The Change of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

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The Change of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

Throughout the preliminary scenes of the tragedy the character of Macbeth is portrayed as a brave and noble soldier. He does not seem the kind of man who could come up with the ludicrous notion of committing such a horrifying act as murder. However we soon witness “brave Macbeth” rapidly propelled into the obscure world of darkness and evil. Overwhelming confirmation that Macbeth has succumbed to the witches’ prophecies arrives when Macbeth reveals “the greatest is behind”.

We also witness the transformation from a brave and admired gentleman to a traitorous villain. His downfall is caused by his strong and powerful
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Macbeth’s unwillingness shortly vanishes as he becomes “settled”, in spite of his guilt, and chooses to commit the crime of murdering the king. Immediately prior to the murder, however, Macbeth experiences a “fatal vision” when he sees a dagger before his eyes and asks the infamous question “is this a dagger I see before me?” The hallucination is “a dagger of the mind, a false creation” and the first of many to come in which Macbeth’s subconscious guilt is expressed. An additional display of his repentance is when he wants darkness to envelop his actions and requests “stars hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires”. Despite the noticeable fears Macbeth has he continues with the plan. Subsequently he is filled with regret and remorse for his actions and instantaneously registers his own evil as he states to his wife how he had “most need of blessing, and ‘Amen’ stuck in my throat.” He is intensely aware of his wickedness and “shall sleep no more!” as he is “afraid to think what I have done”.

In extreme juxtaposition to Macbeth however, his ruthless wife, Lady Macbeth exhibits no feelings of remorse and is miserably lacking in the morals of her husband whose nature she fears is “too full o’th’ milk of human

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