How is the character of Macbeth presented in Macbeth?

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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For me, Macbeth is the classic representation of a good man gone bad. The play opens with Macbeth as a loyal subject of King Duncan and as the heroic general who fights in his name. However, when Macbeth meets with the prophesy of the witches he suddenly becomes 'chained' to their suggestion. Although at first he does somewhat struggle over the murder and subsequent death of King Duncan by his hand, Macbeth makes the decision to discard his conscience and becomes ready, willing, and able to kill whomever comes between him and his lust for power. These actions suggest that Macbeth has serious character flaws. He trades his honor and  the friendship of Banquo for power. He even decides that Lady Macbeth is expendable. Macbeth's lust and some might even say 'addiction' to the witches prophesies of power have blinded him and are cause for his ultimate demise.

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