Satisfactory Essays
At the beginning Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a sort of hero. He is presented as a great warrior and loyal servant of the king, Duncan. However, as we progress through the play we see another side of Macbeth. This is the side of evil all powered by his unstoppable lust for power and greatness. We see this lust for power become stronger and stronger until he leaves the whole of Scotland in a terrible state.
The play starts with the witches talking about Macbeth and what a great warrior he is. In Shakespeare’s time witches were thought of as evil and the fact that they were talking about Macbeth made the audience make the connection between Macbeth and evil. The witches also give the audience the setting of the play and the story so far. They tell the audience about the battle in which Macbeth is fighting and that they will meet Macbeth on his return.
When the king hears of Macbeth’s heroics in battle he is very pleased and refers to him as “valiant cousin, worthy gentleman.” The king also presents Macbeth with the title of the Thane of Cawdor. This just adds to Macbeths already great status and shows him to be even more of a hero. This is backed up again by the sergeant who refers to him as “brave Macbeth” and “Valour’s minion.” Ross also admires his bravery by referring to him as “Bellona’s bridegroom.”
The first time we see Macbeth is when he arrives on the heath where the witches are settled. Even before Macbeth appeared for the first time we had quite a clear picture of him. The first words Macbeth speaks, “So fair and foul a day I ne’er have seen” mirror the first words we hear from the witches. When Macbeth meets the witches they seem to know a lot about him and start implanting the idea of becoming king in his mind. Macbeth is taken aback by the witches and their prophecies which suggests that Macbeth has thought about it before and is frightened that his secret has been uncovered.
When the messengers arrive with the news that Macbeth has earned the title of Thane of Cawdor this acts as a catalyst in his lust for power and quest to become king. The contrast between Macbeth and Banquos attitude towards the prophecies shows how Macbeth has great ambitions and is starting to think about killing the king.
Get Access