The Metamorphosis of Macbeth

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The Metamorphosis of Macbeth

Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth demonstrates what can happen when one pursues power at the expense of everything else. The main character, Macbeth begins the play as a strong character that is greatly admired, however as the play progresses, Macbeth's personality and actions become more and more deceitful. Macbeth’s deceit eventually leads to his destruction.

Following the murder of Duncan, Macbeth realizes that the murder has put him into the control of demon forces which are the enemy of mankind. Macbeth recognizes that the conscious acts which torture him essentially reduce him to a human individual. This is the inescapable bond that keeps him "pale" and at Act 3 Scene 2, he states:

"Come seeling night

Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,

And with thy bloody and invisible hand

Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond

Which keeps me pale"

The above quote by Macbeth demonstrates that he imagines that the execution of more murderous deeds, (instigation of the murder of Banquo), will help him pursue his interest of personal safety and also destroy any personal humanity left within himself.

Immediately after the death of Duncan, Macbeth is disgusted with himself for murdering Duncan. This is shown by Macbeth when he states:

"I have done the deed"

He says this instead of simply saying that he has murdered Duncan and is consequently almost trying to avoid the subject. This demonstrates that Macbeth is deeply ashamed of what he has done. Macbeth also feels that the killing of Duncan has cut him off from God, because before the murder the text is full of references to things being divine, but following the murder everything in the text becomes bleak and unhol...

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...e prophecies give Macbeth a false sense of security. Macbeth is very insecure, which is an explanation as to why he feels he has to kill anyone who he remotely views as a threat to his reign including his plan to murder Macduff:

"I'll make assurance double sure"

I think this is because he is so insecure that he feels he needs to kill Macduff to make the prophecy come true. The multiple roles of Macbeth in the play demonstrate his changing character and illustrate the complete evolution of Macbeth's personality. Macbeth begins as a respectable person and gradually his personality descends until he eventually falls apart and loses control. Perhaps the message that Shakespeare is sending is that no good will come from evil -even if it first appears that you will not be found out.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.
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