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To what extent is Macbeth an entirely evil character?

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To what extent is Macbeth an entirely evil character? In the opening three scenes of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", we are presented with three witches who avoid making a clear description of a particular character, presumably the person the audience are about to meet. However, in scene two the audience start to see a clearer picture, depicting a strong man who is respected by all. He is a brave and heroic character and is defined as "Bellona's bridegroom" - God of War. The audience begin to recognise his name and title being synonymous with nobility and bravery. Therefore, before the audience have met Macbeth, they have an image of a strong warrior, a leader of men, a defender of Scotland and a hero in everyone's eyes. It is a position from which he can only fall. The next scene shows Macbeth and Banquo returning from battle and encountering the "Devil's sisters" - three inhuman being who predict to an enthralled audience, Macbeth's and Banquo's fates. It becomes obvious that Macbeth has a desire for the words they speak to be true. However, when the witches disappear, Macbeth is quick to conceal his "deep and black desires". Banquo clearly appears to believe that Macbeth is capable of becoming more powerful, as the witches foretold. ...read more.


Macbeth doesn't lack the ambition to become what he wants although he is scared of the methods and the affect of these actions. To achieve the outcome they want the assassination of the king is to be accomplished cautiously. If anyone finds out what they have done the consequences are serious. Therefore the evilness needed for the assassination must come from her. She acts "like the innocent flower" in public but behind closed doors the audience sees the "serpent under't". There is a part of Lady Macbeth's character closely linking her with the witches, her actions and words come across as though she is the forth witch. She talks of pouring her spirits in Macbeth's ear; as if she was giving him a potion to alter his good willed, noble character to be able carry out the wicked act of killing the king. In this scene she prays for the darkness to hide her planned action. This is the evidence of guilt and her conscience. She knows that it is wrong yet she is prepared to suffer the consequences as though her conscience has no influence over what she is doing. The audience see a weak man give in to her wishes all to easily. Macbeth is a victim: he is suffering from posttraumatic stress; he is vulnerable and incapable of reasonable thinking. ...read more.


They see a man who's lack of morals and hunger for greed has got the best of him. At the end of the play his mind is "full of scorpions" as he comes to terms with what he has done and the person he has become. Macbeth has lost his wife, a loyal friend and a good king all because of his seek for power. Near the end a final battle is to take place, Macbeth's final battle. All has deserted him except his servant "seyton" whose name has significance itself. The forces of evil have destroyed his life and now he is left with the devil who is his only companion. As Macduff brings an end to Macbeth the audience can only feel relieved that such a person has been killed. Sympathy can be felt because of how Macbeth was manipulated my forces stronger than his own. "Macbeth" is a play about the fall of a good man. Although Macbeth wasn't entirely an evil character, Lady Macbeth and the witches play a major role. He had the choices and he chose to follow the wrong side of his conscience. It has many lessons to learn about greed, envy, pride and others of the seven deadly sins. What Macbeth becomes is the result of a manipulative wife, the forces of evil in the form of witches and the cruelty of human nature. ...read more.

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