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Factors Contributing To Macbeth's Transformation In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1995 words - 8 pages

In the play Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth transforms from a gallant war hero to a tyrannical murderer. As soon as Macbeth enters this life filled with tyranny his fate is doomed to a tragic downfall. Throughout the play, Shakespeare makes Macbeth responsible for his actions but Shakespeare also uses other characters as influences upon him which gives the character of Macbeth only partial responsibility for what he has done.
In the scenes which lead up to the murder of Duncan, Shakespeare uses Lady Macbeth as an unnatural being with a strong influence on Macbeth who drives Macbeth to his fatal flaw which is similar to the witches in the beginning of the play. In order to gain control over Macbeth, Lady Macbeth questions his masculinity in Act 5 Scene 1. Within it, she expresses her worry that Macbeth’s kindness will hold him back, and so she calls upon ‘spirits that tend on mortal thoughts’ to unsex her and fill her with the ‘direst cruelty’. The supernatural which Lady Macbeth is calling upon will aid the hardening of her heart which then makes it possible for her to carry out her wicked plan. This rejection of femininity refers back to when Banquo and Macbeth first met the witches and commented on their ‘beards’ and their unfeminine appearance. This all revolves around the idea of the unnatural influencing Macbeth and causes much of the tragedy within the play to occur.
Lady Macbeth wishes to throw out her morality for the sake of gaining a title. With the help of invisible sprits, she wants to make herself able to commit a terrible act of murder to make her dreams of the royal life come true, without having reservations or remorse. She approaches Macbeth with her intent to kill King Duncan. Macbeth, although wanting the prophecy to come true, and become king, lacks the enthusiasm as his wife does, to commit the murder. Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to act on his desires or he will think of himself as a coward. All of this goes straight into Macbeth’s mind, which is full of ideas for glory and honour, especially as he is seen as a great and noble warrior. This constant pressure from the beginning of the play from Lady Macbeth shows that the responsibility for Macbeths downfall is not wholly Macbeth’s as the cause of the downfall was due to the influence of Lady Macbeth which led to the transformation from a war hero to a tyrannical murderer.
Banquo is used by Shakespeare as Macbeth’s last hope before he reaches his tragic fate, his final transformation. Act 2 Scene 1 is the first moment that Macbeth and Banquo discuss the prophecy after the murder of Duncan and is the moment where Banquo becomes aware of Macbeths intentions. Banquo confronts Macbeth and realises his motif and offers him a way out. Shakespeare’s use of Banquo in this part is to show what the best that Macbeth can be is , as Banquo is a good advice character who’s intentions are good throughout the play and at the point where Macbeth and Banquo meet, Macbeth has his...

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