Changes In Macbeth Essay, Research Paper
Macbeth and his wife cannot be easily characterized as villains. In Act One Macbeth s eagerness to share the good news of what is to come with his wife is evident. They are a devoted team. He calls her his dearest partner of greatness. He truly loves her and appreciates all she has done for him. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is a brave and courageous man. He is one of Duncan s most glorious generals and has extraordinary courage. After the witches first approach him and tell him about the future and he wonders if he must take fate into his own hands by killing Duncan he is terrified. Afterward though, he fears to accept the real and the supernatural consequences of his actions. Because Shakespeare focused so much on Macbeth s courage in the beginning of the play Macbeth s panic and psychological anguish seems exaggerated later. Lady Macbeth is certainly aware that her husband has a reputation of a fearless solider and she uses dazzling psychology to coax her husband into killing Duncan; she dares him to do all that may become a man. Macbeth, afraid of being called a coward, goes along with Lady Macbeth s plan. In Act Two Macbeth doesn t immediately kill Duncan though, he battles with his inner instincts that chance may crown him king. Macbeth is also a gentle man. Before killing Duncan Macbeth cites Duncan s great qualities. He knows that if her were to murder Duncan then someone in turn would try to murder him. After Macbeth has killed Duncan he tries to avoid killing anyone else. Throughout the play Macbeth tries to avoid killing Macduff. In Act Four, Scene One Macbeth seems reassured by the Second Apparition, saying Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of thee? Later he says of Macduff in Act Five, Scene Eight of all men else I have avoided thee. He has tried to spare Macduff s life. Macbeth also has a deep imagination. He does not entirely trust the witches because he identifies them with evil, but he plans to consult with them and believes their prophecies will become true. Later on in the play Macbeth s imagination terrifies him even further when he asks if he sees a dagger hanging in midair before him. Part of Macbeth s actions can be traced to envy. Early in the play when Macbeth hears of the witches prophecies he envies Banquo s having heirs as much as he later fears those same heirs as rivals for the throne. Being childless Macbeth s greatness must lie within himself. Then he murders Duncan. But before he kills his cousin, the kind and afterward Macbeth is plagued by constant fear. He ponders what would happen if he fails and discusses this same possibility with his wife. Macbeth is torn with guilt and remorse. As a consequence these fears and extreme guilt interfere with Macbeth s normal eating and sleeping habits. Macbeth was too ambitious and too impatient for fate to crown him king. He committed murder and then found he had to cower to his innermost thoughts, fears and dwellings. Macbeth s suffering is a result of his rash actions and compromising qualities in an attempt to claim a throne that was not his.
Lady Macbeth s character is not as complex as her husband s. She does have a plethora amount of qualities in her character. She is not a monster without feeling, one out to get power, money and control. She is horrified by blood and during her sleepwalking it is refers to her little hand, displaying her delicate nature. She is sly and artful as she urges Macbeth to kill Duncan, and she is very cunning as she encourages Macbeth to shake off his worries and guilt. She does however suffer from a healthy conscience. It is easy for her to be bright and merry and it seems second nature to her to act as the most gracious hostess. Lady Macbeth though becomes impatient and absolute when her husband cannot carry out the full details of their assassination. Macbeth is even terrified of her superhuman self-control and unfailing resourcefulness. Throughout the play her courage and her practicality go hand in hand. It is only in private that she shows her weariness. She urges Macbeth to sleep and her faith in sleep is ironical because that is when she expresses her innermost concerns. These actions lead to her mental breakdown from the crimes, which have haunted her.