Defining Macbeth of William Shakespeare's Play

Defining Macbeth of William Shakespeare's Play

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Defining Macbeth of William Shakespeare's Play

A hero is a man who is idealized for possessing superior qualities in
any field.

A villain is a main evil character and antagonist to the hero.
(Collins Shorter Dictionary).

This essay will explore whether Macbeth was a villain or not. Macbeth
may be the main character whom the play focuses on. This is because he
saved his country from defeat in the beginning of the play. Then he
becomes a villain by killing the king and many other people.
Therefore, the play mainly focuses on Macbeth’s action. So therefore,
he can be called both a hero and a villain. Macbeth also can be called
a traitor like the old Thane of Cawdor, because he endangered his
country and turned his back on his friends.

Why was he the hero to the country? Some people may ask, because most
of Scotland's soldiers died or fled the battle. Macbeth and a few
other soldiers were left. Macbeth never lost hope and stayed until
Thane of Cawdor was defeated. King Duncan obviously likes Macbeth,
because he saved his country from defeat. Not only the king likes
Macbeth, everyone does. This is shown when Sergeant says

"For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name."

(Act1 scene 2 line 16)

Even King Duncan respects Macbeth for example when he says

"O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman."

(Act 1 scene 2 line 24)

Killing King Duncan needed a lot of bravery, because if anyone found
out, or Macbeth was stopped somehow he would have been executed. The
awful deed needed a lot of bravery and determination, which Macbeth
had in abundance. But he did not have more determination than his
wife, because at a point she said

"Had he not reassembled my father as he slept I had don't."

(Act 2 scene 2 line 13)

Macbeth knew if he was caught, he would have been executed that is why
he did not want to kill Duncan. For example, when Macbeth doubted
killing King Duncan he said

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"I dare do all that may become a man; who dares do more, is none."

(Act 1 scene 7 line46-47)

When he killed King Duncan Macbeth became a greater villain, because
he killed more and more people. The reason for killing them was that
he thought they were going to stand up against him, or they suspected
him of killing the king. For example, Macbeth's best friend Banquo
only thought that Macbeth killed King Duncan. What did Macbeth do? He
instantly hired people to kill Banquo and Fleance. They killed Banquo
but Fleance escaped, when the witches told Macbeth that Macduff was
going to be a danger to him. Macbeth hired murderers to kill Macduff
and his family. Macbeth killed Macduffs wife and child for no reason.
It got easier for Macbeth to do the murders because he got used to it.

Macbeth shows a lot of bravery in the battle field against Macduff.
Macbeth knows he is going to die but still show's a lot of bravery and
determination. Macbeth shows many signs of bravery in his speeches
here is a example of one

"I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack'd. Give me my armour."

(Act 5 scene 3 line33)

He is saying he will fight until meat has come of his bones. That is
how willing he is to die. Another example of Macbeth's bravery and
determination is when he says

"I will not be afraid of death and bane till Birnam forest come to

(Act 5 scene 3 line 57-58)

You can see by the speeches how determined he was to die.

Macbeth was a worse villain than The old Thane of Cawdor. Thane of
Cawdor could not kill King Duncan and Macbeth did. He was obviously no
good friend because he killed his best friend Banquo. He was so cold
hearted he killed Macduffs wife and son. He killed the son who was
small. He tried to kill Banquo's son Fleance but he escaped. Once
Macbeth had killed King Duncan he did not even care if he killed his
best friend or the King. When Lady Macbeth committed suicide. Macbeth
did not even care. He said

"she should have died hereafter."

(Act 5 scene 5 line 17)

Macbeth is such a evil person, Duncan came to sleep in Macbeth's house
and he committed the murder in his own house. For example when Macbeth
is telling Lady Macbeth that Duncan is coming to their house he says

"My dearest love, Duncan comes here tonight."

(Act 1 scene 5 line 57)

When Duncan went to sleep Macbeth kills him. When Macbeth has killed
King Duncan he blames it on the guards for example he says

"O yet I do repent me of my fury, that I did kill them."

(Act 2 scene 3 line 106-107)

Macbeth then kills the guards. Then Malcolm and Donalbain leave
Scotland in danger of them getting killed. When they leave Scotland
Macbeth started blamed them that they killed their father for example
Macbeth said

"We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed in England and in Ireland."

(Act 3 scene 1 line 30)

Macbeth killed his best friend Banquo for no typical
reason. Macbeth was so scared and cowardly he had to hire murderers to
kill Banquo. Macbeth is so cold hearted he hired he tried to kill
Banquo's son Fleance who was small. Here is a example

"Fleance his son that keeps him company whose absence is no less
material to me than his father's."

(Act 3 scene 1 line 135-137)

Macbeth was talking to the murderers and saying Fleance should be
killed as importantly as his dad. Why would Macbeth like to kill
Fleance he did not even talk to Macbeth. Fleance was innocent and
Macbeth wanted to kill him for no reason.

Only because the witches predicted that Macduff casts a danger on
Macbeth he goes to Macduff's house he is not there so he kills Lady
Macduff and her child. How evil and cold hearted could he get. This
shown when Macbeth says

"The castle of Macduff I will surprise; seize upon fife; give to the
edge of the sword his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls thas
trace them in his line."

(Act 4 scene 1 line 150-154)

When Macbeth died everyone starts saying bad things about him etc.
This is shown when Malcolm says

"That fled the snares of watchful tyranny; producing forth the cruel
ministers of this dead butcher."

(Act 5 scene 7 line 96-98)

This shows that everyone is happy because he is dead.


Macbeth was an evil cold hearted person but only after he killed King
Duncan. Macbeth was a good nice person but turned evil by looking in
the future by the help of the witches and his wife. His wife was
partly to blame because she pushed Macbeth in to the murder of King
Duncan. Then he went mad after that. If the witches did not tell
Macbeth the future he would have never thought of a thing like that.
So the witches are mostly to be blamed of turning Macbeth evil.
Macbeth was lead astray by a stronger partner. I think Lady Macbeth
and the witches are to be blamed for making Macbeth evil.
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