Macbeth: A Very Complex Character Essay

2325 words - 10 pages

Macbeth is a very complex character whom reflects man's thirst for power through the drastic changes of his personality; thus being one of the slightest reasons in which make this intriguing character, greatest of all Shakespearean’s well-known works.

At the beginning of the play Macbeth is notable as a brave soldier and is rewarded as being Thane of Glamis. The attributions of Macbeth at the beginning of the play may be wise, thoughtful, patient and noble.
Soon after he achieves the title Thane of Cawdor as predicted by the three witches; whom drive Macbeth’s ambition to murder King Duncan- due to the fulfilment of the witches’ first prophecy, Macbeth is foolish enough to commit to ...view middle of the document...

After obtaining kingship through the murder of King Duncan; we start to perceive Macbeth’s behaviour to completely change; from a man full of moral awareness, to one whom goes against the morals and reality of life. Macbeth’s behaviour has significantly changed or been altered from the beginning of the play right to the end. Initially, Macbeth attained a well-behaved and loyal demeanour, in which is indicative through the manner in which he honours King Duncan; "The service and the loyalty I owe, In doing it, pays itself." (I.iv)

Conversely, as the play begins to progress due to Macbeth’s over ambition for power; we start to view how Macbeth chooses to segregate/isolate himself from his wife; in order to justify on his own behaviour in relation to the witches’ prophecy. This specific moment in time is where Macbeth’s behaviour starts to perilously change; this is established through the manner in which he seeks council from the witches rather than his subjects. Therefore his behaviour and actions have substantially been altered as he now does not approach circumstances in the just way, but rather clandestinely; "She would have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word..." (V.v) His isolation from his wife results in Macbeth’s private ambitions to be made clear through his soliloquies.

As Macbeth’s actions start to reform he begins to feel paranoid about being discovered as a murderer and traitor. This form of suspicion is allowing others to begin to view Macbeth’s supposedly right/correct kingship, as tyrannical. Correspondingly, Macbeth’s behaviour deteriorates even further, as he orders Banquo and Fleance to be killed. This is due to the fact that they could've been a potential threat to Macbeth's rule as King. Therefore, Macbeth's behaviour can be respectably classified as reckless, as what began from a an unhealthy seed, bloomed to become a tragic stalk.
By Act III, Scene 2, Macbeth has evolved into a much more stereotypical villain whom asserts his ‘manly’ power over Lady Macbeth (his wife). Though Macbeth’s over ambitiousness is starting to appeal to his wife; it is unambiguously evident that it is pushing him to commit to further atrocities, in contemplation to further his ambitions- this is due to how he disregards and challenges fate and fortune. This specific scene emphasises the consequences when the natural order of things and bounds of morality are broken. Consequently, Shakespeare is attempting to deliver a message through Macbeth's character, in which states that being ambitious is not a bad thing, but being over ambitious will cause one to suffer in his/her own downfall.

Additionally during Act III, Scene 4, when Macbeth invites all of the other Lords to a feast/banquet at his castle, his behaviour radically changes, as a result of his actions. During this particular segment of the play Macbeth starts to view Banquo’s apparition and acts upon this by yelling into thin air, drawing attention...

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