1476 Words6 Pages
Macbeth Trace Macbeths change over the course of the play. How does Shakespeare convey it? The transition from brave and loyal thane to brutal tyrant king can be easily traced, when focusing on the character of Macbeth throughout the play. All aspects of the character change to some extent as his sins and treachery increase in extremity; this includes his relationship with his wife and friends, his clothing, his style of speaking, his attitudes towards fate, paranoia and fear. Shakespeare conveys this change in character to the reader by making all of these different and changing character aspects obvious at some stage during the play. At the start of the play lady Macbeth is the more dominant character in the relationship. In his letter to his wife about the witches' prophecies, Macbeth writes, "This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee". He knows that his "partner" will like the idea of being Queen and seems to offer the news as a kind of present, this shows that Macbeth really feels as though he has to please her. However, it is Lady Macbeth that takes charge of the situation and ensures that Duncan is murdered, rather than allowing Macbeth to have his way and let Duncan live. After Macbeth has committed the murder he is distraught and talking about the intensity of the blood on his hands, once again Lady Macbeth takes control of the situation, by saying “a little water clears us of this deed” she attempts to clear Macbeths conscience. The change in the obvious control Lady Macbeth holds over Macbeths actions, in the first two acts, becomes evident in the banquet scene ( scene 4, act 3 ), by this stage Macbeth is arranging the murder of Banquo without the assistance or reassurance of Lady Macbeth, however, when Macbeth is supposedly seeing the ghost of Banquo later on in the scene, it is Lady Macbeth who, once again, is put into a position of control, as she attempts to cover for her husband and explain his confusing speeches. As the play continues, the plot intensifies, and as Macbeth changes, Lady Macbeth plays a smaller role in the outcome of events. The audience sees her character in decreasing amounts, after the banquet scene, she only features in scene 1, Act 5. Which shows her increasing insanity, as Lad... ... middle of paper ... ...s may not have had any supernatural powers whatsoever, other than Macbeth receiving the title of thane of Cawdor, which may have been coincidence, Macbeth caused everything else to happen, not giving fate a chance as he was causing everything to happen himself. Whether or not you make you own fate is one of the major themes explored by Shakespeare in the play of Macbeth. In the final scene of the play Malcolm describes Macbeth as a “dead butcher” this in itself sums up the change of Macbeths character, especially when compared to the praise received by the character during the first act of the play. During the early stages of the play Macbeth is described as a “worthy cousin” to the king and as a “noble partner” to Banquo, by the end of the play Macbeth has ensured the death of both, either doing it himself or arranging for murderers to do the deed. One has to wonder if it was in Macbeths destiny to face such changes in character, or if it happened as a result of the three weird sisters, playing with a situation that was not meant for their involvement. Regardless of the cause, Shakespeare successfully shows the change in character throughout the play in a large variety of ways.

More about Macbeth

Open Document