Change of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth
Throughout the course of the play, Macbeths character changes from
good to evil. As the audience we are given plenty of opportunities to
look at the way in which he changes and the influences that help bring
about the alteration in character. Shakespeare also uses dramatic
devises to highlight Macbeths change. In this essay I am going to
explore the influences that Macbeth was exposed to and the effect that
Shakespeare use of dramatic devices has on the audience's awareness.
It is clear from the beginning of the play that Macbeth is a brave war
hero. He is also the king's cousin. He may have been simply fed up if
being just a war hero and may be tempted by the thought of being more,
Thane or even King. Ambition may have driven him. In Act 1 Scene 3 the
three witches greet Macbeth as Thane of Cawdor, Glamis and finally
King. When Macbeth hears the witch's prophecy we see how willing he is
to believe it. Later in the scene Macbeth is actually announced Thane
of Cawdor. In a soliloquy Macbeth ponders upon what the witches have
'This supernatural soliciting
cannot be ill cannot be good.
If ill why hath it given me earnest
of success commencing in a truth?'
At this point Macbeth is trying to convince himself that there is
nothing wrong with what has happened that if it were evil then
something good would not have come from it. He then says;
'If chance will have me king then
chance will crown me without my stir'
From this quote we can see that Macbeth is willing to let fate take
its course, and accepts that what will be will be.
Shakespeare uses soliloquies in Macbeth so we can see what characters
are really thinking, without influence from those around. It is a
chance to get a good insight into their opinions and outlooks. We can
see what they are really thinking.
Macbeth clearly realises that killing Duncan is an option. In Act 1
Scene 4 Macbeth's two-faced quality shows through, he is able to be
polite and friendly to the king.
Macbeth's ambition is one of the driving forces which has lingered in
the background of the play and has driven Macbeth due to his own fault
in character to become a man able to kill without good reason or
As the audience we automatically take a liking to Macbeth's character,
he comes across as a very loyal and trustworthy warrior, true to his
country. Shakespeare's inclusion of these traits helps to emphasise
the great change in Macbeth's character from good to evil.
At the beginning of the play Shakespeare touches on a fight scene, and
we hear of Macbeth's bravery:
'O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman.'
Clearly Macbeth has moved from a heroic warrior to the need to kill a
man whilst he is asleep. Macbeth also...