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Story line: Macbeth, the main character is a brave and victorious
general. he plays a key role in defeating a couple of invading armies;
He is to be rewarded for this.
However three witches meet him and make prophecies regarding him.: He
will become thane of Cawdor and later king.
Macbeth sees how the first prophecy of becoming thane becomes true, so
encouraged by his wife he sets out to make the second part of the
prophecy come true.
In order to do this he is led on a path of multiple murder and deceit.
To secure his position he eventually consults the witches again who
falsely give him the impression he is invincible. This ultimately
delves him to his end but not before he realises that he was tricked
by the witches.
The play opens with the three witches because Shakespeare is trying to
draw the people's attention to the play because people at the time
were interested in witchcraft. So in the opening the play with this
scene he would attract their attention right away.
But Shakespeare includes his own view of witch craft by making all the
"Fair is foul, and foul is fair"
What he is trying to say is that the witches do not distinguish
between fair and foul and consider both to be accepted to achieve
When Macbeth is first introduced to the audience it is in the words of
the captain who says:
"For brave Macbeth Disdaining future with his brandished steel"
Here he is introduced as a brave and courageous individual who has
just won two battles. This character and attitude is further portrayed
when the witches address him and Banquo, and calling Macbeth the thane
of Cawdor and the king hereafter. To this Banquo turns to Macbeth and
"Good sir why do you start, and seem to fear"
So Macbeth is startled by what the witches are saying which shows he
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"Macbeth as the Frailty of Human Nature in William Shakespeare's Play." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Dec 2019
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as an obligation for king and country which is made clear when he says
"The service and the loyalty I owe
In doing it pays itself. Your highness's part
Is to receive our duties: and our distress
Are to your throne and state children
Although this is after he has begun to change his mind, he is really
saying what he would have said and believed had the witches not met
This is clear from when Macbeth first addresses the witches.
Although he calls them imperfect speakers, and does not agree to what
the witches say some part of him still wants to know more.
When Macbeth meets the witches he is interested in what they say
although he may not actually openly accept it: but nerveless he is
still interested. This is made clear when the witches' vanish because
"As breath into the wind. Would they had stayed!"
This is quite different to how Banquo reacts:
"Were such things here, as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?"
So banquo is not too influenced by what the witches say. However
Macbeth begins to reason with what the witches say to him, and also
tries it make Banquo see it too:
"Do you not hope your children shall be kings?
When those that gace the thane of Cawdor to me
Promised no less to them?"
may crown me
So he now tries to convince himself that it doesn't matter what he
does himself or does not do chance will make him into a king. He tries
not to think that it was because of the witches encouraging him but
because of chance that he would become king. What all this says about
Macbeth is that he is proud of what he has done but now thinks that if
he is destined to a higher honour than so be it and whatever the
Lady Macbeth is used to influence her husband by suggesting that he is
not brave and courageous as he is made out to be, and he is not
"Glamis thou art Cawdor, and shall be
what thou art promised.-yet do I fearthy nature:"
So to help her in this cause she calls upon evil spirits:
"Come you spirits
That tend on martal thoughts, unsese me here."
When she hears Duncan is coming to visit she begins to suggest murder:
Shall sin that morrow see!"
"â€¦.look like the innocent flower
But be the serpent under 't."
She tries to encourage him by accusing him of being afraid:
"Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour,
As thou art in desire?"
" And live a coward in thine own esteem,"
After Macbeth kills Duncan she tries to calm him by telling him that
he has done the correct things, and also converting him up by
completing the job and drugging the servants.
"I have drugged their possets,
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live or die."
When Macbeth says what he s done is a sorry sight, she replies:
" A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight."
"Consider it not so deeply."
"These deeds must not be thought
After these ways: so, it will make us mad."
Macbeth than goes on to kill Banquo and Macduffs family to cover
himself. He actually has started believing that if he kills all the
people who know about his ambitious it would make it easier for him
and help him to achieve what he has been promised.
But Macbeth fights with his conscience and part of this is seeing
imaginary dagger. Shakespeare is probably trying to remind people that
this was all initiated but witches so he had to remind people of
sourcery, So he brings in an element of imagination to show how the
witches are playing with Macbeths mind.
Macbeth no longer confides with his wife because he is gaining
confidence in what he is doing and believes he has the right to it.
Lady Macbeth eventually commits suicide;
Shakespeare wishes to show the audience that infact she was very weak.
She required the assistant of evil spirits and when they stopped
'helping 'her she returned to her frail self and consequently took her
Eventually, Macbeth realises he is not invincible and fights to the
end. I think it is a fitting end to the play as it shows the bravery
of Macbeth, despite all his wrongs and knowing he has been tricked he
is "man "enough to accept this. Rather than plead with the attackers
he fights them and dies.
To sum up Macbeth's character I do not think he was evil by nature. He
was a brave and courageous general who was loyal but inside he had
ambition and wanted to progress to higher levels as any individual
would want to by nature. But like most he unfortunatly could not
realise the thin line separating evil and achieving ambition. It is ok
to be ambitious thou goals must be reached by legal method, But
Macbeth was unable to realise his due to the witches, But at the end
of the play he realised that he had done wrong and his true brave
character surfaced and he accepted fate.