Macbeth Character Analysis

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‘Macbeth’ is about the corrupting power of ambition which leads to the betrayal and downfall of the once great Macbeth. In the 1600’s it was believed that kings were appointed by ‘Divine Right’ and were anointed by God. To kill a king was considered the worst sin and a terrible crime. ‘Macbeth’ is a tragedy and the character of Macbeth is a tragic hero.

Throughout the play there are several main themes used by Shakespeare, ambition, loyalty, betrayal, the supernatural and fate are some of these themes; and they are displayed by language techniques such as imagery, soliloquies, dramatic irony and rhyme. Shakespeare uses these techniques in order to entertain the audience.

In this essay I will argue that Macbeth is in many ways typical of the kind of tragic hero that was often found in Greek tragedy, he is aggressive and bellicose similar to the scheming Machiavelli such as Richard III. I will focus in how Shakespeare presents Macbeth at the start of the play, how he is presented when he is faced with the decision of whether or not to kill King Duncan, his relationship with the supernatural and how he is presented by the end of the play. I will also consider how ‘Macbeth’ is a “Tragedy of Fate” which makes the outcome more the result of destiny than of any individual hamartia.

Aristotle states that tragedy is “an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of certain magnitude”. ‘Macbeth’ is a play that explores the life and death issues and ambitions of power

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