears / Are less than horrible imaginings: / My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, / Shakes so my single state of man that function / Is smothered in surmise, and nothing is / But what is not," (Act 1, scene 3). Macbeth is scared of his own thoughts and what his conscience might make him do. Trying to escape the horrible situation of making a decision, he thinks that, if it is meant for him to be king, he doesn't have to do anything himself, "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, / Without my stir," (Act 1, scene 3). Struggling with his conscience, Macbeth asks the natural elements to hide his ambitions, "Stars, hide your fires! / Let not light see my black and deep desires: / The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be / Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see," (Act 1, scene 4). ...read more.


It is impressive how little it takes for Macbeth to change his opinion. His wife plays the love, promise and manhood cards which prove to be winning, "Was the hope drunk / Wherein you dressed yourself? [...] From this time / Such I account thy love. [...] And live a coward in thine own esteem, / Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would"," (Act 1, scene 7). Eventually, lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to murder Duncan, "I am settled," (Act 1, scene 7). Both the witches and lady Macbeth are extraneous elements from Macbeth's point of view. He can't control their existence and influences and, finally, he's left with himself to decide what to do next. Only a weak mind could be manipulated by the witches and lady Macbeth, and having a weak mind is hardly an acceptable excuse for a respected character like Macbeth. Therefore, I believe it is ultimately his own fault for committing the deed and it was his corrupted mind that lead him from a prosperous gentleman to a horrid criminal. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work