The Character of Macbeth Essay

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The Character of Macbeth

From noble Macbeth to this dead butcher.

People of Shakespear's time are often thought of as Elizabethans but in fact Macbeth was written when Queen Elizabeth was on her deathbed and had appointed James the VI of Scotland her successor.Shakespeare wrote the play with this new king in mind. The basic story of Macbeth follows that of the "Chronicles of Scotland" a history book of the time. The real-life Banquo was guilty but since he was an ancestor of James I Shakespeare makes him innocent.

At this point in history people believed in the devine right of kings -- that kings were appointed by God. Therefore killing the king was far worst than ordinary murder because you were committing a crime against God.
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In the banquet scene Macbeth can again be seen to be terrified when Banquo's ghost appears to him. Only at the end of the play is he again a fearless man of action saying, " I have almost forgotten the taste of fears." In his last speech in the play, all but beaten he cries, "Yet I will try my last" showing that he is willing to go down fighting a brave gustier.

Throughout the play Macbeth is concerned with being a real man a fact exploited by Lady Macbeth when she makes him murder Duncan by calling him a coward. At first he defends himself saying, "I dare do all that may become a man; / Who dares do more, is none." By this Macbeth means that the crime would be immoral but he is still persuaded by his wife. This is one of the main examples in the play of how Macbeth is manipulated by his wife. Banquo's ghost terrifies Macbeth, but he is even more terrified by his own fear because it makes him doubt his manhood. He says, "What man dare, I dare" and insists that if the ghost takes the shape of a wild animal, he will face it without trembling. When it goes he says, " I am a man again." This shows that Macbeth can face physical threat but not that of guilt or the supernatural.

Macbeth knows that killing the king is wrong and at the start of Act 1 scene7 he decided to, "proceed no further in the business." Having killed Duncan he regrets it immediately and seeing his bloody hands says, "A sorry sight." He is also deeply disturbed by

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