Why might you conclude that Macbeth's character is not all bad?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is presented as an honorable, courageous soldier, who valiantly fights for King Duncan. Only after meeting with the Three Witches does Macbeth's ambitious nature begin to develop. Despite his ambitious feelings, Macbeth is still a loyal soldier and is ashamed to admit his thoughts about murdering the king. Macbeth recognizes that his violent thoughts are terrible and treacherous. After Macbeth initially refuses to harm King Duncan, it is Lady Macbeth who coerces her husband into committing regicide. Immediately after killing the king, Macbeth displays his guilt and feels sorry for his actions. As the play progresses, Macbeth's ambitious nature becomes unhinged; he orders the death of Banquo and Macduff's family. Despite his tyrannical nature, Macbeth's hallucinations are a result of his guilty conscience. Another significant argument that can be made is that Macbeth is a victim of fate. The Three Witches' prophecies came true, and one cannot help but think that Macbeth's actions were unavoidable. One can argue that Macbeth was manipulated by both the witches and his wife throughout the play, which is the reason audiences can sympathize with his character.