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Compare and contrast Macbeth as he changes in each act.

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shalla | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2007 at 5:32 AM via web

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Compare and contrast Macbeth as he changes in each act.

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 4, 2007 at 9:38 AM (Answer #1)

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I'm guessing that this is an assignment that is a bit beyond the range of what an eNotes editor should do.  I'd like to help by suggesting that you look at the summaries and information provided by eNotes (see links below) in the Macbeth study guide, and consider for yourself how Macbeth changes throughout the story. In many ways he changes drastically, but in others, you can see from the start that he is a cold-blooded killer.  The problem is that he goes from being able to do that on the battlefield to being able to murder an old, defenseless, sleeping king - not to mention sending hired murderers to do in his former friends.

Good luck!

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mvmaurno | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 4, 2007 at 10:02 AM (Answer #2)

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In a nutshell, Macbeth undergoes major undesirable changes in his moral and ethical character; each act brings him further away from the scrupulous  soldier and supportive husband he is at the beginning of the play. After having had a strong relationship with his wife, he harbors secrets from her and eventually bottoms out by showing little to no interest in her death.  He evolves from being a a honorable kinsman and loyal friend to plotting the murder of the king and his best friend to win the crown.  At the end of the play, Macbeth returns slightly to decency when he doesn't want to fight Macduff because he has murdered his wife and son and wishes to cause him no further harm at Dunsinane. However, his evil is our most lasting impression.

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