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Macbeth is an epic tragedy inspiring pity and remorse because the hero, though flawed, is also shown to be human. The play portrays a journey of self-discovery and awareness as both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth pass from happiness to misery. Their punishment is well deserved but the retributive price is enormous. Evil, both internal and external corrupts their minds, distorting their positive traits and exaggerating their worst. Both fall victim to ‘vaulting ambition’, pride and greed, tempting them to acts of treason and betrayal of friends, kinsman and the nation itself. Warfare on the battlefield mirrors the metaphorical warfare being played out between the forces of good and evil within them. Spurred by ambition, supernatural solicitation and by the taunting of his wife, Macbeth deliberately chooses to embark on what he knows to be an evil course. From the moment he listens with ‘rapt’ attention to the witches, he allows himself to be drawn further and further into a vision of hell. The audience accompanies him into a morass of nightmares, ghosts, bloody visions and false prophecies. Abnormal conditions of mind such as insanity, sleep walking and hallucinations demonstrate his moral and emotional decline. We are given insight into their feelings of agitation, anxiety, fear, determination and regret which minimises the horror of the murder. Macbeth’s soliloquies voice his inner thoughts, making him an object of pity as well as a fascinating portrait of evil. A psychological change takes place as we witness the valiant general become a ruthless murderer. Although conscious of this evil transformation, he cannot resist the process. Ambition has become a powerful drug, usurping his reason and will as he lurches towards personal disaster. Brutality hardens him and his misrule brings suffering and chaos to Scotland. Macbeth Macbeth exhibits many of the traditional attributes of a tragic hero. Courage, determination, intelligence and moral awareness are clearly evident in his actions in the early scenes. His reputation is high and he holds a noble, aristocratic position of power and influence. He is introduced as a courageous general, worthy of respect and honour, brave, valiant, noble, imaginative, kind, ambitious, loving and artless. ‘Brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name.’ He is ambitious for public acclaim, recognition and wants to appear great and adm... ... middle of paper ... ...cating Macbeth with his first words "So foul and fair a day I have not seen". His actions unsettle the moral and natural order, consequently his authority is repudiated and overthrown. Macbeth's usurpation is not rewarded "upon my head they placed a fruitless crown, / And put a barren sceptre in my gripe" (III.i.60), he committed an unnatural act. Lady Macbeth's precipitation of these actions is punished accordingly, ironically after the murder of Duncan she suggests that "These deeds must not be thought / After these ways: so, it will make us mad" (II.ii.33). The entire mood of the play is effected by the disruption of nature. Repeated images of darkness, blood, and violence contribute to this tone The vision of the dagger, the murder of Duncan, the murder of Banquo, the sleep-walking of Lady Macbeth, all occur in the darkness of night and evoke for Macbeth a feeling of fear and horror . Again the dramatic verse intertwines the language and themes. The theme of transformation was apparent in Macbeth, the hero esteemed by his peers, however through his desire for power he transformed into a man obsessed with his desires, his tragedy was his downfall

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