Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What caused Macbeth to change over the play "Macbeth."   Please list some key factors, ie: Fear, Lady Macbeth, Pride. Thank You!

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Macbeth had strong misgivings about murdering King Duncan even before he committed the treacherous and treasonous act. He knew he was doing wrong and making a terrible mistake. He loved Duncan, and Duncan loved him. Throughout the rest of the play he is tormented by guilt, as almost anybody would be who had committed a cold-blooded murder. (King Claudius inHamletis tormented by the same guilt feelings.) So gnawing guilt is one of the reasons for Macbeth's character change.

Macbeth may have been a good follower, but he is not a good king, and he knows that many of his subjects hate him. He uses force to rule, and this only creates resistance and desertion. Unlike Duncan, who was kind and inspired loyalty, Macbeth becomes more and more tyrannical. He is a soldier. It is natural for him to act like a soldier. He is only comfortable when he is fighting.

Macbeth is not a thinker. He relies on his wife to tell him what to do. Later he relies on the Weird Sisters for advice. A man like this does not make a good ruler. His kingdom is being ruined by misgovernment. He is becoming desperate because he doesn't know what to do about it. The news of the approaching English army only makes him more desperate.

There is a significant moment in Act 5, Scene 3 when he says to Seyton: "I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked. Give me my armor." Seyton replies: "'Tis not needed yet.'" Macbeth says: "I'll put it on." He is more comfortable as a soldier than as a king. He knows how to fight but not how to govern. He is not a good administrator or leader, and he knows it.

In Act 5, Scene 2, Angus wisely summarizes Macbeth's state of mind:

Now does he feel

His secret murders sticking on his hands.

Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach.

Those he commands move only in command,

Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title

Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe

Upon a dwarfish thief.

What really caused Macbeth's change during the course of the play was that he made a terrible mistake in thinking he could be king.

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worthyhands | Student
Personally there are one of two reasons his character changes in the play. First being that Macbeth truly believes in the supernatural. What caused this is the witches he encounters at the begining of the play. These witches fortell him he will become thane of Cawdor and then King to be brief. When he was promoted to thane he had reason to believe that being king was soon to come. This is where the second reason comes in. His wife is strong with the will to do and some say that she is the driving force to Macbeths actions. Lady Macbeth is very manipulative and further in the play she becomes very power hungry so she tells Macbeth to kill the king, and in doing so Macbeth becomes reluctant and has different feelings about the king, but his wife being that she is pushes him and pushes him into murdering the king. Hope this helped a little.