In the play MACBETH, Macbeth is a dynamic character that changes from good to bad. He starts out as a man who cannot even think of murdering someone; to someone who hesitantly kills the king; and, finally, to someone who doesn’t even bat an eyelid at killing children.

Macbeth was a famous and well-known general in King Duncan’s army. One day, he came across three witches who prophesied that he would one day be thane of Cawdor and a king. Soon after the encounter, Macbeth is given the title of Thane of Cawdor. Upon receiving this news, he exclaims, “The thane of Cawdor still lives: why dress me/In borrow’d robes?” (I.iii.108) This portrayed Macbeth as someone who wouldn’t even dare take on the title currently held by another person – much less, murder anyone for his title.

But the seed of pride and greed was planted in his heart as he dwelled on the prophecies by the witches. Perhaps, he mused that since the prophecy of becoming thane of Cawdor was already fulfilled, he would definitely be made a king. His hopes, however, were crushed when King Duncan named his son, Malcolm, to be the next in line for the throne. Alas, the greed and pride took further root in his heart, and with some persuasive encouragement from his wicked wife, he assassinated King Duncan, howbeit, with much hesitation. So much so, that Lady Macbeth had to talk, once more, to Macbeth into killing the king. This, sadly, was the first of many murders committed by either Macbeth himself or hired murderers.

Banquo and his son, Fleance, were the next victims. Although Fleance managed to escape, Banquo wasn’t so fortunate. Macduff’s wife and children followed soon after. With each murder, Macbeth’s heart grew more calloused, until he didn’t hesitate at all when he ordered the massacre of Macduff’s family.

Though one could say that Macbeth’s actions and downfall was because of his wife’s advice and the prophecies given by the three witches, he has no one to blame but himself. Macbeth is truly a tragic character and a good example that, “…every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”


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