Macbeth's humanity throughout the play

1003 Words Nov 13th, 2013 5 Pages
‘What is so tragic is the spectacle of a man who could have been a great human being but who loses most of his humanity and greatness by the end of the play.’ Write about the way this theme is developed in Macbeth.

The tragedy seen in this play is the loss of the man that Macbeth could have been, hadn’t he given in to fulfilling his ambition. Shakespeare leads us to see the deterioration in both Macbeth’s character and his morality. Macbeth, being the tragic hero of the play, undergoes some great changes throughout the acts. Macbeth cannot resist his ambition, and this leads him to his downfall. After a lot of deliberating within himself he decides to act on the witches’ prophecies. He freely decides to believe in what the witches
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Although he still felt guilty, saw his ghost, he wasn’t as troubled as when he killed his King.
‘I am afraid to think what I have done.
Look on’t again I dare not.’
In Banquo’s murder he was more determined and no longer needed Lady Macbeth to push him on.
He states ;
‘Strange things I have in head, that will to hand
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.’
This shows that from now on he will act upon his plans immediately and will not deliberate about them. His madness drives him to kill Macduff’s innocent family, due to his cruelty the Scottish and Scotland itself must suffer. His reaction to Lady Macbeth’s death further implies that he has become empty of any feeling and this also shows that the two have grown apart. He has become so fearless that he ‘has almost forgotten the taste of fears’. Once his life is cursed, he realises that the witches were never to be trusted however it is now too late. The great tragedy of the play is the loss of the kind of man Macbeth could have been and almost was. The contradictions of his character and his fatal mistake in giving in to his ambition could not make this possible. Macbeth has chosen to fulfil his ambition freely and is responsible for his actions. He is seen as a tragic hero as he loses his greatness due to his
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