William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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William Shakespeare's Macbeth


The tragedy that is Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare’s most
famous plays. It shows how greed and the prospect of power can corrupt
even the most virtuous and honourable of men. The character Macbeth is
a prime example of how easily this can happen.

Although Macbeth was first performed over four hundred years ago, the
play still has great relevance to a modern audience. The idea of a
corrupt ruler and a need to overthrow him in order to restore
democracy has, and always will be significant to any audience. Also,
it portrays man’s weakness and inability to resist temptation and how
he will even betray his closest friends when it comes to power or
money.

At the beginning of the play, before we have even met the character,
Macbeth is portrayed as a noble and brave captain who is admired by
his men and king alike. Macbeth is especially praised by King Duncan
who, when hearing of his loyalty to him during the battle against
Macdonwald’s army says,

O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!

Duncan is so pleased with Macbeth that he gives him a new title, Thane
of Cawdor.

From this action, as well as other remarks made in the scene, the
audience already has an image of Macbeth as being a courageous,
upstanding person who will fight against all odds and be prepared to
die for his king and country.

The first time we meet Macbeth is in the presence of the three weird
sisters. They greet Macbeth with his formal title, Thane of Glamis,
his present title, Thane of Cawdor (which he does not yet know he has
received) and as future king. They also predict that Banquo, Macbeth’s
friend and fello...


... middle of paper ...


...end of the play, after Macbeth learns that that the witches’
prophecy does not apply to Macduff he says,

…I will try the last: before my body

I throw my warlike shield: lay on Macduff;

And damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!”

These last words from the previous king of Scotland leave the audience
in admiration of him. Macbeth is determined to keep fighting to his
inevitable end.

Macbeth has changed drastically in the course of the play. He has
fluctuated from noble soldier, to plotting traitor, to cold blooded
murderer and finally to audacious warrior. Although it is easy to look
upon Macbeth as an evil man, the audience cannot help but sympathise
with this tragic hero who let his searing ambition overpower
him.

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