Role-Reversal in Macbeth

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When Macbeth first receives the prophecy predicting he will be king and Banquo's heirs will be kings, he is satisfied with the idea of being king. Banquo's heirs do not concern him at this point. Once he assassinates Duncan and is crowned king, however, this isn't enough. Now he wants his heirs to be king. He asks himself, why should he have taken all this risk just to put Banquo's heirs on the throne? Unsatisfied with just ruling himself, he plots to kill not only Banquo, but Fleance. His ambition has grown and become even more menacing. Banquo's murder without consulting his wife because he wants to protect her from the corruption that he has involved himself with. His role is now completely changed and there is no turning back for him. Macbeth's evil deed causes him to suffer from fear and guilt, which leads to even more evil crimes. Then Macbeth becomes paranoid, suffering from hallucinations and sleeplessness. He becomes less human as he tries over and over to establish his manhood. His ruthlessness in killing Banquo and Macduff's family shows how perverted his idea of manliness really is. As Macbeth goes off on his own course during this time, Lady Macbeth's guilt is overwhelming and, cut off from him, she descends into madness. Her guilt emerges in Act III, Scene ii when she says she would rather be dead, and it grows from then on until her death. Lady Macbeth's character change is also evident in Act III, Scene ii when she backs out of Macbeth's mysterious murder plan and tells him, You must leave this. The relationship between the couple is being torn apart by this time. And Macbeth allows the witches to take the place of his wife by allowing them to boost his ego, thinking he cannot be harmed by any man. Macbeth is, of course, mistaken about the witches' prophecies, but this just that he now allows his evil nature to control his actions. By the end, Macbeth has degenerated into evil personified, totally inhumane When Macbeth first receives the...
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