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What makes 'noble' Macbeth become the callous murderer of Duncan?

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What makes 'noble' Macbeth become the callous murderer of Duncan? Shakespeare uses the Greek idea of Tragedy in his play 'Macbeth' when he focuses on one character with a fatal flaw that brings him greatness but eventually leads to his downfall. However, 'Macbeth' is not a typical example of a Greek Tragedy: A Greek hero would not be responsible for his down fall, whereas Macbeth brings it on himself. Macbeth's ambition is the main factor in driving him to murder. Other factors such as the predictions of the witches and Lady Macbeth's persuasive techniques have a part in Macbeth's transformation, although his ambition is the driving force. Macbeth's encounter with the witches early on in Act one introduces the idea that he could become King. 'All hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter'. All though Macbeth dismisses these predictions in his conversation with Banquo he is hiding his true feelings. '(Aside) Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor: The greatest is behind'. This idea of disguising thoughts is an important theme throughout the play. ...read more.


'Stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires.' This shows that Macbeth recognises that he will have to commit murder to achieve his aspiration. After hearing the news, Macbeth may have felt resentful towards the King and perhaps less inclined to be loyal. This might make it easier to consider the thought of murdering him. Also, Macbeth is aware that Malcolm, the heir to the throne would be immediately suspected of Duncan's murder. It is very apparent that Macbeth has an intimate relationship with his wife. 'My dearest partner of greatness. 'The fact that Lady Macbeth is prepared to plot and help Macbeth carry out a murder in order to make him King shows that she is devoted to him. Lady Macbeth's character is extremely dominant and assertive. '...shalt be what thou art promised.' She does not doubt her ability to bring success to Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is aware at once that she must influence and assist Macbeth because she believes his morals prevent him taking action by himself. ...read more.


With more time to contemplate, he may have decided against it. Macbeth is a courageous and successful warrior with a powerful ambition is to be King. The witch's prophecies give Macbeth hope of his desire being realised. He wants to accept the forecast as true because he wants them to come true. They make him believe that the action he takes to become King is destiny, diverting the blame for his crime away from him. The witches decide the time of Macbeth's attempt at sovereignty. When Malcolm becomes Prince of Cumberland the method is decided: Macbeth realises it will not occur justly. Lady Macbeth simply reassured Macbeth: He had already made up his mind to go ahead. He makes her think that he is against it so she will ease the burden on his conscience by persuading him to go ahead. The circumstances of Duncan's stay at the castle decided the exact time and place. Ambition drove the whole act and was also responsible for Macbeth's downfall, the other influences merely triggered the ambition. Had they not occurred, his ambition would have led him to an attempt at the throne at another point in his life. ...read more.

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