Macbeth Critique Essay

1432 words - 6 pages

A critique on the main character in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. So foul and fair a day I have not seen." This is a famous quote by Macbeth, the antagonist in William Shakespeare's classic work, The Tragedy of Macbeth. This one line takes place when Macbeth and Banquo are returning from their victory in battle over the Norwegians. Following this quote further it could be looked at in a broader spectrum of Macbeth's triumphs and failures. He goes from a warrior hero to a murderer, and lastly, his tragic flaw brings him to his death. When critiquing Macbeth the main points to look at are his actions, blind ambition, excessive pride, and lastly, his boldness and impression of personal invincibility which eventually leads to his death. See how he can be at the height of his life one moment and in his grave the next due to a few prophecies by witches and his blind ambition.To begin, looking at Macbeth, his actions are obviously a major flaw. In the beginning of the tragedy, his actions are looked at as heroic with his destruction of the Norwegians and King Sweno in battle. This is crucial to the play, because a tragedy depends on the downfall of an already great man. In an outside source, it is said that the lines when Macbeth killed Duncan ("unseam'd him from the nave to the chops, and fix'd his head upon our battlements") are meant to foreshadow Macbeth's death at the end of the play. However, as the play progresses, the major action occurs when, although Macbeth is filled with misgivings, he ascends to King Duncan's chamber and murders him in his sleep. This shows that he is willing to kill his loyal king so that he can make the prophecies come true that he may someday be king.Following this, when Macbeth thinks back to the witches' prophecy regarding Banquo that one of his descendants will become king. Macbeth looks at this as a threat to his own position. Unable to undo these thoughts, Macbeth hires two murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance. During the Banquet the murderers contact him and explain that Banquo is dead, but Fleance escaped. Macbeth explains that he is not worried with Fleance. The final action that dooms Macbeth is when he kills Macduff's wife and child. Macbeth goes to the Weird Sisters to hear a series of apparitions to predict his future. This first apparition is Macduff's head warning Macbeth that a bloody revenge of Duncan's son, Malcolm is soon to come. When he is threatened again for his position of kingship Macbeth looks for further political survival and is also angered. He arranges the death of Macduff's wife and children. This ultimately hurts Macbeth because it angers Macduff more, and he sides with Malcolm for revenge on Macbeth. Moreover, throughout the play Macbeth's life if completely subverted and undermined by his insatiable ambition. At the start of the story he was reasonable enough to keep his ambition under control, although it eventually became to strong and overpowered him. However, he did control...

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