Macbeth - Character Changes

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"This dead butcher and his fiend like queen", is the way in which Malcolm describes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Describe the way in which these two characters changed during the course of the play.

At the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen as a courageous soldier who is loyal to the King but is corrupted from the witches prophecies and by his and Lady Macbeth's ambition. This is because of the weakness of Macbeth's character and the strong power of Lady Macbeth and how she is easily able to influence him. Her strength motivates him at the start but after he realises what he has done it is himself that continues in his murderous, bloody path. At the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth appears as a kind wife of Macbeth's but underneath lies a scheming and treacherous woman.

In the beginning of the play Macbeth is a strong soldier who fights for the King without mercy but his strive for ambition and his curious nature leads him to the witches who give him a prophecy. Banquo realises that there must be a trick hidden in the witches prophecies somewhere but Macbeth refuses to accept that, and when Lady Macbeth finds out about the witches her strong desire for ambition and her cold nature leads Macbeth astray. Macbeth is a little ambitious at first, but Lady Macbeth's far exceeds his and so she is able to get Macbeth to agree with her to kill King Duncan. Macbeth still has a conscience at this stage because he is very hesitant about killing the King but his weak nature over comes him. He has a conscience throughout the entire play as this is seen by the hallucinations of the dagger and the ghost of Banquo and his vivid imagination and his constant worry also provokes him. This is also evident in his terrible dreams which gives the solid theme that he has indeed "murdered sleep".

Throughout the play we see the character of Macbeth change not from just the way he thinks and what we hear from the play, but from the actions he takes in the play, from killing...
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