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From Good to Evil in Macbeth
A person could make a dramatic change of character when they go from a heart of good to a heart of evil. Macbeth is motivated to kill Duncan by Lady Macbeth, but Macbeth is then motivated by fate, and finally motivated by impulse to carry out his next succession of crimes. Macbeth had a hand, or was involved in 3 murders in the story. The first murder was of King Duncan at the beginning of the story with the aid and instructions of Lady Macbeth. The second murder was of Macbeth’s best friend Banquo, which Macbeth used the service of three murders to accomplish. It was fate for Macbeth to eliminate Banquo because Banquo was to be the father of kings while Macbeth would not. Finally, the third murder was of Macduff’s wife and children. One murderer does the job this time and Macbeth decides from this murder on to act on impulse and not think or feel remorse for any action he does from there on. All these murders indicate that Macbeth doesn’t know how to make things right after he has done something wrong, so he does the only thing he thinks is right, and that is to be more violent with each act he commits.
When Macbeth is first introduced, the first impression that we have of him is that he was an incredible and worthy fighter and the King speaks very highly of him. An example of this is "O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!" The phrase shows that Duncan is very proud of Macbeth, his soldier, and his cousin. In the witches prophecies, Macbeth was told he would be Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and then eventually become King. He was already Thane of Glamis and he becomes Thane of Cawdor shortly after the execution of the previous Thane, but one prophecy sticks in his mind. He is to become King. Macbeth had the thoughts of becoming King but there was no way he would ever think of murdering his King. He had neither the heart nor determination to do such a violent act. He expresses his discomfort with this in a soliloquy. "That tears shall down the wind. I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself, and falls on the other." Macbeth mentions he has no motive to do the deed.
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With Duncan’s death, and Malcolm leaving for England, the throne was now empty for Macbeth. Even though Macbeth has become king, he is not as happy or content, as he would like to be. He has become more fearful of the people around him and he remembers the witches prophecy to Banquo. The prophecy that he is not to be king but he will be the father of kings. Macbeth starts to think that Banquo has become suspicious of all the events leading up to Macbeth’s crowning. He decides that Banquo has to be put out of the picture. He feels the crown has brought him nothing so far in the quote "Upon my head they plac’d a fruitless crown, and put a barren sceptre in my gripe. Thence to be wrench’d with an unlineal hand." Macbeth decides that it is fate for him to kill Banquo for Macbeth will not have any sons of his own to become kings. Macbeth is so determined to kill Banquo that he does not tell Lady Macbeth of his plan until long after the deed is done. The murderers kill Banquo, and fate according to Macbeth has shown him the way.
Macbeth has now successfully carried out two murders but the other lords have now begun to figure out that Macbeth was responsible for the murders of Duncan and Banquo. At this point, Macbeth has become so filled with evil thoughts that he realizes that the only way he can cover up his evil intentions is to be more evil in heart and in mind and not look back anymore at what he has done in the past. "Strange things I have in head, that will to hand, which must be acted, ere they may be scann’d. " In that quote, Macbeth decides that he must act on impulse and not think or feel remorse anymore. His first act he wishes to commit is to murder Macduff ‘s wife, and children. He sends a murderer out to accomplish the task and the deed is done. Little does Macbeth know that his latest plan will also lead to his eventual downfall, but now Macbeth has completely lost his mind and has made the complete change from good to evil.
Throughout the story, Macbeth shows how a person can change from a heart of good to evil depending on the circumstances that they have to deal with. Macbeth was first dependent upon other people to tell him what to do and then, relying on fate as a guide, and then just acting on impulse. Macbeth successfully murdered Duncan, then Banquo, and finally Macduff’s family. He eventually became so evil and so disfunctional that he could not even think rationally for himself. He indeed tried very hardly to make two wrongs make a right. Macbeth teaches us that when someone does something wrong, the best thing one could do is admit to those mistakes and make sure that nothing worse happens from them. It’s never good to cover up a mistake by making a bigger one.