How does Macbeth's character change throughout the course of the play?

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Payal Khullar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the protagonist Macbeth shows a striking moral and emotional change in his personality throughout the course of the play. From a loyal and courageous warrior in the very beginning of the play, he degenerates to a power hungry, ruthless and deceitful murderer. The main cause of this moral weakness is his over-ambitiousness that in turn is triggered by prophesies of the witches. In simple words, Macbeth loses his conscience completely and becomes an anti-hero, evil, insecure, and inhumane personality. His personal relationship with Lady Macbeth also deteriorates. He kills the king, Banquo, Macduff's family and many others brutally. But his character shows a deep shift yet again towards the end of the play. He realizes his fault and choses to fight courageously, knowing and accepting his fate and dying as a hero in the war.