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MacBeth, the protagonist, in the play MacBeth by William Shakespeare was a dynamic character. He changed from an admired, loyal, courageous, loved man in the beginning to a tragic, jealous, selfish character in the end. MacBeth is both good and evil, even though he used more evil than good.

MacBeth was a good character before he listened to the witches. He had a strong personality, he was a very noble warrior who had lots of physical courage for he had won the battle in the beginning, “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.” 1. He was admired by all of Scotland and was a very popular leader because he fought for his country, “Those he commands move only in command, nothing in love” 2. He always knew what was right, but because he was an ambitious man he sometimes did the wrong thing. MacBeth was also a sensitive man because he felt loyalty to the king, and felt that the king had done lots for him, and killing the ruler would make him feel afraid and guilty. When MacBeth killed the king, was when evil struck upon him.

MacBeths evil came from his ambition to become king. He slowly became evil as he got to know the witches more and more, he believed the witches when they said he would become king, even though he knew they were evil and no good,

“This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill, can not be good; if ill,

Why hath it given me earnest of success” 3

He was a superstitious man, he would believe anything or do anything to get what he wanted, even kill, “I have done the deed. Didst thou not here a noise?” 4. MacBeths mind was not stable any more because of the hallucinations.

The key to MacBeth was his imagination. After he had killed Duncan MacBeth went to phscological hell, he saw everything from apparitions to ghostly daggers, “Is this a dagger which I see before me” 5. MacBeth went to the witches to get his future told, and there the apparitions appeared,

“Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn

The power of man, for none of women born

Shall harm MacBeth” 6

MacBeth based his victory on the witches’ prophecies, this was MacBeths fatal flaw, (tragic flaw), it destroyed him. He was so sure he was going to win but because of his belief in the supernatural, he was killed.

In conclusion, MacBeth was a man, like any other man, whose human nature was one of good and evil. MacBeth was not fundamentally good nor bad. He had a dual nature, and because of his ambition he seemed to ignore his good nature and focus on the bad side of himself to get power. Although MacBeth was evil, he never gave up, and he fought until the end of his life.

1 MacBeth I iii 38

2 Angus V ii 19

3 MacBeth I iii 130-132

4 MacBeth II ii 15

5 MacBeth II i 33

6 Second Apparition (a bloody Child) IV i 79-81


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