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Role Reversal in Shakespeare’s Macbeth Essay

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In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, two main characters experience a change that alters their roles and brings out the worst in them. After Macbeth is promised greatness by three witches on a heath, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth try to achieve his prophecy. Because of their over-reaching ambition, they commit numerous murders to obtain their goal of becoming royalty. In order to cope with the guilt, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth undergo a role reversal, where they exchange characters and amount of ambition.
In the beginning of Macbeth, Macbeth is hesitant. Lady Macbeth, being ruthless, tries to convince Macbeth to kill King Duncan, but his conscience is stronger than his ambition. He feels that the king is at his palace in “double-trust”; he is his host and he should not be holding the knife to kill the king. When he says, “We will proceed no further in this business” (I. vii. 31), he does not want to follow through with Lady Macbeth’s plan. He remains hesitant and does not let his ambition take over his conscience. In his “role reversal”, Macbeth becomes ruthless. He is now “in control” ...


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