Macbeth is a tragic play written by William Shakespeare. Having its setting in Scotland and England, the drama depicts the life of an ambitious Scottish solider named Macbeth. Derived by different motives, Macbeth finds himself in different situations which resulted in his unstable personality. Macbeth is seen transforming from being a well celebrated and valiant general to be a wicked tyrant king of Scotland. He earns his first rise in rank to be the Thane of Cawdor for heroically fighting in the Scottish Norwegian war. Deceived by the witches’ prophecy, Macbeth is involved in a series of murder events to seize the throne. As the play progresses, Macbeth is swept by bravery, arrogance, fear, and guilt.
The play begins by projecting a very fearless and honorable Macbeth, who fights bravely during the war to defend his country. As a messenger to Duncan briefly describes:
…but all’s too weak:
For brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name-
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution, (1.2. 15-18)
Astonished by Macbeth’s deed, Duncan rejoices in his cousin’s reliability and praises him as “O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!” (1.2. 24) and awards him the title of Thane of Cawdor.
The encounter of Macbeth with the witches provokes a completely different persona in him. The very person, who is praised by his king, is now plotting murder against his kinsman. His conception of killing the king is intiated after the fulfillment of one of the prophecies of him becoming the Thane of Cawdor. Though lured by evil thoughts, his gentle manner is still intact and he tries to halt the mission by informing his wife “We will proceed no further in this business. He hath honored me of late, …” (1.7. 32). For this and other reasons, Macbeth doesn’t dare to kill Duncan immediately. But, Lady Macbeth is very persistent in her words to him. ” What beast was’t then / That made you break this enterprise to me? / When you durst do it, then you were a man;” (1.7. 47-49).
The drama takes a whole new phase as Macbeth killed Duncan ,and he is crowned king of Scotland. Macbeth seems to throw out his good side and is completely turned evil. Consequently, Banquo and Macduff’s family becomes his victim. He has no clemency for anyone on his way. As he is involved more and more in assassinations, his guilt has become unbearable and the effects are...