Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth Character

Shakespeare: Macbeth

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One of the great shakespearen tragedies, Macbeth is a play based on character
and deed. Set in Scotland, the play cleverly develops each of the main
characters, molding their essence and traits into a twisted masterpiece. The
central character Macbeth is driven by his ambition to become king of Scotland,
and in the process commits acts of betrayl and treachery. However, it has been
stated many times that behind every man is an even greater woman who drives her
man to succeed. Lady Macbeth is the great woman behind the man. As the play
progresses one can clearly see where a wife's ambition fuels her husband, and
leads him to his downfall. Within the first act, Lady Macbeth receives a letter
from Macbeth detailing his encounter with the witches and their prophecies.
After reading the letter, she immediately began plotting to assassinate Duncan.
Our first indication of Lady Macbeth's ambition and dark nature is evident when
she says, "…That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my
battlements. " (I: v: 39). She continues her speech by asking the spirits
to: unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst
cruelty! Stop up the access and passage to remorse (I: v) to give her the
capability to be remorseless. Lady Macbeth's depravity and lack of morality
begins to have an effect on Macbeth as he progresses from a ethical man to one
willing to commit murder. Macbeth begins to expereince extreme conflict of
emotions at this point. His ambitiousness is leading him towards killing Duncan
while his remaining shreds of morality will not allow him to commit a crime of
such magnitude. He debates the pros and cons of his decision and ultimately his
morality wins the battle. "We will proceed no further in this
business" (I: vii) he tells his wife. It would have ended here had Lady
Macbeth not involved herself further. Knowing that she had the power in their
relationship, she questions Macbeth's manhood, and courage: When you durst do
it, then you were a man; And, to be more than what you wre you would Be so much
more the man…(I:vii)
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