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

Macbeth Essay Focusing on key scenes, discuss how Shakespeare presents the change in Macbeth from war hero to evil murderer.

Extracts from this document...


Macbeth Essay - Focusing on key scenes, discuss how Shakespeare presents the change in Macbeth from war hero to evil murderer. Macbeth's multifaceted disposition is unambiguous as he is seen to immerse from the shadow of a dignified soldier into an almost unrecognisable dictator and murderous tyrant. He appears to be driven along by the violence of his fate, almost unknowingly, as he staggers under the weight of his own purposes and the proposals of others; and from the superstitious awe and breathless suspense into which the witches throw him, is hurried on with daring impatience to verify their predictions and with an impious nature attempts to unmask his uncertainty with the future. He proves unequal to the struggle with fate and his moral scruples, as his actions see the direct result of the murders of King Duncan; Banquo; many soldiers; and finally his own death. The destruction of these characters is seen through the protagonist's unfettered ambition and his overwhelming desire for the throne of Scotland. There's neither a definite nor precise date of composition for 'Macbeth,' however, the play was written after 1603 and before 1610, as it is dated after the accession of King James I. Also, an excerpt from the diary of Dr Forman, a playgoer and astrologer, was obtained stating he had attended a production of the play on April 20th 1610. Evidence suggests that 'Macbeth' was in fact written by command to be given Before King James I and the King of Denmark. The major theme of the play surrounds Macbeth, acting as they plays tragic hero, and through his rise, fall and destruction, an enveloping awareness of political ambition is felt. This progressively growing current of underlying ambition is witnessed throughout vital scenes in the tragedy. Act 1 Scene 3 allows Macbeth to maintain his dignified facade, yet, a perhaps indistinct, but definite impression of his wilful resolve emerges following the plays initial converging as he is seen to meet the witches and the first matter they prophesised proves to be correct. ...read more.


for mortal pleasure. Macbeth could be described to be slightly in denial as he uses euphemisms for 'murder' and 'death' such as 'surcease' and he frequently refers to the death as 'the deed'. This has obvious implications that he considers it more tangible to use something more abstract to take away from the severity of his conduct. Following Macbeth's revelation he could not go ahead with the murder, Lady Macbeth is seen to employ tactics of conniving manipulation. She utilises clear methods of very harsh lexis, and an almost hounding tone as she accuses him of being 'afeared' and talks about him being a 'coward' to virtually convince Macbeth to go through with the deed through sheer infuriation and through the attack on his masculinity. However, it could also be told that Macbeth in fact acted as the manipulator, as he may have purposely side stepped the plan to test Lady Macbeth's resolve. He confirms Duncan's murder in his soliloquy and then starts to plan Banquo's. For, when Macbeth says 'If it were done when tis done ,' they meaning could be analysed that Macbeth means he will kill Banquo following Duncan's murder, and he feels he needs to do it rapidly. He notes that if Duncan's death could wrap up the corpse 'trammel up the consequence,' then there would be no problem, but the death will be judged, and the judging will be based on lineage: 'Bloody instruction,' eating away at the corpse's finder, 'the inventor.' Macbeth knows Judgment exists in "double trust," in Banquo, as 'his kinsman' and in Duncan, as 'his subject,' and he worries Banquo's nature will tell about the witches' prophecy. However, with Lady Macbeth's violent vow, he appears ready to continue with the plan as before, perhaps as he was now sure of her dedication. Through Lady Macbeth's constant derisive conduct or alternatively through his own newly found callous mind deception; Macbeth is seen to adopt an uncompromising determinacy to carry through with the exploit. ...read more.


of death and bane till Burnam forest come to Dunsinane,' creating an initial premonition; allowing predictions of his doomed fate, as his only assurance is through his belief in the prophecies which can be manipulated beyond his contemplation. Macbeth's multifaceted disposition is displayed as Macbeth's character progresses from a dignified war hero to a murderous tyrant. The fatal combination of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth proved deadly as their callous and bitter temperaments merged together to form an underlying current of ambition, which fuelled them and drove their omnipotent attitudes. I believe it was Macbeth's sense of inner evil, which was primarily derived from his 'vaulting ambition' originally which heightened the relentlessness of the situation. However, I do believe Lady Macbeth also had a major role to play as she at once seized on the opportunity that offered for the accomplishment of all their wished-for greatness, and never flinched from her object till all was over. I believe the magnitude of her resolution almost covered the magnitude of her guilt. Fundamentally, I believe they acted as a 'power couple' yet had their own selfish goals which they believed they would achieve through each other, which in the end was their downfall. There are a number of aspects Shakespeare was obviously moralising on in the tragedy. Firstly is that despite the initial success of the traitor Macbeth, you cannot reek rewards from betrayal. However, most prominently, I believe Shakespeare was teaching that there is a consequence for every action and that each individual must play for his acts. There is also a true lesson of guilt felt, which is aptly stated as 'out out damn spot, will my hands never be clean.' Shakespeare is able to tell us through this one line that once is a deed is committed; the guilt will remain to haunt you. Also, there is a clear theme of karma throughout the tragedy, with both the villains meeting their deserved doom. ?? ?? ?? ?? March 18, 2009 BY NIA DAVIES 1 ...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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. In what ways does Shakespeare make the opening scenes of Macbeth dramatic?

    As he's in this state of confusion, it intrigues the audience to think whether Macbeth will turn evil or stay true to his virtues. In the end of his deliberation, he decides to let destiny take its place without his interference, "...chance will have me King...without my stir" This lessens

  2. Discuss how Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth and how her character develops during the play

    Her determination for his success is expressed with an underlying tone of urgency 'Hie thee hither'. 'What thou wouldst highly,/ That wouldst holily' here Lady Macbeth is concerned that Macbeth will miss out if he acts 'holily'. It is obvious that Lady Macbeth does not think much of this quality as it prevents him from the golden crown.

  1. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    still manages to keep face after Banquo's murder, unlike during the aftermath of Duncan's murder. When he sees the ghost again Lady Macbeth mocks him, but he replies, 'What man dare, I dare', meaning that he is not afraid of physical danger, but he is afraid of the supernatural.

  2. How does the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change throughout the play?

    a confused message as to what he is really thinking when she knew him so well and knew how to manipulate his manhood, but she cant do that now because the murder of Duncan has made her husband stronger rather than breaking him.

  1. At the start of the play Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a hero. However at ...

    kindness" meaning that Macbeth does not have the power to commit this terrible crime. This gives us the evidence that she does not want to commit the murder, she is just planning it, and she wants Macbeth to do the murder.

  2. Imagery Of Appearance and Reality in Macbeth

    Others say that he is magnificently great, but not noble, and is, at times, a poor, vain, cruel man, climbing over the dead bodies of friends and kinsmen to a power he is unfit to hold. However, whether the clothes are large or small, the point is that they do

  1. How does Shakespeare use Characters and Language to Discuss evil in his Play "Macbeth"?

    He uses words such as "unseemed" to trivialize the action to make it seem like Macbeth was almost splitting apart this human being like his was a piece of thin petty clothing. He also uses that word to give us the impression that he did it with absolutely no respect and with a large amount of ease.

  2. Write an essay, which focuses on the character of Lady Macbeth as presented in ...

    The presence of the doctor and the waiting gentlewoman add to the effectiveness of this scene by the way they react to what Lady Macbeth is doing and saying. When the doctor realises what Lady Macbeth is reliving and saying about the murders he is unsure, horrified and can't make sense of it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work