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Macbeth hero or villain?

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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