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Referring closely to Act 1 and Act 2 scl examine how ‘Noble Macbeth’, ‘a peerless kinsman’ develops into King Duncan’s murderer.

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'Macbeth' was one of the first plays written during the reign of James I. Shakespeare intended to honour the King by glorifying Banquo, the legendary founder of the Stuart line. Hence the play also serves as a mirror for magistrates, a dramatization of the theme of kingship. James I strongly believed in the Divine Right of kings. He believed that the lord of the heavens had placed kings to rule over people in the world, thus Kings had a god-given right to rule and treachery was like turning away from God and not only the king. In actually fact, if you went against your own king, you were indeed challenging God. James I had ruled the Scottish Parliament more or less how he liked using the concept of Divine Right but when he came to rule over England, he found the English parliament far less easy to handle, insisting that the king could only rule by its consent. In 'Macbeth' the common theme is based on the natural order of things. Macbeth's lawless act destroys all law: it occasions confusion and disorder in the world of men and animals as well as in the heavens above. Everywhere there is upheaval: on the night when the murder is done, chimneys are blown down, lamentations and strange screams of death are heard in the air, and some say the earth was "feverous and did shake" (2,3,53-59). ...read more.


The witches second prediction of Macbeth ('All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter') is exactly what Macbeth wants to hear because it is his greatest ambition to be king, the ultimate prize is his for grabs. The soliloquy beginning 'Two truths are told' which shows that the witches second prediction has come true about Mabeth earning the title of Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth then begins thinking about the witches' third prophecy 'the greatest is behind' and what he needs to do now to become king. It is at this point that he starts to consider murder but he feels very uneasy about the word even though he is renown around Scotland as a ruthless soldier, 'why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs' (1,3,134-136). Macbeth is confused but still very ambitious. Macbeth shows signs of having a good heart and good intentions, but he also shows that he has a weak mind that ignores and disobeys what he knows is right. You can straight away see that Macbeth has got a powerful conscious when Lady Macbeth has a torrid time trying to convince him to kill King Duncan. At first he absolutely refuses to do such a horrible deed to such a noble person. ...read more.


Is Macbeth still the hero at the end of this play and does he deserve what he gets? For these Questions to be answered we need to look at the fundamental theme of the play, Ambition. Partly because it is the driving force of Macbeth's life. 'Macbeth' is a deep sentimental tragedy. 'Tragedy,' in Shakespeare usually concerns a great person, the hero, who through some weakness of his character falls from grace, endures intense sufferings (which fascinate the audience), and who inevitable dies a tragic death. In fact, who must die as a consequence of their weakness. Thus if you look at 'The Tragedy of Macbeth', we find all these ingredients; and if we consider what is the hero's weakness, it must and can only be ambition. Macbeth says this specifically when he is attempting to resist the murder of Duncan: 'I have no spur....but only/Vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself' (1,7,25-7).This acknowledgement comes after he has considered all the good reasons for not murdering Duncan. Only ambition is left to overrule his troubled conscience. Furthermore, whilst the influence of both Lady Macbeth and the witches is strong, their power over Macbeth is only possible because the ambition is already there. Macbeth ,then, is a hero but one who is fatally undermined by his ambition, that are the fabric of the play. Put in another way: it is his ambition that leads Macbeth to murder, treason, hypocrisy, corruption and deepest evil. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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