From the beginning of the play, and in the progression of the plotline, it is clear that the character of Macbeth is in the downward spiral into evil. Macbeth’s evil and inner demons originate from a combination of the prophecy of the three witches, as well as his own lofty ambitions. However, it is the pressure from power hungry Lady Macbeth, and the murder of King Duncan that help transform Macbeth into the ruthless and immoral killer that he becomes. As the play continues he shows less and less remorse and begins committing more serious and sinister crimes, such as the killing of his best friend, and the innocent. By the end of the play, Macbeth is completely consumed by the evil, which subsequently ends his reign as king of Scotland.
The story begins after Scotland achieves a glorious victory in a bloody military battle, led by Macbeth who is a military general and the Thane of Glamis. We first meet the characters Macbeth and Banquo as they stumble upon the weird sisters, who greet them with their prophecy that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor, and King. “All Hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All Hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!”(Act 1, Scene 3, Line 50-53) Banquo doesn’t take them seriously, but Macbeth is intrigued by their words and believes what they say. “Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more…” (Act 1, Scene 3, Line 70). The contemplation of their prophecies allows this idea to plant itself within Macbeth’s subconscious. The king calls Macbeth to his castle and names him the Thane of Cawdor, as a reward for his valor in battle, and therefore confirms the first part of the prophecy. Macbeth immediately begins to believe the witches and considers the possibility of becoming king. This is where the first traces of evil are seen in him, as he first contemplates the idea of killing Duncan to become king. “If chance will have me King, why, chance may crown me, without my stir” (Act 1, Scene 3, Line 143).
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