Macbeth Analysis

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The Audience’s Perception of Macbeth

As one reads the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, they could not fail to notice the evolution of the main character, Macbeth, and his tragic fall from a once proud man to the scourge of his kingdom. From the first scene the reader is introduced to protagonist as being an honorable, brave, and loyal military man, who exemplifies what it means to be a general in his king’s army. However, as the play progresses, Macbeth begins to dive deeper into the dark side of human nature and by the end of the play he has transformed into an almost complete opposite of the man the reader was originally presented with. Throughout the play Macbeth is both influenced and tricked by other characters into going against the principals and code that he initially held dear. On the surface many would argue that Macbeth was simply a common villain who attempted to take what he wanted by any means necessary. However, as one takes a closer look into the story it becomes clear that Macbeth should be pitied as a man who lost himself and fell too far into the darkness.

The driving force behind Macbeth’s descent into madness is spurred on by the continued influencing by outside forces. Although Macbeth is first presented as a loyal general to his king, he desires greater power and stature in the kingdom. Macbeth’s ambition to obtain this power is first sparked by his encounter with the witches on his return home from battle. The witches greet Macbeth with “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!”(9). After Macbeth receives the witches’ prophecy he begins to dwell on the idea of becoming the king of Scotland even after Banquo’s advice to avoid the evil temptations. This is the first instance in which the reader sees a glimmer of dishonor in Macbeth, although he questions whether or not the title will simply fall to him or if he will have to perform a dark deed to acquire the throne. Upon reading a letter from her husband describing the...
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