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With close reference to the text, consider how far the events of the early part of the play make the outcome for Macbeth inevitable

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Introduction

With close reference to the text, consider how far the events of the early part of the play make the outcome for Macbeth inevitable Macbeth is a play that deals with issues, which are relevant to any society in any age. It explores the far-reaching effects of one man's ambition, from the total transformation of that man's character to the nation wide terror, which he provokes. Shakespeare often found the ideas for his plays in historical sources. He did not follow his sources closely though; instead, he took all the most interesting parts and added new material to make his plays more exciting. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is co-leader of the Scottish army and a national hero. He increases his reputation with further victories, but a prophecy that he is to become king changes his life and the lives of his fellow Scots, as he embarks on a course of evil. This means by which this transformation is achieved would have fascinated Shakespeare's contemporary audience who were intrigued and fearful of the supernatural. The audience appreciate the notion of the supernatural and the reality of the driving force of ambition. Macbeth is a tragic tale of one man's quest for power and his ultimate defeat. The story revolves around a tragic hero, Macbeth, and how an admirable and noble man, so established in society, can fall so greatly. Throughout the play, he is driven by an obsession to become King of Scotland, and in the process commits acts of betrayal and treachery to achieve this goal. However, Macbeth is not the only character involved in this sordid affair. His wife, the manipulative Lady Macbeth, three prophetic witches and members of the Scottish aristocracy all play pivotal in the drama. Lady Macbeth, the great woman behind the man, plots, schemes and propels Macbeth into a nightmare of guilt and pretence. The witches embody the supernatural element of this tragedy. ...read more.

Middle

The sons of Duncan, Malcolm and Donalbain, flee the country as they think, "This murderous shaft that's shot hath not yet lighted." Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have perpetrated the deed, yet they have not been suspected, but the murder of Duncan is the catalyst for all things yet to come... The witches play an extremely important role in the play as they poison Macbeth's mind which such prophecies as, "All hail Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter." This is the reason why Macbeth has the desire to go through with events, such as the slaughter of Duncan, without pondering the consequences. Macbeth had not even contemplated being king, let alone the Thane of Cawdor, until he had heard the witches' divination. It was as if the witches', also known as the weird sisters, had planted a seed of ambition in Macbeth's mind, which made him do things, which he had never even considered, by the route of evil. We can see that after Macbeth and Banquo have heard the witches' prophecies in Act 1, Scene 3, Macbeth desires to know more. Curiosity embodies him, as he wishes to know if there is truth in the witches' prophecies, and if so how. In contrast, Banquo is able to dismiss the witches, being aware that they are potential troublemakers, but he is attentive of the effect the witches have on Macbeth After Macbeth has been crowned Thane of Cawdor, he believes in the witches whole-heartedly. Here we observe the self-centred side of Macbeth as he not content with being Thane of Cawdor. He desires to have more, the seed of ambition the witches' planted in Macbeth's mind, starts to grow. When Macbeth meets the witches for the second time, we definitely perceive a change in Macbeth's character. This time though, he does not meet the witches by chance, but actually goes to meet the witches of his own accord. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth can be summarised as strong physically, but weak mentally, it is this weakness, which causes the downfall and change of Macbeth. Other factors do also contribute to this change such as his wife whose ambition is very strong at first, particularly mentally, but it is also Macbeth's ambition and his trust in the witches which ultimately change him. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is seen as a courageous soldier who is loyal to the King but is corrupted by the witches' prophecies. This is because of the weakness of Macbeth's character and the strong power of Lady Macbeth and how she is easily able to influence him. Her strength motivates him at the start but after he realises what he has done, Duncan's murder motivates him to continue down his murderous, bloody path. At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth appears as a compassionate wife of Macbeth's but underneath lies a scheming and treacherous woman. Macbeth is lured to murder the king, by the desire for power, an appetite whetted by witch's prophecies and his wife's encouragement. Lady Macbeth caused Macbeth's downfall by her own ambition to be the queen of Scotland and by her constant belittling of her husband. She was originally like any normal woman, wanting to outdo the other noblewomen of Scotland. After Macbeth related the three weird sisters' prophecies to Lady Macbeth, she started to aspire to becoming the queen of Scotland. She was already the Lady of Glamis, and then Cawdor, but she did not have enough patience to see the third prophecy come true on its own. If Lady Macbeth had not kept the pressure on Macbeth to kill Duncan, Macbeth would have remained a good man and would not have been beheaded by Macduff in the end. Macbeth was driven to evil due to his wife's ambition. Lady Macbeth displayed two flaws that of searing ambition and disparagement of her spouse. This led to their downfall and to the death of her husband and herself. Sima Lad ...read more.

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