Hero to Villain in Macbeth by Shakespeare

791 WordsFeb 17, 20183 Pages
Is it possible to go from being a loyal hero to a selfish villain in a short period of time? In the tragedy Macbeth by William Shakespeare, written in the 1600s, Macbeth is first depicted as a noble and loyal Scottish general, who is allegiant to his sovereign, King Duncan. After three witches reveal prophecies to both Macbeth and Banquo, ambition begins to cloud Macbeth’s judgment, resulting in ominous thoughts about killing his king. Although not yet completely ignoble, Macbeth begins to embark on a bloody course with his wife, Lady Macbeth, resulting in the deaths of both King Duncan and Banquo. By Act III, scene iii, Macbeth has lost his noble qualities and is no longer considered a hero. This is best exemplified by Macbeth’s ambition and his role in Banquo’s murder. Macbeth has lost his noble qualities and is no longer considered a hero due to his ambition. After one of the witches’ prophecies came true, King Duncan announces that his son, Malcolm, will succeed him. The witches told Macbeth that he would become king, so upon hearing this news, Macbeth says to himself, “The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step / On which I must fall down or else o’erleap…Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see” (I.iv.55-60). In this aside, Macbeth reveals the terrible desires that plague his mind in order to become king. His ambition to become king by self-fulfilling the prophecy is what is causing him to think this way. The audience begins to see Macbeth change as a character in
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