How and Why does Macbeth Turn from War Hero to Evil Murderer?

1053 Words Nov 17th, 2010 5 Pages
How and why does Macbeth turn from War Hero to Evil Murderer?
At the start of the well-known (and written) play ‘Macbeth, you would have had no idea that the main character even had the capability to become the ‘evil butcher’ that he does by the end of the play.
This impression is etched into our minds by speeches by the sergeant (all the way through act 1, Scene 2), who seems eager to praise and upgrade Macbeth’s status as much as he possibly can; “Brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name” he gushes. He also seems to enjoy describing the gruesome details of Macbeth’s battle acts – “Till he faced the slave (traitor); which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, till he un-seamed (ripped apart) him from the nave to the chops (guts
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Also, being Duncan’s “kinsman and his subject”, he must stay loyal. “I ought to protect him from his murderer, not carry the knife myself.” he says.
But then Lady Macbeth calls him, and persuades him to carry out the dire deed by first comparing Macbeth’s hesitation with a drunken person that has “...woken up to look sick at what he did when tipsy.” She then makes him feel bad by implying that this deed would prove his love for her – at his hesitation she says “From now on, I know what your love’s worth.” She challenges his manliness and courage, saying “...be a self-confessed coward – ‘I’d like to, but I daren’t’, like the poor cat in the proverb who wanted fish but wouldn’t get his feet wet?”
She then tells him that when he “dared to do it, then you were a man.” And she pointed out that now; at this “perfect opportunity”, he had lost his nerve. Lady Macbeth gives a rather sick-minded example of what she would do to a baby if she had sworn to – “I’d have pulled my nipple from its mouth, and dashed its brains out.” Macbeth is still unsure, and she makes a cunning move – by telling him a foolproof plan, in which she would make the guards drunk and blank minded, smearing blood over them so that they would be blamed for the murder. Macbeth accepts this, and the murder is carried out.
Overall, the main reasons that Macbeth turned from war hero to evil murderer are; the
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