Macbeth's Misunderstanding of Evil

Topics: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Tragic hero Pages: 3 (1157 words) Published: February 13, 2011
Macbeth’s Misunderstanding of Evil
Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays, captivates the audience and readers with a unique plot and note worthy characters. Of these characters, Macbeth, not unaffected by evil, an internal or external force that compels an individual to do harm to others, ultimately reaches self-devastation by his own hand. His choices lead him to do so. Macbeth, the tragic hero of the play, allows his flaw of misunderstanding of evil guide him to destruction. As the tragic hero of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth is perceived a character with values. Shakespeare portrays him as a tragic hero, having one flaw, but primarily an honorable character. In act 1 a servant tells about Macbeth’s experiences on the battle field. The servant relaying the events of the battle to the king refers to Macbeth as “For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name (2).” This shows that others view Macbeth as being brave. Macbeth, also said to be “Like valour’s minion (2),” clearly can be seen as courageous because he models himself based on heroism and bravery. Macbeth “unseam’d [the enemy] from the nave to the chaps,/ And fix’d his head upon our battlements (2).” This shows Macbeth’s strength and power in battle. It also displays his loyalty to the king because he kills the enemy. Macbeth, being brave, strong, and loyal, is a decent and wholesome character. Although Macbeth exists as a note worth character, he misunderstands evil and this flaw leads to his demise. In act one Shakespeare shows Macbeth’s curiosity in the witches who are the epitome of evil. When the three witches tell Macbeth that he can potentially be the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Scotland, he wonders how and requests more information from the witches. Macbeth’s speech reveals that he has much interest in what the supernatural powers of the witches can tell him. When he says, “Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more (6)” he asks them to give him more...
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