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

Macbeth hero or villain?

Extracts from this document...


There is much debate about whether Macbeth is a hero or if he is purely villainous. Shakespeare has created many villains and heroes throughout his plays. Macbeth is a character unlike any of these. Macbeth is neither purely villainous nor heroic though he does show characteristics of both. A villain is defined as a wicked person who shows little sympathy or remorse for their actions. According to this definition the statement is an unsatisfactory comment upon Macbeth due him demonstrating a great deal of remorse and sorrow, Macbeth creates admiration through his ambition, dignity, desire, bravery, morals, compassion, honour and willpower. A hero is defined as a person of distinguished courage or performance, admired for his noble qualities which would fit Macbeth"'"s character. Shakespeare manipulates how the reader will respond using different dramatic techniques such as the use of Macbeth"'"s soliloquies. We first hear of Macbeth in the captains account of his brave battlefield valour, he says in Act I Scene II '"'For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), disdained fortune, with his brandished ...read more.


The reader cannot help but wonder that if Macbeth had never met the witches would he still have killed King Duncan? Macbeth decided to kill King Duncan but being King was not enough; he needed the reassurance that it would not be taken away from him so he had Banquo killed saying in Scene I Act III '"'To be thus is nothing but to be safetly thus, Our fears in Banquo stick deep, and his royalty of nature reigns that would be feared; "'"tis much he dares, and, to that dauntless temper of the mind, he hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour to act in safety.'"' He does this to protect him crown but when he has Lady Macduff and her children we see the evil in him. Shakespeare manipulates Macbeth"'"s character so that we both feel sympathetic for him whilst angry at his actions. He does this through use of characters relationships, use of language and structure. ...read more.


How other characters praise and denote Macbeth manipulates how the reader perceives him. At the start he is thought of as a good man because he s praised by the captain, in the middle and end he is denoted by a few characters including Banquo when they get suspicious that it may have been Macbeth who killed King Duncan, this shows us how he people can be good and bad at the same time. Macbeth is neither pure hero nor pure villain, though no one ever can be. He shows characteristics of both. He does show remorse for his actions and has many qualities you can admire in him. Other characters and Shakespeare"'"s manipulation of the text help the reader to form their ideas about the characters and the play. Macbeth is manipulated so that the reader feels a lot more sympathetic for him despite him having killed so many innocent people. This is a hard text to scrutinize over due to the playwright being dead so his reasons for doing the things he did in the way he did cannot be recognized but only guessed. ...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. Macbeth: Hero or Villain?

    "I fear thy nature, it is too full o'th' milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way". She claims that he is too kind. This same man split open a man's body at the beginning of the play. She says that he is just and fair, "that wouldst thou holily, wouldst not play false".

  2. Macbeth: Is he a hero or a villain?

    In her first soliloquy, Lady Macbeth tells the audience a different side of Macbeth's character. 'Yet I do fear thy nature, it is too full o' the milk of kindness'. This suggests that Macbeth has a conscience and he is not a villain.

  1. Macbeth is more a victim than a villain. He is a tragic hero. Show ...

    The only justification for murdering his own ambition. At this stage Lady Macbeth attacks her husband, focusing on his courage and manhood, she accuses her husband of cowardice and knows that this is an area that will hurt him. This is another case where Macbeth is shown to be a victim in the play.

  2. Is Macbeth a hero or a villain?

    For example when Macbeth is telling Lady Macbeth that Duncan is coming to their house he says "My dearest love, Duncan comes here tonight." (Act 1 scene 5 line 57) When Duncan went to sleep Macbeth kills him. When Macbeth has killed King Duncan he blames it on the guards

  1. Macbeth: Hero or Villain?

    This speech suggested how aware Macbeth was of the consequences that the murder would bring in Act Two, Scene 1 and 2. However, he admits that his only reason of committing murder is "ambition." The worries of Macbeth almost made him abort the crime.

  2. "Macbeth is a villain in whom there is little to admire" Is this your ...

    He reveals this when he says "Of all men else I have avoided thee, but get thee back, my soul is too much charged with blood of thine already" Therefore, sorrow is one of his many admirable qualities that make him a man to admire.

  1. Tragic Hero.

    being barbaric, it is the first sign we see of the disloyal violence, which he shows later on in the play. Macbeth's character first begins to change after his first meeting with the witches, when they state their prophecies. At first it is clear that both Banquo and he regard

  2. Macbeth – Hero or “Hellhound”

    In 'Othello' the fatal flaw is jealousy and in Macbeth the fatal flaw is ambition. The tragic hero's fatal flaw will inevitably result in their death, hence the name 'fatal flaw'. I am now going to work through the play discussing the question 'Macbeth'-Hero or "Hellhound".

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