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Macbeth - What factors contribute to his change in character and which dramatic devices help the audience become aware of this decent into evil?

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Introduction

In committing Duncan's murder and organising the murder of other influential characters, Macbeth's character changes from good to evil. What factors contribute to his change in character and which dramatic devices help the audience become aware of this decent into evil? In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare uses a lot of dramatic devices in order for the audience to see Macbeth's descent into evil. There are many different influences on Macbeth throughout the play. There is his wife, Lady Macbeth, The Witches and their prophecies, his own fear and insecurities as well as his own ambitious drive. These are the factors I will explore in my essay. The first impression we get of Macbeth is given by the Sergeant in Act 1 Scene 2. He is portrayed as a 'brave' and 'worthy' gentleman. 'O Valiant cousin, worthy gentleman' Act 1 Scene 2 Line 24 This shows that the King himself thinks very highly of Macbeth. Despite his value to the King, Macbeth yearns to be more than just a warrior. In Act 1 Scene 3 Macbeth is greeted by three weird sisters who name him Thane of Cawdor and King hereafter. ...read more.

Middle

Act 3 Scene 3 Lines 50 - 52 This shows that his own insecurity about being exposed for what he has done lead him to the conclusion he must get rid of Banquo. This is a major turning point for Macbeth as he killing of his own accord with only his fear and insecurity driving him. In Act 3 Scene 4 Banquo's ghost appears before Macbeth. Knowing that no one else can see him, Macbeth begins to fear of his manhood. He says: 'What man dare, I dare' Act 3 Scene 4, Line 99 He then insists that if the ghost were to take the shape of a wild animal, he will face it without fear. When Banquo's ghost disappears he says: 'I am a man again.' Act 3 Scene 4, Line 107. His fears are distinctive at the beginning of the play, however at the end of the play in Act 5 Scene 5 we see a completely fearless Macbeth. 'I have almost forgot the taste of fears,' Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5, Line 9. We know Macbeth has fears and he is afraid of showing them. ...read more.

Conclusion

'But 'tis strange, And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths;' Act 1 Scene 3 By this Banquo means that even the truth can be used as a means of trickery. Unfortunately, Macbeth can't help but think about the Witches and decides to tell his wife about them. With a push from his wife, his own ambition and the echoing sound of the Witches prophecy's, Macbeth goes through a journey from good to evil. It's hard to point out one direct cause of Macbeth's downfall, If he had never of met the Witches his ambition may have not have been boosted to such a point where he would kill or his wife wouldn't have got the idea to kill Duncan. However it is hard to say whether his wife would have thought of Macbeth being King even without the Witches. I think that if Macbeth had not mentioned the Witches to his wife, he would have thought about killing Duncan for a bit, then, due to his good nature, decide that he couldn't, and get on with his life. This makes his wife a very strong key factor to his downfall, but not a single reason. It seems he just got caught in a fast flow of events that he could not control. ...read more.

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