Character Change In Macbeth

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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
A story can only be as strong and as great as its protagonist. A protagonist evolves and grows. But what is there to say about Shakespeare’s Macbeth, one of the greatest works of literary art, in which the protagonist does not evolve, yet devolves? Devolution is the reason why Macbeth is such a compelling and engaging character. Macbeth, once a strong, valiant, level headed man spirals into a vortex of distress as his character crumbles through the plot. Macbeth, a rational war hero, is physiologically distraught as he commits a series of murder in cold blood: means, which do not justify the ends of his missions. Evidence of this is his rising guilt and stark change in character. This regression is most prominently characterized
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The killing is no longer justified by the prophecy, therefore serving a testament of Macbeth 's complete loss of control. Macbeth believes that Macduff’s choice to leave to England is an indication that he is a traitor, and needs to be eliminated. His unstoppable blood lust, even for the innocent, is only fueled by the witches warning, “Beware Macduff;/ Beware the thane of Fife” (4.177-78). Governed by his unyielding ambition, Macbeth follows through with his actions, no matter how cruel they may be; justifying them as being “The very firstlings of my heart shall be/ The firstlings of my hand” (4.1.161-162). The decisions Macbeth carries out demonstrate that he is becoming a corrupt individual. Due to lack of trust, lust for power, and the stubborn guidance of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth becomes suspicious of everyone, murdering even those who were closest to him. In the final scenes of the play, Macbeth loses his mind, sense of rationality and the ability to think logically. Terrible thoughts fill his mind causing him to forget what it means to be afraid, because of his frequent state of

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