Why Did Macbeth Change from a Heroic and Loyal General Into a Vicious Murderer? Who Was Most Responsible for This Enormous Change?

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At the start of the play, Macbeth was portrayed as a heroic and courageous man. He created this image for himself by fighting long and hard in the King of Scotland’s battle. The King of Scotland (along with all his people) was very impressed with Macbeth. He was rewarded for his efforts, being presented with the title of the Thane of Cawdor. After the battle, he and Banquo were out riding when they bumped into a group of incredibly strange women that had a strange aura of power about them (the witches). It was here that Macbeth was confronted with the prophecy that someday he would become King of Scotland. There were many reasons Macbeth could become King without murdering anyone – the current king could die, renounce his throne and appoint Macbeth as King, or Macbeth could overthrow him. Macbeth did indeed think for a while that he could become King without murdering anyone. “If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me without stir.”

There were a lot of reasons why Macbeth was reluctant to murder King Duncan. For a start, he was a good King. He had been treating Macbeth very well, showering him with praise and rewards. The King wasn’t the only one who thought highly of Macbeth. The people of Scotland also held him in high regard. If he killed or tried to kill the King and got caught, his reputation would be gone. The final reason he had for not murdering King Duncan was that he was his host, and he should be protecting not endangering him. These reasons were all forgotten when Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth, convinced him to murder King Duncan. She told him straight out that he ‘wasn’t a real man’ if he didn’t do this. She was involved in the murders both by convincing Macbeth and by drugging the men who stood guard in front of the King’s sleeping chambers.

King Duncan’s sons feared that after their father was murdered, they would be next. They were very wary of everyone, and wanted to leave the castle as soon as possible. Banquo strongly suspected...
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