Macbeth: Victim or Villain
William Shakepear’s Macbeth is a tragedy that contains a perfect example of how lust for power can twist one’s thoughts, emotions, and personality. Even the noblest human being can become malicious when faced with the opportunity to gain power. Macbeth, the play’s protagonist, comes face to face with this exact dilemma, causing him to transform from a valiant war hero into a murderous villain.
At the beginning of the play, Macbeth’s future is foretold by three witches. The first prediction is stated by the first witch saying, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis” (I. ii. 48)! Thane of Glamis was already Macbeth’s title; therefore the first witch is correct. The second witch predicts that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor. Immediately after the witches disappear, a message comes for Macbeth saying that he will now be the Thane of Cawdor as a result of the preceding Thane’s act of treason. The final prediction made by the witches was that Macbeth would be “…King hereafter” (I. iii. 50.). At first, Macbeth dismisses the predictions, but because the first two predictions from the witches are correct, Macbeth concludes that the third must be true as well. The prospect of gaining power as king appeals to Macbeth, but he does not yet know how he will become king. Macbeth decides to take matters into his own hands, creating a plot to kill the current King of Scotland, thereby speeding up the time between now and Macbeth’s coronation. The witches’ predictions have already taken root in his brain and, by dwelling on them, Macbeth allows his evil thoughts to grow and flourish. This causes him to carry out his evil deeds along with his wife, Lady Macbeth, who has also become lethal in the pursuit of power.
After realizing that he can make himself king, Macbeth concocts a plan to kill Duncan, the present King. Macbeth and his wife decide to kill Duncan when he comes, as a guest, to their castle. At this point, Macbeth can easily...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document