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Macbeth man or a monster?

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Introduction

Macduff calls Macbeth a 'fiend of Scotland' and a 'hell-kite'. Do you think Shakespeare has presented Macbeth as a man or a monster? At the time that Macbeth was written people strongly believed in witches and witchcraft. In fact the king at the time was so interested in witches it is said he snuck into witch trails, in disguise, to find out what was happening. People who lived at this time also believed strongly in Christianity, so they spent their whole lives trying to reach Heaven as they had a terrible fear of Hell. When Macduff calls Macbeth a fiend (A Devil: one actuated by the most intense wickedness or hate) of Scotland, he is basically calling him the devil of Scotland and thus condemning him to hell as he is so evil. When Macduff calls Macbeth a Hell-kite, he is calling him a cold-blooded killer with no heart or heavenly soul, as he is a pure evil killer. These two insults are some of the worst that Macbeth could have been called at the time, implying he is evil, possessed and Heartless. At the start of the play it is set just after a battle between the rebels and the king. ...read more.

Middle

(Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1, lines 38-39) But I think the most likely cause is that Shakespeare has put this in to show that Macbeths' thoughts are wandering and not concentrated as he is still deciding (in his conscience) what to do, the dagger helps in this way as it actually points the way in which to go; 'Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going, ...' (Macbeth Act 2, Scene1, line 42) The dagger also guides him by showing he must kill Duncan; 'And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, ...' After Macbeth has committed the murder he starts to get paranoid claiming that he has heard all kinds of voices, shouts and cries from other chambers. 'There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried "Murder!"' (Macbeth Act 2, Scene 2, lines 19-20) After this they realises that Macbeth hasn't placed the daggers back on the guards but has kept them in his hands, so Lady Macbeth takes them off him and does what he failed to as he tries to wash his hands but as he is doing this we learn that he feels he can never wash the blood of Duncan off of his hands. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Macbeth Act 5, Scene 8, lines 11-13) Macduff then answers to this with; 'Despair thy charm And let the angel whom thou still hast served Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb Untimely ripped.' (Macduff Act 5, Scene 8, lines 14-17) What Macduff is saying here is that he was born by a caesarean section and not naturally born. Macduff and Macbeth carry on fighting until Macbeth is slain. In conclusion I believe that Macbeth was a noble soldier who was almost considered a hero amongst his fellow men who was pushed by his evil, controlling, influential wife to commit a murder he did not want to commit however after this turning point Macbeth became a bloodthirsty, evil monster completely by his own doing, until at the end were we start to see him in his original state again. Others may consider him a complete and utter monster, whereas some will defend his actions saying it was the right thing, or he was forced to do it, but I suppose one way to sum it all up would be to say; 'One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter' or more simply; It's a matter of perspective. By Peter Liddle 1 ...read more.

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