How did Macbeth change in character from act 1, scene 3 to act 3, scene 1 of Shakespeare's Macbeth

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In act 1, scene 3, Macbeth still retains what could be described as a just and honorable world-view. He's a loyal and faithful servant of his king, Duncan, and has just acquitted himself bravely on the field of battle. Macbeth has been showered with honors for his military service and looks set to continue serving Duncan with distinction for many years to come.

But this rosy picture will start to change once he hears the witches' first prophecy, which will plant the demon seed of treachery in his mind. Macbeth knows that even contemplating the idea of murdering Duncan is wrong, yet he follows the dictates of his overweening ambition, egged on by his scheming wife.

By the time we've reached act 3, scene 1, the situation has changed completely. Macbeth is now the undisputed king of Scotland, a brutal tyrant who's shown himself more than willing to destroy anyone he perceives as a threat in order to maintain his stranglehold on power.

Yet despite this, I would argue that Macbeth's character hasn't...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 813 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team