Macbeth: Character Analysis of Macbeth

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Macbeth: Character Analysis of Macbeth

Macbeth was a true Shakespearean tragic hero. He had many noble qualities as well as several tragic flaws. He was a courageous, brave and good nobleman who was haunted by superstition, moral cowardice and an overwhelming ambition. Progressively through the play, his flaws started consuming his qualities until they are that can be seen of him.

Macbeth was a courageous and strong nobleman. He and Banquo were leaders of King Duncan's army. His personal powers and strength as a general won him the battle as described by the captain (I,2, "But all's too weak:/ For brave Macbeth -- well he deserved that name -- / Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,/ Which smoked with bloody execution,/ Like valor's minion carved out his passage/ Till he faced the slave;"). Macbeth was even undiscouraged when he was attacked by the King of Norway, "assisted by that most disloyal traitor, the thane of Cawdor." Lady Macbeth convinced her husband to murder Duncan by putting his manhood and courage at stake (I,7, "When you durst do it, then you were a man;/ And to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man"). As Macbeth started degrading he lost some bravery (IV, 1, "That I may tell pale- hearted fear it lies"). In his fight with Macduff, some of his old courage and strength returned.

Macbeth could be brave when it came to action but when he started thinking he would hesitate and would have to be urged into action by his wife or by the sense of security that he obtained from the prophecies of the supernatural. He changed his mind five times before murdering Duncan. The witches' prophecy that he would be king made him decide to leave it to "chance," but Duncan's announcement that Malcolm was to be his heir made Macbeth realize that he would have to take a course of action for the prophecies to come true. He changed his mind again before he reached home until his wife persuaded him that it could be done safely....
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