Analysis of how Macbeth changes

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Macbeth by William Shakespeare is the story of how one mans hubris destroys him. From it, we can extrapolate and comment on how in society people have a choice. We can live a life of altruism, valour and nobility or one fuelled by ambition, greed and violence. Macbeths journey from the former to the later showcases to the audience the dangers of selfishness. It prompts us to question our view of life – do we succumb to the false promises of evil, as tempting as they are, or do we remain defiant and true to ourselves. Shakespeare’s play is a very clear warning against listening to the dark forces that are constantly around us.

In the initial scenes of the play, Shakespeare creates a very deliberate first impression of Macbeth and the
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It contains the ominous line “the greatest is behind”. These words, though ambiguous, suggest to the audience that that Macbeth believes the greatest has already been achieved (i.e. it is his destiny to be king) so the next steps will be easier. The next steps include getting rid of Duncan. Through his aside he describes to the audience the thoughts running through his head. He is battling with his innate goodness “if good, why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrible image doth unfix my hair” and make his “ heart knock at his ribs”. His language reveals that he is considering murdering king Duncan, though he would loathe doing it. However at the end of the aside Macbeth decides not to follow through with the murder “if chance will have me king, why chance may crown me without my stir” and instead leave it to chance as he knows he should be loyal to king Duncan “our duties are to your throne”. From this aside the audience learns that Macbeth wants greatness to be his but the horribleness of murder and his loyalty to the throne are preventing him. At this point Macbeth is still a good man even though he is flawed. He is aware of his own ambition but is not allowing to undermine his integrity. An aside is also used following a meeting between Duncan, Macbeth and Banquo. In this scene Shakespeare uses dramatic irony for when Duncan refers to the traitor Cawdor ne says “he was a gentleman upon which I built an absolute trust”. This foreshadows how
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