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Macbeth Character Study Essay

1309 words - 5 pages

Macbeth "“ Character Study To study the character of Macbeth, you not only have to look in the scenes in which he is present, but also in the scenes in which others are talking about him, as he as many different sides to his nature, depending on whose company he is in. He also changes his nature and personality as different events take place. In the second scene, it is obvious that Macbeth is a warrior, and has just defeated the rebel Macdonald. When the news comes back to the King, Duncan, everyone speaks very highly of him, especially Malcolm, who Macbeth rescued from capture. The captain speaks about the brave "˜Macbeth' because although he was faced with an assault of fresh Norwegian troops, Macbeth fought courageously and undaunted. After hearing this, Duncan calls him a "˜worthy gentleman' and sentences Maspeth's treacherous opponent to death, and decides to confer his title on Macbeth. It is in the next scene that Macbeth finds out that he is to be the Thane of Cawdor, and then the next King of Scotland. He finds this out not from the King, but from three witches. In my mind, these witches are a symbol of Macbeth's conscience. After discovering this information, he is desperate to find out by which means he is to become thane of Cawdor, but the witches refuse to tell him. He starts to become impatient, and this is where his other personality starts to shine through. Once he is alone, he weighs up the moral implications of the witches' prophecy. Although he is absolutely terrified at the thought of killing Duncan, he is willing to do whatever is necessary to become King. The temptation is too strong for him, but when questioned by Banquo he lies about his thoughts. When Macbeth greets Duncan in his castle, the King announces that his successor shall be his son, Malcolm. Macbeth is appalled at this and when brooding says aside, "˜The Prince of Cumberland; that is a step on which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, for in my way it lies.' He is saying that he will either have to get rid of Malcolm, or simply kill him. He then goes on to say that he must not let the eye see what the hand is doing, and so already, his evil intentions are showing through, but he cannot be completely immoral, otherwise he wouldn't mind letting his eye see what he was going to do! In the next scene, Lady Macbeth shows that she is in control of Macbeth; she can make him do what she wants him to do. She soon realizes that Macbeth is too decent and squeamish to murder Duncan for the crown. She speaks this thought out aloud to Macbeth, saying that she herself will handle the murders. He agrees, which shows that Lady Macbeth is definitely in control. Until after Act three, this situation remains the same. Lady Macbeth knows her husband's character well, admires his greatness and intends to help him achieve his ambition, although whether she is helping him so that she herself will become Queen is unclear. But she still...

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