Macbeth Analysis

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In the beginning of the play Macbeth and Macduff are very similar in many aspects including rank, leadership, belief, and loyalty. But as the play unfolds, Shakespeare reveals these two characters are as different as night from day. In this essay I will compare and contrast the characters of the murderous Macbeth, and the forthright Macduff. I will consider their status within the Scottish society and the depth of their intelligence. I will also evaluate their actions and their relationships with other characters, including their families and I will discuss their degrees of ambition. Macbeth is originally the Thane of Glamis whereas Macduff is the Thane of Fife; and so both men are highly-ranked generals in the Scottish army and are both loved and respected greatly by King Duncan. Among both men many battles are won. As a reward for his valiant fighting, Duncan rewards Macbeth by appointing him as the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth's intelligence consists of thoughts of how to become king and secure his position without actually considering the consequences that his behaviour will cause. When Macbeth is promised by the three witches that he will soon become King, he takes his destiny into his own hands and attempts to speed up the process by murdering Duncan, and literally crowning himself as the new King of Scotland. This becomes known as the turning point in Macbeth's moral nature and loyalties as he embarks on further atrocities with increasing ease. He puts all his trust into witchcraft and demands the three witches to predict his future by showing him several illusions. From these illusions, Macbeth realises “… for none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth" (4, 1, 79-81), because every man is born from a woman and so Macbeth b... ... middle of paper ... ...h social status in Scotland, but each views others and their families quite differently. The only one mistake I think Macduff makes is when he leaves his family without protection and without telling them where he is going or the purpose behind it. It can be said that Shakespeare wins respect and approval for Macduff, as this humanity is recalled once more when Macduff cries out to Macbeth; "I have no words; my voice is in my sword." (5, 7, 35-36). It is his much unspoken words that contrast with Macbeth's empty rhetoric. Works Cited Websites Books Kenneth Muir (2001) William Shakespeare: Macbeth (Arden Shakespeare), ISBN: 978-1903436486 James Sale (2002) York Notes on “Macbeth”, by William Shakespeare, ISBN: 978-0582505919 DVD Macbeth (1971) John Finch, Francesca Annis Directed by: Roman Polanski
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