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Why Does Macbeth Change his Mind Twice?

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Introduction

Why Does Macbeth Change his Mind Twice? The play is entitled The Tragedy of Macbeth. This suggests that the main character is a tragic hero. This implies the downfall of a man of great standing, intelligence and personal power - someone respected for his courageous deeds. Because of a fatal flaw in his character, we watch his decline and inevitable death. During the course of the play we are encouraged to feel terror and pity as we watch the tragic consequences of his behaviour. During the course of the play Macbeth changes his mind twice about killing King Duncan. He first decides to kill the king, and then decides not to kill him, before deciding to kill him once again. There is plenty of evidence in the early scenes of the play that Macbeth is a valiant soldier and a noble Thane. He is well respected by the other Thanes, who speak highly of his performance in battle. He is a soldier of note, a worthy opponent in battle. He kills Macdonwald and helps defeats the Norwegian forces. He is, in fact, crucial to the army, his king and country. ...read more.

Middle

Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 61-68 show the very blatant thoughts emerging from Lady Macbeth," Your face, my Thane, is as a book where men May read strange matters. To beguile the time Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, Your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under't. He that's coming Must be provided for; and you shall put This night's great business into my dispatch, Which shall to all our nights and days to come Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom." The theme of this passage is ambition. Nothing can stand in the way of gaining the throne. Look how the speech begins. Lady Macbeth knows her husband to be a good man. That is what she fears: he is too good to kill the king. She also realises that he is aware of what honours he could gain. Lady Macbeth compares the look on Macbeth's face to the page of a book: he reveals everything too openly. She knows she must work at the ambitious side of his nature. The main forces which decide his mind come from Lady Macbeth and the witches/ weird sisters. ...read more.

Conclusion

He says of how the king has praised Macbeth lately and of how people honour the king so he cannot just by-pass these statements and kill him. Lady Macbeth then proceeds to try and change his pattern of thought, as she is clearly not happy with Macbeths decision. Using her persuasive manner and her harsh tongue she tries to make Macbeth see that it is the wrong decision and that he must kill the king, questioning his manhood and bravery, "Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act and valour As thou art desire?" As Lady Macbeth continues to speak, Macbeth is obviously changing his mind back to his original plan and this is clearly shown as he goes from saying, " I dare do all that may become a man; who dares do more, is none." To, "If we should fail?" implying that he now plans to carry it out. He doesn't want to appear to be weak in front of his wife, especially as she scorns him, "And live a coward in thine own esteem..." This shows again how susceptible he is to outside influence and persuasion, if be it coming from a strong, evil character such as Lady Macbeth. Nick Pyman 10S ...read more.

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