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The Transformation Of Macbeth Essay

1227 words - 5 pages

A man of dignity and intrepidity, Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the tragic play “Macbeth” had once embodied these majestic traits and left others around him awestruck in merely inspiration, yearning to echo his footsteps. His courageous escapades had also succeeded in winning over King Duncan of Scotland during a battle in which he defeated King Sweno of Norway. Yet, farther into the play, Macbeth’s character seemingly transforms into a man of ruthlessness and vulnerability. He becomes a “tragic hero” after his confrontation with the witches, the stern lectures of his wife (Lady Macbeth), and ultimately, the immoral human nature of greed.
Prior to the first meeting with the witches, Macbeth led King Duncan’s forces with the aid of his friend, Banquo, and kills Macdonwald single-handedly by ripping him open from navel to jawbone. The wounded captain who delivers this news refers to Macbeth as one “disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel”, clearly determining the fate of the battle. As a response to this dauntless feat, Duncan ecstatically requests for Ross to seek Macbeth and announce that he will reap the title of the “Thane of Cawdor” since the original thane is to be executed for betrayal. Along the journey to Forres, Macbeth and Banquo stumble upon the three witches who each granted Macbeth a prophecy of his present and ill-fated future. The First Witch hails Macbeth as the Thane of Glamis while the Second Witch pronounces him as the Thane of Cawdor. Most startlingly of all, Macbeth is acknowledged as “king” by the Third Witch who gave him his last baffling divination. Out of curiosity, Banquo appeals to the witches for his own predictions and they declare that he shall be “Lesser than Macbeth and greater”, “Not so happy, yet much happier”, and that “[He] shalt get kings, though [he will] be none” which foreshadows the outcome of his life. The first battle victory and meeting with the witches in Macbeth initiates the downward spiral of Macbeth’s life and those around him. Although Macbeth does not fully place his confidence in the witches’ premonitions, he questions why they would hail him as the Thane of Glamis in reason that he currently holds that title. Yet, subsequent to the meeting with Ross and Angus, Macbeth learns that he is to be the Thane of Cawdor: the Second Witch’s prediction. Although he gradually begins to seriously consider the events of the first meeting with the witches, Macbeth wholeheartedly accepts their peculiar insights by their second meeting. “Though you untie the winds and let them fight/…Even till destruction sicken, answer me/ To what I ask you” portrays his obvious desperation to be known of his future, regardless of the consequences for his actions. Ensuing the first meeting, Macbeth’s personality underwent a significant transformation resulting in a character of increased anxiety and paranoia.
A true symbol of feminism in the Elizabethan era, Lady Macbeth is one of the various catalysts that propel Macbeth...

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