At the onset of the play. Shakespeare purposely intends for Macbeth to be perceived as a hero. He is made out to be a strong and valiant warrior, who is feared by everyone on the battlefield. He was described as “Bellona’s bridegroom” and “Valour’s Minion”. At the beginning of the play he killed the treacherous traitor who fled to the Norwegian rebels, the “Merciless Macdonald” Macbeth “unseamed him from the nave to the chops. ” This shows that Macbeth has immense power and strength.
Additionally he was a trustworthy thane to the king of Scotland, king Duncan. However by the end of the play he is seen as a “dead butcher” and a “tyrant” Macbeth had murdered his way through eight victims, the traitor Macdonald, king Duncan and his two grooms, Banquo and Macduff’s wife and son and also young Siward. We love him at the beginning for slaying the traitor Macdonald, but when he kills ‘Young Siward’, a young innocent soldier who is fighting against Macbeth for Macduff’s army we hate Macbeth for it.Order now
What happened to make this great man such a murderer and a tyrant? Who, or what influenced him? Macbeth’s personality at the beginning of the play was described by his wife as being “too full of the milk of human kindness” This suggests that he is too kind to do anything too malicious, especially towards his own king. But he can be persuaded easily by Lady Macbeth, and when the witches tell him what is in store for him, putting visions in his mind so that he thinks he will be the future king.
He expects the King’s crown to simply fall into his lap “Without my stir”. When it doesn’t and Duncan announces that his son will be the heir apparent. Macbeth realises he will have to start to ‘stir’ but he tries to withhold his dark side as much as he can “Stars hide your fires let not light see my black and deep desires. ” However his “vaulting ambition” is pushing him over the edge.
Later on in the play when he has become king and he has reached a point where he has killed the former king and Banquo, and he has waded through so much blood that it would be just as hard to go back than to go on he says ” I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more returning were as tedious as go’or”, If he had started to wade back then he could have been a respected king and start a clean sheet. He decided to carry on the slaughter and wade towards an early grave. Macbeth’s friend, Banquo has a contrasting personality with Macbeth.
When Macbeth is shifting over to the dark side, Banquo wants to “keep his bosom franchised and allegiance clear” If only Macbeth had felt the same and had heeded his friends earlier warning. “But still keep my bosom franchised and allegiance clear, I shall be counselled. ” The supernatural has a substantial influence on Macbeth’s personality. The witches add to the mind twisting persuasion that goes on inside his mind. they give him two prophecies which play on his mind. The dagger ,leading him to Duncan’s chamber which he eventually follows and kills the king Duncan “is this a dagger I see here before me? and Banquo’s ghost seated in Macbeth’s place at the feast “Avaunt and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee! “.
These both tease Macbeth’s mind. Although these might have just been visions in his head, the witches must have conjured something up to put them there. Again the supernatural forces exploit these weaknesses in Macbeth’s personality. The main supernatural influences are the three witches who play with Macbeth feeding him riddling prophecies. Macbeth goes to see the three witches for a second time for reassura nce about his safety as he has dug himself into a great deal of trouble with armies forming in England against him.
The witches give him three apparitions. The first one is an armed head chanting “beware Macduff”. the next goes on to say “none of woman born shall harm” him. This makes Macbeth think that that he cannot be killed by anyone. What the witches are saying is that no one born naturally will harm him. Of course Macduff was “ripped untimely” from his mother’s womb and the third and final apparition says that Macbeth won’t have to fear until Great Burnham Wood climbs up Dunsinane Hill. Macbeth thinks that there is no way in hell a wood is going to walk up the hill to the castle. ut again the witches are playing with him. What actually happens is that the opposing army camouflage themselves in with trees and branches from the wood and slowly climb up the hill as to go unnoticed. The prophecies are “the” equivocations “at the feind that lie like truth” the withces are “paltering in a double sense” Macbeth walks away from the apparitions thinking he is invincible, but really he will be doomed thanks to his naÃ¯ve mind and belief that the witches tell the truth.
At the beginning of the play, if Macbeth had never of seen the three witches, he would never have known that he had a chance to be king and his dark, deep desires would have been kept at bay. Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth ,had a small, but very influencial part to play in the tragedy. When she receives Macbeth’s letter informing her that he could become king, she knows exactly what she wants to do and what she has to do to make it happen. She will have to “pour my spirits in thine ear” which means she will have to influence Macbeth into doing the evil deed.
She “psychs” herself up by praying an evil prayer “unsex me here and fill from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty; make thick blood my blood. ” to give her enough cruelty and will power to carry it out. When Macbeth has heard what she has to say, he thinks about it and gives her his verdict “We will proceed no further in this business” He has made his mind up and it seems that nothing will convince him otherwise. But in roughly a page and a half of script, Lady Macbeth has turned him full circle and he is ready to kill the king.
She calls him a coward and tells him to act like a man instead of a wimp and she tells him that she would kill her own baby for a chance like this: “How tender’ tis to love the babe that milks me:I would, whilest it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this” After a while when the pressure is rising and Macbeth is ordering more and more people to be murdered she starts to weaken and let Macbeth take the lead.
In the end she couldn’t take the pressure and commits suicide. She was remembered as a “fiend like queen” and Macbeth is left alone to die as a “butcher” and a “tyrant”. In the end, there are many things that Macbeth was influenced by, like the witches and their apparitions and his wife, but he didn’t have to listen to the persuasions or the teasing. if his personality had been a bit stronger then perhaps none of this would have happened . Yes, I think he did deserve his fate.