Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Evil is a word that some people use loosely, but it is a powerful word

that cannot be used easily. In Macbeth there are some truly evil acts,

for example a man who attempts to kill his best friends son, a man who

kills his king and someone who hires hit men to do his dirty work. In

this essay I will answer the question 'is Macbeth evil?'

At the beginning Macbeth is a general in the king's army. He was an

excellent soldier in the army, His sword "smok'd with bloody

execution" and he was well known for butchering soldiers:

He unseam'd him from the nave to th' chops

King Duncan is very pleased with Macbeth's fighting and calls him a

"worthy gentleman". When Macbeth kills in battle he is considered a

great soldier but why not evil? Is it because he kills the enemy? Is

it because of the time frame? Is it because in that ere killing

someone in battle was very honourable affiance?

After the glorious battle Macbeth and Banquo (Macbeth's best friend

and partner general) were on their way home when they discovered three

wrenched witches. Banquo at first took not much notice but Macbeth was

astonished that the devilish communicators could tell him what he was

and what he would become:

All hail Macbeth, hail the Thane of Glamis

All hail Macbeth, hail the Thane of Cawdor

All hail Macbeth, thou shall be king ever after

After this Banquo grew more interested and enquired about himself. I

think this was the turning point, did the witches burn their words

into his soul?

When Macbeth arrives home he informs his wife of the witches

predictions and that one of them has come true! She retaliates by

being very enforcing on making the last prediction come true. She

wants to overtake him:

I may pour my spirits in thine ear

Macbeth resists Lady Macbeth's charm and says, " We shall proceed no

further in this business" but Lady Macbeth does not back down and
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