Character Change Essay

Character Changes in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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Macbeth: Character Changes

"This dead butcher and his fiend like queen"(V.viii.80) is the way Malcolm describes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth changed considerably during the course of the play, Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is seen as a courageous soldier who is loyal to the King. As the play progresses, Macbeth is corrupted by the witches’ prophecies and by his and Lady Macbeth’s ambition. Because of the weakness of Macbeth’s character and the strength of Lady Macbeth’s character, Lady Macbeth is able to easily influence him. Lady Macbeth pushes Macbeth toward evil at first, but after he realizes what he has done, it is his decision to…show more content…

Throughout the play we see the character of Macbeth change, not only from the way he thinks and speaks, but from his actions as well. Killing Banquo and having Lady Macduff and her children murdered show the insecurity that is present in Macbeth’s character. After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth becomes paranoid. This paranoia leads to his killing the guards to help secure the place that he has found for himself. Macbeth is also very superstitious, which becomes evident when he allows the witches’ prophecy to convince him that Banquo’s offspring would become Kings.

Towards the end of the play, once Macbeth’s wife has died and the battle is drawing closer, Macbeth shows the desire for some good that may have been. He wishes for a normal life in which he would have lived to an honorable age, but he recognizes that he has deprived himself of this. Even when Macbeth hears that the prophecy of Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane has been fulfilled, he rejects this idea and fights on until he realizes that Macduff wasn’t born in a natural birth but instead was "untimely ripped"(V.viii.19-20) from his mother’s womb. When Macbeth hears of this, he realizes what dastardly deeds he has done and how he has underestimated the power of the witches. He fights on, knowing it is only a matter of time before he is slain.

In summary, Macbeth is a character that is strong physically but very weak mentally,

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Free Essays - Character Changes in Macbeth

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Character Changes in Macbeth




Macbeth is the main character in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth. Macbeth goes through drastic changes throughout the play. He changes from good to evil. Many different things cause these changes.


In the beginning Macbeth was such a nice guy. That all changed when he met the three witches. When Macbeth first meets the witches they say two things that begin Macbeth's trail of evil. "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cowdor!" I iii 49, is the first thing that leads to the trail. The second is, "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!" I iii 50. These two predictions told by the witches caused great ambition to happen within Macbeth. Lady Macbeth finds out about the predictions, and drives Macbeth's ambition even harder. Lady Macbeth tries to get Macbeth to kill King Duncan, because she wants Macbeth to be king. "He that's coming/ must provided for: and you shall put/ this night's great business into my dispatch;/ which shall to all our nights and days to come/ give solely sovereign sway and mastedom." I v 65-69, this is a quote from Lady Macbeth explaining to Macbeth that when King Duncan come to stay, they will kill him. After Macbeth killed Duncan he killed the King's guards, so no one could question them. All this was just the beginning of a walk down an evil trail.


Later in the play Banquo starts to have a bad feeling about Macbeth. "Thou hast it now: King, Cowdor, Glamis, all,/ as the weird women promised, and I fear/ thou play'dst most foully for `t." III i 1-3, this is a quote from Banquo explaining how he feels about Macbeth's predictions coming true. Macbeth realizes this about Banquo and he starts to have feelings about killing Banquo. This isn't the only reason he feels this way, the witches had also made predictions for Banquo. "Thou shall get kings, though thou be none." I iii 67, Macbeth doesn't want any of Banquo's family to rule Scotland; he wants his own family to continue to rule. Macbeth hires two murderers to kill Banquo and his on Fleance. The murderers end up killing Banquo, but Fleance gets away.

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Changes In Macbeth         Character Changes         First Thing         Predictions         Three Witches         King Duncan         Main Character         Banquo         Thou        

This was one big step Macbeth took on his way to becoming evil.


Macbeth is more than halfway to becoming evil. One thing that Macbeth says that lets you know he will go even further in becoming evil is, "I am in blood/ stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,/ returning were as tedious as go o'er./ Strange things I have in head that will to hand,/ which must be acted ere they may be scanned." III iv 137-141. This next step is killing Macduff. Macduff had thoughts about Macbeth was the one who killed King Duncan. Macbeth was also considering killing Macduff because he went to England to get Malcolm to come back and rule Scotland. Macbeth decided to send a murderer to Macduff's home and kill his family. This would show Macduff that he had better watch out, and it would scare Macduff. This was the final step to becoming evil.


In William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, the main character goes through a drastic change, changing from good to evil. The evil trail ends when Macbeth is killed by Macduff, and Malcolm takes over Scotland.




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