Macbeth Character Analysis

Decent Essays

In the beginning of the play, Macbeth’s actions can be described as cautiously calculated as he only does what he believes to be necessary in the achievement of his goal to be king, and thus his mental state remains stable during this time. Macbeth’s decision to take the witches’ prophecies seriously demonstrates the fact that he is willing to do and believe anything needed to be King, regardless of the possible repercussions. As Macbeth was contemplating the prophecies he thinks to himself, “The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step/ On which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap,/ For in my way it lies” (Shakespeare 1.4.55-57). Macbeth chooses to internalize what the witches tell him, regardless of the fact that it seems preposterous. He …show more content…

Macbeth’s conscience is displayed as he hopes that the gods “very stones prate of my whereabout,/ And take the present horror from the time,/ Which now suits with it” (2.1.65-67). The decision of killing the present King takes a very long time for Macbeth to reach, due to the fact that he is frightened by the idea of creating a large amount of harm. However, once the decision is made, Macbeth is left in horror thinking about this deed. This “present horror” showcases Macbeth’s controlled mindset as he wants to be King but does not want to cause others to unnecessarily suffer as a result. Therefore, Macbeth’s decisions near the beginning of the play are thoughtful, a reflection of his calm state of mind, however he quickly progresses in a downwards spiral.
As the play progresses, Macbeth begins to make unhinged decisions that are pre-emptive to protect his status, ultimately resulting in his paranoia. Macbeth’s rash choice to kill Banquo reflects the unreasonable turn his actions take, as his crazed behavior is beginning to show. Banquo being alive agitates Macbeth to the point he feels “in such bloody distance,/ That every minute of his being thrusts/ Against my near’st of life” (3.1.128-130). Banquo is not posing a major threat to Macbeth’s ruling, however Macbeth feels the need to kill him in order to have a sense of security. He does this by manipulating murderers, a needless preventative deed that further highlights Macbeth’s paranoia. The fact that Macbeth hires

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