William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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William Shakespeare's Macbeth

In his play “Macbeth”, William Shakespeare faced the problem of

gaining sympathy for the main character, from his audience. Although

Macbeth has many qualities which are less than attractive and he does

much which we can criticise him for, he is ultimately seen as a man

who inspires a grudging but real admiration.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is seen as a valiant and noble

solider by Duncan, the King of Scotland. A wounded captain informs the

king that Macbeth fought bravely in battle and won the war for


“For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name-” When Macbeth returns

from the battle fields with his friend Banquo, three witches appear

before them. They make three predictions:

“All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth,

hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth, hail to thee that

shall be king hereafter!”

The first prediction didn’t really perturb Macbeth as he already held

the title ‘thane of Glamis’, but the ‘thane of Cawdor’ was still alive

and to be king was totally unbelievable. Unknown to them, King Duncan

had rewarded Macbeth for his bravery in battle by giving him the new

title ‘thane of Cawdor’. When Macbeth and Banquo hear this news, they

started to think the witch’s predictions may come true and Macbeth

starts to think because the first two predictions came true without

any effort on his behalf, he believes the third will happen naturally.

It is difficult to associate the brave Macbeth with such evil

creatures as witches, but believing these predictions was his


Macbeth sent a letter to his wife, Lady Macbeth telling her about the

witches and their predictions. When Macbeth returns she tells him that

if he wants to be king he must kill Duncan, when he comes to stay: “O

never Shall sun that morrow see”

Lady Macbeth is very much in control of this murderous plan and

Macbeth is unsure what to do. I feel sorry for Macbeth at this point,

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