Macbeth: Hero or Villain

2592 Words11 Pages
Macbeth: Hero or Villain

In this essay, I will be divulging into 'Macbeth' written by William Shakespeare in 1603, to try and answer the question 'Was Macbeth a true hero or villain in the play?'. Macbeth is a play of villainy, murder, deceit and oftenly described as a 'play fit for a king'. In my personal opinion, the evidence from Shakespeare's original text and Roland Polanski's video version strongly suggests that Macbeth was a true villain rather than a hero. An example of his villainy is the fact that Macbeth assassinated his King to thrust himself to power in Act 1, Scene 2. A second example is when Macbeth sends murderers to kill the family of Macduff, a nobleman of Scotland, in Act 4,
…show more content…
"Brave Macbeth, well he deserves that name"

Macduff, Act 1, Scene 1, Line 16

In my personal opinion, at this point of the play Macbeth was a hero in all purity. This is mainly due to the fact that he was willing to sacrifice his own life whilst fighting for his King and country. At this point, Macbeth had a wide range of heroic qualities which made people admire and respect him, including the fact that he was a honest, brave, loyal, courageous leader and that he led his army by example.

In Act 1, Scene 4, we see Macbeth officially declared as the 'Thane of Cawdor' by King Duncan for his courageous acts in battle against Norway. I could initially interpret from both the text and the video version that Duncan had a deep respect for Macbeth by the way he addresses him in the scene. For example, 'thy worthiest cousin' and 'my worthy cawdor'. The respect in which Duncan gives Macbeth is returned by Macbeth several times through out the scene. I personally feel that the following quotes made by Duncan and Macbeth show the respect and possible love that they feel for each other. The quote made by Duncan which shows his love and respect greatly occurs in Act 1, Scene 6 when he arrives at the Macbeths' castle to celebrate Scotland's victory in
Get Access