Please give me a detailed analysis of the characters in the play Macbeth.

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In the beginning, Macbeth is a fierce soldier. He is victorious in battle. He and his good friend Banquo are a mighty team on the battlefield. They fight for King Duncan with pride and great ability.

Macbeth changes or he is filled with awe at the witches' prophecy about honors that he will receive. Macbeth becomes driven by the prophecy that he will become Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. Such a prophecy is a thrilling act of fate.

In Act 1, Scene 4, Macbeth admits that he he has "black and deep desires."

Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires:

Next, in Act 1, Scene 7, we see that Macbeth has a change of heart. He tells Lady Macbeth that they will proceed no further with the act of killing Duncan:

We will proceed no further in this business:
He hath honor'd me of late...

Now, we see the character of Lady Macbeth. She is manipulating and controlling. She is furious when Macbeth states that he desires to proceed no further in the murdering of Duncan. She insults Macbeth's manhood, asking him if he is afraid to murder King Duncan:

Are you afraid To be the same man in reality
As the one you wish to be? Would you have the crown
Which you believe to be the ornament of life?

Lady Macbeth is power hungry. She desires to be queen of Scotland. She convinces Macbeth to murder King Duncan. Macbeth agrees to proceed:

I’m convinced, and I commit
Every part of my body to this terrible event.

Before the end of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth appear to be losing their sanity. Lady Macbeth cannot wash bloodstains from her hands. She takes her own life.

Macbeth becomes consumed with fear. He has his friend Banquo killed for fear that Banquo will expose the prophecy of the witches. Macbeth has Macduff's innocent wife and children killed because he fears that Macduff knows of his murderous deeds.

Macduff is a foil to Macbeth. He is goodness. Macbeth is evilness. Macduff has integrity. Macbeth is filled with perversion. Macduff flees to Malcolm's side and supports his cause to rid Scotland of the evil Macbeth.

Macduff beheads Macbeth and rids Scotland of tyranny. Malcolm is crowned King of Scotland and restores goodness and sanity back to the throne of Scotland.

 

 

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