Analyzing The Character Of Macbeth In William Shakespeare's Play

2529 words - 11 pages

Analyzing the Character of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

This Essay will focus on the tragic tale of 'Macbeth', and by doing
this I should be able to come up with both his villainous and
redeeming qualities, which are shown from the very start of this play.
He is a strong warrior along with the fact that people think highly of
him, but in addition he is associated with the witches, as in one of
the first lines a witch proclaims, "There to meet with Macbeth", which
to the reader gives a sign of potential evil with Macbeth.

At the beginning of the play, everybody is admiring Macbeth, which is
essential information on how highly people think ...view middle of the document...

This describes Macbeth as, in a way, weak, which is neither a
redeeming nor evil quality in his eyes, however in the reader's eyes
it shows Macbeth does have some dignity if his most treasured
companion would say something like this. If you think about it Lady
Macbeth is the only one who truly knows Macbeth.
Banquo is Macbeth's closest acquaintance, "worthy Macbeth" Banquo
exclaims as a sign of respect for Macbeth. This illustrates the
various contrasts to Macbeth; for example, Banquo is everything that
Macbeth isn't. This gives Macbeth an evil quality as we think of
Banquo as heroic like Macbeth but we don't usually associate evil with
Banquo as with Macbeth.

Macbeth meets the witches upon a heath looking for answers. The first
word that Macbeth exclaims are associated with evil, "so fair is foul
and foul a day I have not seen", which is Macbeth literally repeating
the witch's words. In a way Macbeth is acting as if he has known the
witches for some time. This adds an immense evil quality to Macbeth,
as the witches are plain immorality.
Macbeth reacts to the news that he shall become king very abnormally.
Banquo asks Macbeth, "good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear?"
which is implying, "why are you afraid about something so good?" This
adds confusion to the play as we as readers all thought Macbeth would
have been gracious about hearing this news. This sees to Macbeth as
being off put by the witches, giving him a redeeming quality. He may
know that there will be consequences.
Banquo reacts differently to the way that Macbeth does. He is in a way
more interested. His attitude to the witches is strange as he is eager
to know what happens to Macbeth. He wants the witches to predict into
the future. "…Look into the seeds of time," suggests this. But unlike
Macbeth, Banquo dismisses the witches and is not 'rapt'. He even
acknowledges Macbeth of the holy-truths evil sometimes tells us in
order to turn us from good to bad. Shortly after, Macbeth and Banquo
both go to see Duncan. At the time Duncan has to make a very important
decision, which is that he has to appoint the king after him. Although
Duncan praises Macbeth, "thou art so far before…" that is not the
decision he goes with. He also praises Banquo "Noble Banquo, thas no
less deserved…" but yet again it's not the decision that he goes with.
His decision falls onto, Malcom. "Establish our estate our eldest,
Macbeth acts irritated at his decision, "the eye wink at the hand, yet
that be, which the eye fears, when it is done, to see", implying
Macbeth must now plan to kill Duncan without any one seeing him. This
is an evil quality by far. Macbeth was told he would become king but
that's not been the outcome. He now realizes that he has to take
matters into his own hands.

Macbeth rides home. He...

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