Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth

Shakespeare: Macbeth

Free Shakespeare: Macbeth research papers were donated by our members/visitors and are presented free of charge for informational use only. The essay or term paper you are seeing on this page was not produced by our company and should not be considered a sample of our research/writing service. We are neither affiliated with the author of this essay nor responsible for its content. If you need high quality, fresh and competent research / writing done on the subject of Shakespeare: Macbeth, use the professional writing service offered by our company.

In Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, the characters and the roles they play are
critical to its plot and theme, and therefore many of Shakespeare's characters
are well developed and complex. Two of these characters are the protagonist,
Macbeth, and his wife, Lady Macbeth. They play interesting roles in the tragedy,
and over the course of the play, their relationship changes and their roles are
essentially switched. At the beginning of the play, they treat each other as
equals. They have great concern for each other, as illustrated when Macbeth
races to tell Lady Macbeth the news about the witches and she immediately begins
plotting how to gain for her husband his desire to be king. At this point, Lady
Macbeth is the resolute, strong woman, while Macbeth is portrayed as her
indecisive, cowardly husband. He does have ambition, but at this point, his
conscience is stronger than that ambition. Lady Macbeth explains this
characteristic of her husband in Act I, Scene v, when she says, "Yet do I
fear thy nature; it is too full o' th' milk of human kindness to catch the
nearest way." The next stage of change developing in the characters of
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is in Act II. This is the act in which Macbeth kills
King Duncan. Macbeth's character change is apparent because it is obvious that
he has given in to his ambition and has murdered the king. He is not entirely
changed, though, because he is almost delirious after he has committed the
crime. He exclaims, "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean
from my hand? No; this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine,
making the green one red." He believes that instead of the ocean cleaning
his hands, his hands would turn the ocean red. Macbeth's role has changed
somewhat but not entirely, since he has committed the crime but his conscience
is still apparent after the murder. Lady Macbeth's role similarly changes
somewhat in Act II. The reader sees a crack in her strong character when she
tells Macbeth in Scene ii of Act II that she would have murdered Duncan herself
if he had not resembled her father as he slept. Her boldness is still evident,
though, when she calms Macbeth after the murder and believes "a little
water clears us of this deed." Unlike the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth,
their relationship remains unchanged from Act I to II. Their relationship is
still very close as seen through Duncan's murder - a product of teamwork. At the
end of Act III, both the roles and the relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
have reached the final stage of their change. Now that Duncan is dead and
Macbeth is hopelessly headed toward a life of immorality, Lady Macbeth fades
into the background. Macbeth takes it upon himself in Act III to plot Banquo's
murder without consulting his wife because he wants to protect her from the
corruption that he has involved himself with. His role is now completely changed
and there is no turning back for him. As Macbeth goes off on his own course
during this time, Lady Macbeth's guilt is overwhelming and, cut off from him,
she descends into madness. Her guilt emerges in Act III, Scene ii when she says
she would rather be dead, and it grows from then on until her death. Lady
Macbeth's character change is also evident in Act III, Scene ii when she backs
out of Macbeth's mysterious murder plan and tells him, "You must leave
this." The relationship between the couple is being torn apart by this time
in Macbeth. They are headed in separate directions - Macbeth towards a life of
evil and Lady Macbeth towards insanity and grief. As Shakespeare developed the
characters of Macbeth and his wife, their changing roles ironically ended up
resembling the other one's role. At the beginning of the tragedy, Macbeth was
the hesitant character with a strong conscience, while Lady Macbeth was powerful
and firm. However, by the time these two characters were completely changed,
Macbeth ended up being decisive and greedy, as Lady Macbeth turned out to be
weak since her guilty conscience drove her insane. Shakespeare's exchange of
roles in Macbeth is clever yet unusual, but after all, "things aren't
always what they seem."
Good or bad? How would you rate this essay?
Help other users to find the good and worthy free term papers and trash the bad ones.
Like this term paper? Vote & Promote so that others can find it

Get a Custom Paper on Shakespeare: Macbeth:

Free papers will not meet the guidelines of your specific project. If you need a custom essay on Shakespeare: Macbeth: , we can write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written papers will pass any plagiarism test, guaranteed. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

Related essays:

Shakespeare: Macbeth / Macbeth
Besides being a powerful work written by Shakespeare, Macbeth was also a gruesome tragedy about the deaths of many people including Macbeth’s wife. For a person that lived through such tough circumst...
Shakespeare: Macbeth / Macbeth
During Shakespearean times, women were regarded as delicate little creatures who were there to give birth and look pretty. They were not thought to be smart or equal to men. Though in Shakespeare’s p...
Shakespeare: Macbeth / Macbeth
In the final acts of Shakespeare’s Macbeth the motiff blood plays a big role. It adds drama and shows how influencial the sight of blood is to many people. For instance, on page 356,Act 5, Scene 3, ....
Shakespeare: Macbeth / Macbeth
I am going to prove that in the play Macbeth, a symbol of blood is portrayed often (and with different meanings), and that it is a symbol that is developed until it is the dominating theme of the pla...
Shakespeare: Macbeth / Macbeth
In all of his plays, Shakespeare uses an assortment of motifs and symbols that bear vivid imagery, almost bringing them to life, just like a character. In the tragedy Macbeth, Shakespeare does an exc...