Change of Character in Macbeth Essay

920 Words 4 Pages
Change of Character in Macbeth

"Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be / What thou art promised" (1.5.15-16). In Shakespeare's classic tragedy Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is a strong, scheming instigator, the person who initially plans the murder of King Duncan. Her husband, on the other hand, vacillates, tormented by his conscience, terrified of the consequences. By the end of the play, however, the roles reverse. Macbeth becomes the devious character, while his wife wallows in grief and despair.

The entire play centers around Macbeth's desire to be king. Macbeth first realizes that he has a chance to become royalty when he meets three mysterious witches. They proclaim "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King
…show more content…
When he refuses to plant the bloody daggers on Duncan's guards, she scolds him. "Infirm of purpose!" she proclaims (2.2.51). She stalks off to place the evidence herself, leaving her husband to struggle with his feelings of guilt.

After Macbeth discovers that he has gotten away with the murder of Duncan, and the guilt has been cast upon others, he begins to become more confident about his role in the murder. He plans the murder of Banquo without consulting his wife at all. Shortly before hiring assassins to "take out" the man who was formerly Macbeth's closest friend, the title character ruminates on his fears:

...Our fears in Banquo stick deep,

And in his royalty of nature reigns that

Which would be fear'd. 'Tis much he dares...

...There is none but he

Whose being I do fear: and under him

My genius is rebuked... (3.1.49-56)

Macbeth takes great pleasure in committing yet another atrocious act. His next plot is carried out on the wife and children of Macduff. He wants to force Macduff to face him in battle, and decides that murdering his family is the most efficient way of doing this. Although this is a positive action for Macbeth, it only furthers his wife's downward spiral into her despair. She seems to finally be either unwilling or incapable of comprehending her husband's wicked actions.

Macbeth is

Related Documents