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

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In committing Duncan's murder and organising the murders 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 descent into evil? The play 'Macbeth' gives the audience plenty of opportunities to consider the reasons for the main character's actions. In this essay I will consider the deterioration of Macbeth's character from good to evil. I will be looking into the factors that cause this change, and the dramatic devices that make the audience aware of Macbeth's downfall into evil. Throughout the whole of Act 1 Scene 2 it is apparent that Macbeth is a brave war hero as it says, 'For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name'. From the report by the Captain, it is obvious that Macbeth was a major fighter in the battle and was a decisive part in the victory for King Duncan who is also full of praise, 'O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman'. Macbeth is constantly referred to as brave and loyal. This is ironical, as by the end of the play he has altered into exactly the contrary. In Act 1 Scene 3, as the witches speak, Macbeth's ambition is clearly seen as they tell him of what is to come, 'Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more'. ...read more.


When a knocking sound is heard, Macbeth gets frightened and his wife has to take charge and pull him together Macbeth also goes on about a voice he heard when he killed Duncan, saying 'Sleep no more' and 'Glamis hath murdered sleep.' The characters that he believes are obstacles on his path to the throne trigger Macbeth's ultimate descent into evil. Slowly he kills them all because of his own obsessive fears and troubles. Another influential part in Macbeth's spiral downward is Lady Macbeth and who is the one who triggered the whole process. From the moment she receives the letter, she begins to plot Duncan's death. She makes a reference in a monologue in Act 1 Scene 5 to make herself more like a man and eliminate all her female kindness, 'unsex me here'. In Shakespeare's times, women were considered to someone who stayed at home bringing up children and were not supposed to be strong figures. They believed that men had willpower and resolve and were to do all the 'manly' things like killing. This would have been strange when the play was first performed that the roles were reversed. To get what she wants Lady Macbeth uses a number of different strategies, the most effective one being when she questions Macbeth's manliness. ...read more.


Therefore witches were thought to be dangerous and the servants of Satan. Today's society is more orientated to science and technology than in Elizabethan times, so the idea of witches is dismissed as we try to explain everything through science and witches are laughed at as a old fear of the past. One example of this is the successful Harry Potter series. In conclusion it is clear that there are many possible reasons why Macbeth may have behaved in the way that he did. Although the witches and Lady Macbeth played a large part in the change, it seems to me that Macbeth's ambition is the most responsible for his ruin. His only desire was to be in a position of power i.e. King, and his aspiration drove him to get there. However his ambition also caused him to murder consistently to ensure his place on the throne and although at first the murders seemed to haunt him, after a while it becomes obvious that it no longer affects him. This is shown as he threatens the messenger with death in Act 5 Scene 5, 'If thou speaketh false, upon the next tree thou shall hang alive.' His insecurities and fears were born because of his dream, and it was his paranoia and ambition that led to his downfall in character and eventually, his death. Nathan Mayer 11E2 ...read more.

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