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Macbeth - Hero or Villain

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Macbeth - Hero or Villain The character of Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. There are many factors, which contribute to the degeneration of Macbeth of which three will be discussed. The three points, which contribute greatly to Macbeth's degeneration, are the prophecies, which were told to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and manipulation of Macbeth's judgment, and finally Macbeth's long time ambition which drove his desire to be king. Under these influences Macbeth's character degenerates from a noble, brave, loyal man to violent, murdering, tyrant individual. The prophecies, told by the witches, were one of the factors, which contributed to the degeneration of his character. If it had not been for the witches telling him that he was to be Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and would be King of Scotland hereafter, Macbeth would still have been the brave, loyal and worthy cousin of his King. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth plays an important role in this play because she provided the scheme, by which Macbeth could more readily and more immediately assassinate King Duncan. Lady Macbeth tells her husband, "When Duncan is asleep, his two chamberlains Will I with wine and wassail, so convince", "When in swinish sleep Their drenched natures lie, as in a death, What cannot you and I perform upon The unguarded Duncan?" Macbeth is in struggle with his conscience but is goaded by Lady Macbeth to proceed with the murder when she questions his manhood. Macbeth's image of himself forces him to reply, "I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more, is none" As soon as Macbeth has performed the treasonous deed he immediately regrets his wrongdoing. ...read more.


Macbeth is led to say, "I am settled; and bend up Each coporal agent to this terrible feat." Macbeth's ambition leads him to murder, greed, violence and power hunger. Macbeth shows this when he kills his King and later orders the killing of Fleance and Macduff's family. In conclusion, the prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and plan, and his intensified ambition, all contributed greatly to his degeneration of character, which resulted in his downfall and finally his death as a "dead butcher". From being a hero of his King and country at the beginning of the play Macbeth becomes the tyrant and the villain. Is Macbeth a hero or a villain? Shakespeare reveals him as both a hero and a villain. ...read more.

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