then is revealed as being weak and easily manipulated. He then descends into become a murderous madman. one realizes Macbeth’s transformation into one of drama’s most infamous villains coincides with a profound transformation of his conscience—to a point where he has none at all. Throughout the play Macbeth makes a journey from following a moral ethic, implementing a flawed ethic, and arriving to a point where he had none at all. When comparing Banquo and Macbeth, after they meet the weird sisters, one see’s that Banquo adheres to warrior ethics where Macbeth moves away from it.
At the start of the play Macbeth was idolised by everyone and thought to have been a man of very great power whom could be defeated by nobody: “All is too weak for brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name” 1. 2. 15. It is stated in this quote by the Captain that at the start Macbeth was known as a brave heroic man, which his enemies were too weak to overthrow. By the end of the play his status falls from a man of great magnificence to one that has barely managed to keep his own sanity.
Thus our first description of Macbeth is that of a brave, loyal soldier defending his King and country He appears to be a strong military leader ‘brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name’’, is then called ‘noble Macbeth’ and given the traitor’s title, Thane of Cawdor: ‘’with this former title greet Macbeth’’. The Captain tells the King killed the traitor Macdonald in a very horrible and gory manner ‘’unseamed him from the nave to th’chops’’ Therefore, we are led to believe that Macbeth is a good, loyal, courageous, and determined man.
Things From the moment they are introduced to the play the witches are seen as a negative effect on Macbeth, creating chaos by prophesysing to Macbeth that he is going to become Thane of Cawdor ‘’All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! ’’ and that he is going to become king ‘’All hail, Macbeth! That shall be King hereafter’’and getting him to act. He knows he is already Thane of Glamis, but does not know that Duncan has promoted him to Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is surprised by the promise of kingship.
Banquo’s prophecy is even more fantastic: he will be the father of kings but not king, and will be greater and happier than Macbeth. That is the moment when Macbeth wants to know more. The witches basically planted the seed of evil in Macbeth’s mind that later on grew to dominate his every action. However, it was Macbeth’s ambition that decided to take action on these prophesies, therefore it was he that decided the final outcome. When Ross and Angus enter to proclaim Macbeth’s promotion, he is very surprised:
‘’The Thane of Cawdor lives, why do you dress me in borrowed robes? ’ Moreover, Macbeth believes that this is the fulfilment of the witches prophecies, However, there is no clear reason why Macbeth would become king, especially since the present King is so loved and admired. In the next few lines it becomes apparent that Macbeth not only has thought about being king, but he also believes what the witches told him is true: Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor: The greatest is behind Two truths are told, As happy prologues to the swelling act Of the imperial theme. (1. 3. 115-116, 126-128)
This is the first time we see him realising that he might have to do something, as killing Duncan, in order to get to the throne. He debates the good and the bad side of the prophecies : ‘’If good, why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair’’ we are shown that Macbeth not only loves his King and country,’’our duties are to your throne and state, children and servants’’ but also himself. It still remains to be seen what action he will take. Macbeth’s change has begun. **
Soon enough, we are taken to Macbeth’s home, wherewe meet his wife, Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth has just received a letter from her husband in whichhe tells her everything that has happened. Because the witches got him very interested in their prophecies, he has had them investigated and has ’’ learned by the perfectest report that they have more in them than mortal knowledge. ’’ It is clear that after calling the witches ‘imperfect speakers’ (1. 3. 68), Macbeth has now changed his mind. He also interprets the prophecies and tells his wife a slightly changed version.
He addresses her ‘’my dearest partner in greatness’’ and seems to be sincere. Lady Macbeth, however, is determined that her husband becomes king. she says that Macbeth lacks the qualities necessary to assassinate Duncan without remorse or regret: ‘’yet do I fear thy nature, it is too full o’th’milk of human-kindness to catch the nearest way’’ . she hen prays for supernatural help to take away all of her feminine qualities and basically any traits of conscience: ‘’ unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top full of direst cruelty! ’, ‘’stop up th’access and passage to remorse’’, ‘’that my keen knife see not the wound it makes’’. After Macbeth arrives, Lady Macbeth is telling him to ‘’look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t’’ and to ‘Leave all the rest to me’ This implicates her in the murdering of Duncan and shows us that she is taking the responsibility. She is essentially taking over. After the King arrives at the castle and prepares to sleep peacefully, Macbeth is still debating how he can achieve the crown without getting caught.
He doesn’t want to do it personally; he wants to get it over with:’’ If it were done, when’tis done, then ‘twere done well it were done quickly’ and doesn’t really want to kill his cousin and King; he has a conscience: ‘’he’s here in double trust’. On the other side, he’s obsessed with becoming king and his thoughts keep flowing in the same direction: ‘’I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambitions, which o’er-leaps itself and falls on the other’’. We see duality when he says: ‘’we will proceed no longer in this business’’ and tries to procrastinate the murder.
His wife then plays games with his mind and basically psychologically bullies and pressures him into killing Duncan by telling him that he is less than a man if he does not carry out the murder:’’ when you durst do it, then you were a man; and, to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man’’, and that she, being a woman has more strength of purpose than he does: ‘’i would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out, had i sworn as you have done to this’. As soon as Macbeth has kills Duncan, he seems to start to lose his ind. He starts hallucinating: ‘’is this a dagger which i see before me, the handle toward my hand?
Come, let me clutch thee. I have not, and yet I see thee still’’. He is unable to think clearly and is very paranoid. He is ready to eliminate anything that stands in his waybecause oft his ambitions for himself and the fear of being discovered. He just doesn’t know what to do with himself while trying to keep the crown. Even though he is committed to Duncan, he Because Macbeth is afraid of the witches’ prophecy that he will lose the crown: ‘’To be thus in nothing, but to be safely thus.
Our fears in Banquo stick deep’’ and Banquo will become king, he sends people to kill Banquo and Fleance. He hires three murderers in order to make sure that they won’t be able to escape. They ambush Banquo on his way to a royal feast, but Fleance escapes into the night. Macbeth is now the prisoner insolent and nagging doubts and fears,: ‘’But now I am cabined, confined, bound in to saucy doubts and fears’’, and is now paranoid because Fleace has escaped: ‘’There the grown serpent lies; the worm that’s fled hath nature that in time will venom breed’’.
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