Carol Anne Johnson
12 December 2017
Character Analysis of Macbeth
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth play is based on the main
character, which is the name of the literature piece. Throughout the play the
readers follow the journey of Macbeth becoming King of Scotland and the horrific
acts of violence he commits as king.
beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal, kind, and courageous
general in the military. Malcolm validates this when he tells his father,
For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish’d steel,
Which smok’d with bloody execution,
(Like Valor’s minion) carv’d out his passage
Till he fac’d the slave;
Which nev’r shook hands, nor bade farewell to
Till he unseam’d him from the nave to th’
And fix’d his head upon our battlements (Act I, Scene 2).
As him and his fellow general, who also happened to be a
close friend of his, are heading back home from the battle three witches
appear, and give the two of them prophecies. They tell Macbeth that he will
become Thane of Cawdor and eventually king. They told Banquo that he will not
become king, but his children shall. The first prophecy came true; however,
Duncan, the King of Scotland, named his son, Malcolm, as the next in line to
become king. Macbeth is then persuaded and manipulated by Lady Macbeth, his
wife, to murder Duncan in order to become king. After Macbeth secures his title
as king, he becomes paranoid that someone is going to take his spot, so by the
end of the play he became power hungry and a cold blooded killer.
Macbeth has very positive and loyal
relationships with his surrounding loved ones, and peers in the beginning, but
he soon terminates them as a whole or his need for power becomes too much for
people to handle. This is shown when he kills Duncan. He was very loyal to
Duncan, especially during times of war, so much so that he was named Thane of Glamis
and Thane of Cawdor. Banquo was Macbeth’s right hand man, his best friend, yet
Macbeth still went after him and his son, Fleance because the witch’s prophecy.
While he sent murders to kill both of them Fleance made it out alive. Another
very personal relationship he had was with his wife, while she influenced him
to kill Duncan she eventually drowns in the fact that she has started a chain
reaction of Macbeth killing people. Macbeth did not kill her, but the guilt
drove her to commit suicide. Macbeth unfortunately let the power get to his
head, therefore he made the decisions to end his closest friends’ lives, and
pushed his wife away by doing so.
readers can see, Macbeth became a completely different person as the play
continued. At first he is an honorable, noble man, who is loyal. Then he makes
the one mistake of allowing his wife to coax him into committing the first of
many murders. He had no desire to kill his first victim, Duncan, in fact he
only did it because his wife had threatened him by saying,
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and
How tender ’tis to love the babe that
I would, while it was smiling in my
Have pluck’d my nipple from his
And dash’d the brains out, had I so
Have done this (Act I, Scene 7).
When he decides to send murders
after Banquo and Fleance it is obvious that his mindset had changed
drastically. At one point Macbeth felt threatened by Macduff, so he once again
sent his men out to murder another man not even having a remorseful thought.
Macduff was not there, so intern his wife and child met the fate originally
meant for him. Throughout the play it is exhibited that Macbeth went from a
remorseful human being to someone who would kill somebody as a rash decision,
all because his hankering for power became the most import aspect of his life.
This ultimately ended up with him being assassinated by Macduff, so order could
be restored in Scotland.
As far as Macbeth’s contribution to the play
as a character he is vital. He is the protagonist because he is the center of
the drama in the play. Considering the whole literature piece is about Macbeth
there would be no storyline without him, therefore this play would probably not
exist if there was no Macbeth.
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth.