How is Macbeth portrayed as evil in the play?

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Macbeth is the protagonist and tragic hero of the play, who becomes the victim of his own unbridled ambition, which motivates him to assassinate King Duncan and develop into an insecure, bloodthirsty tyrant. Macbeth's brutal crime depicts him as an evil, corrupt man, who is obsessed with attaining the Scottish throne. Although Macbeth's murder highlights his evil nature, he becomes more and more malevolent and sinister as the play progresses. After assassinating Duncan, Macbeth orders Banquo's murder and mercilessly has Macduff's entire family slaughtered. Shortly after Macbeth usurps power, conditions in Scotland rapidly decline and the citizens live in constant fear. In addition to Macbeth's violent crimes, other characters portray him as evil by referring to him as "black Macbeth" and "Tyrant." Macbeth's wicked nature is also depicted by his lack of concern for his wife's well-being and his heartless response to her suicide. Overall, Macbeth's evil nature is displayed by his violent crimes, tyrannical personality, and callous demeanor. He becomes Scotland's ultimate enemy after usurping the throne and dies a brutal death at the hands of Macduff during the final battle.

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Early in the play, we see that Macbeth, though not without a sense of honor and loyalty, allows his ambitions to supersede and eventually drive these virtues from his being, so to speak. After meeting the witches, he is very quickly aware that their prophecy that he will be king has awakened chilling emotions. He refers to his "black and deep desires," which he resolves not to reveal to his fellow thanes. Once he has murdered Duncan, a deed he recognizes as evil on every level--he was his cousin, his liege, and his guest--he experiences considerable guilt, but does not allow it to stop him from carrying out even more horrific deeds. He has his friend and comrade Banquo murdered, he sends assassins to kill Macduff's family, and he presides over a bloody reign as king, one which is described by several of the other characters in the play as tyranny. By the time Malcolm's forces advance on Dunsinane, he is a murderous monster devoid of any redeeming characteristics. Having usurped the throne (an act Shakespeare portrays as a violation of nature itself) he unleashes havoc on Scotland.

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