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How Macbeth Changed Throughout the Play?

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At first Macbeth was kind, noble, courageous, and loyal. At the beginning of the play the wounded soldier was saying how loyal Macbeth was, in battle when he was fighting for the King, and slaying the enemy. The solider says , ‘For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name- Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour’s minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseam’d him from the nave to the chaps, And fixed his head upon our battlements’. He was respected a lot as even King Duncan praised him, ‘O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman! ’ All these titles prove that Macbeth was very popular in Scotland before he started committing the murders.

Macbeth had never thought of murdering the king until the witches’ promises put the thought in his head. Even when he knew that Duncan’s murder must happen, before he could become king he still refused in doing it as he mentions, ‘My thought whose murder is yet but fantastical shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise, and nothing is, but what is not.’ He also says in a different line of the play, ‘If chance will have me king, then chance may crown me.’ This line emphasises the point that he does not want to murder the king even though he wants his status.

His relationship with Lady Macbeth was very good at the beginning, but it wasn’t as strong at the end. I interpreted this as Macbeth wrote a letter to his wife to tell her what happened, he wanted her to know as he loved her and wanted to know her opinion on the matter. In the movie by Roman Polanski they are very romantic when he returns home from battle. After the murder they didn’t talk to each other much, and Macbeth started making huge decisions, without her consent or without telling her, an example of the decisions he made was when he planned to kill Banquo, and Macduff’s family. That was probably one of the reasons she committed suicide.

At first the thought of murdering the king made Macbeth go crazy, he wouldn’t dare do it and he kept seeing hallucinations. But he still carried on the plan and eventually killed Duncan. However after the murder he became fearless and he continued his evil journey which just resulted with more murders, and consequences. Macbeth became a very anxious man and worried over everything. He wouldn’t trust anyone, not even the murderers hired for Banquo’s murder, because he sent one of his loyal men to watch them. He also has spies in all the lords’ homes to keep an eye on them, and also to make sure that they don’t suspect Macbeth of committing all the murders. He starts feeling more insecure as he knows that there could be traitors amongst the lords and servants, and he already suspected Macduff because he didn’t turn up for his (King Macbeth’s) feast. This made him revisit the witches. The witches’ masters tell him that he should beware Macduff; they also tell him that no harm shall come to him until Birnam wood came to Dunsinane hill, and they told him none of women born shall harm him. They made him feel secure so he wouldn’t be scared until all that actually came true.

Macbeth has changed massively as he continued murdering as he had murdered the guards, Banquo, and Macduff’s family. He was forced into doing Duncan’s murder, but the rest he did on his own will. This proves that the Witches did affect him by making him do one murder, because it made him want to do more murders. Many Scottish lords already suspected him and gave him these kinds of names, tyrant, villainous, and insane. This is how Macbeth changed from being courageous, loyal, and kind, to being cruel, insensitive, and anxious.

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