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

" Macbeth is a villain with heroic qualities. How far do you agree?"

Extracts from this document...


Macbeth Coursework. Katy Proud " Macbeth is a villain with heroic qualities. How far do you agree?" Macbeth is a man fearless warrior and a lord who will defend his king. However ambition is his fatal weakness. He allows the witches prophecy and then his wife's ambition for him to undermine his integrity. Macbeths character could be construed in various ways, is he a hero or a villain? Tyrant or tragic hero? This essay discusses these ideas. But what determines what is heroic and villainous? I believe that a hero possesses certain qualities, courage, bravery, valour, gallantry and laudable. And a villain is ruthless, cruel, capricious, and deceitful. Does Macbeth have these qualities? Although Macbeth commits the most heinous crimes one could still argue that he has heroic qualities. At the start of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a hero having come back to Scotland having defeated the Norwegians. ' For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)'. King Duncan thinks of Macbeth as a 'Valiant cousin, worthy gentleman". Duncan then declares Macbeth as the new Thane of Cawdor 'Noble Macbeth has won' not only has Macbeth won the war but the title too. The audience hasn't even seen Macbeth yet and already their first impressions of him are a noble brave hero. ...read more.


She doesn't see it like that at all she is plagued with guilt and this is what eventually drives to her early grave. She goes slowly insane and Macbeth sends for a doctor knowing full well that this may mean putting all that he has worked for and his secrets in jeopardy. " yet who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him?" This was an action of a hero not a villain. At the end of the play Shakespeare surprises the audience with a sudden flicker of a heroic action in Macbeth, just when the audience has consigned Macbeth to be a villainous murder. When Macbeth is faced with fighting Mcduff { someone who he has already been warned about} he confronts his fear and fate. "yet I will try the last." While this doesn't excuse his crimes it does enable the audience to see some remnant of his great bravery. At this end also Macbeth is betrayed by the witches of whom he has almost become one of them: the witches have earlier referred to him as a " wayward son". They betray him which again puts the label of a victim onto Macbeth so once again Macbeth is seen as having heroic qualities. ...read more.


And if Macbeth did have any heroic qualities wouldn't he have given himself up, not blamed and murdered the two loyal guards. The relationship between Macbeth and his wife, after the death of Duncan slowly breaks down, and the lack of communication increases as the Macbeth gets deep into the villainous life. She was the main force behind the murder of Duncan, but Macbeth can't accept her as he used to because she didn't have to face the actual murder of Duncan. A good example of the communication break down is when Lady Macbeth is resigned to asking to speak with her husband "may I hold a conference with the king?" He feels that he can't trust anyone; would a hero desert his wife? I think not. Although it could be said that he was trying to protect her from his suffering. I have come to the conclusion that I agree that Macbeth is a villain of the worst kind but he also poses some heroic qualities. Like all the characters in Shakespeare's tragedies Macbeth develops and changes throughout the play. When the play begins he is a god-like hero, a firm, strong and loyal character. Unfortunately for him through following his great ambition that suppresses his good and heroic qualities he becomes a "Tyrant". Macbeth, despite the evil he commits, is nevertheless a courageous soldier. ...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. Peer reviewed

    "Certainly not tragic, not even heroic". How far do you agree with this estimation ...

    3 star(s)

    Will he unseam'd him from the nave to th'chaps And fix'd his head upon our battlements.' In this speech, the Captain is primarily telling King Duncan of how, despite the fact that fortune and sheer number of forces seemed to heavily favour the rebel movement headed by the traitor Macdonald

  2. Macbeth: Hero or Villain?

    This is said when Macbeth enters the castle. After encountering Macbeth, she says to him that his face is like an open book; his feelings are too obvious. She tells him to hide his feelings, and to pretend and act as a happy host.

  1. Macbeth - Victim or Villain?

    We can tell Macbeth is contemplating murder because after he's been told he is Thane of Cawdor, he is thinking about being king and says: "Whose murder yet is but fantastical". So the witches' predictions scare Macbeth because he doesn't know weather he will react to them rationally.

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

    Macbeth's reaction is the same as that of Banquo. So for the first time we are able to see that Macbeth may indeed be a victim of all the unnatural and evilness in the atmosphere. The imagery of clothing is used in relation to Macbeth's ambition, `borrowed robes and strong garments...........'

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

    However, Macbeth is still unsure, which shows his weaker character compared to Lady Macbeth. He says 'We will speak further', because he is unsure. This illustrates that Macbeth is not completely cold hearted and there is still some good in him at this point, therefore, it shows him as a villain and a hero because he cannot decide.

  2. Macbeth: Hero or Villain?

    It takes Lady Macbeth to push him into the deed by questioning him "when you durst do it, then you were a man" in Act Two, Scene 2.

  1. Do you believe that Macbeth is a complete villain or does he have some ...

    If you think about it Lady Macbeth is the only one who truly knows Macbeth. Banquo is Macbeth's closest acquaintance, "worthy Macbeth" Banquo exclaims as a sign of respect for Macbeth. This illustrates the various contrasts to Macbeth; for example, Banquo is everything that Macbeth isn't.

  2. In this essay, I will be divulging into 'Macbeth' written by William Shakespeare in ...

    For example, 'thy worthiest cousin' and 'my worthy cawdor'. The respect in which Duncan gives Macbeth is returned by Macbeth several times through out the scene. I personally feel that the following quotes made by Duncan and Macbeth show the respect and possible love that they feel for each other.

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