In Macbeth, what is the difference between Macbeth as a hero and Macbeth as a soldier?

Expert Answers

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

It seems that the difference between Macbeth as a soldier and Macbeth as a hero lies in the level of humility that Macbeth has in each role.  As a soldier, Macbeth fights valiantly in honor of Scotland.  The Captain reports that Macbeth has been fearless in battle and that he went after Scotland's enemies out of loyalty to King Duncan.  Here, Macbeth is selfless and humble, acting only on behalf of his king and his nation.  However, when Macbeth returns and is labeled a hero by Duncan, the praise goes to Macbeth's head.  He is thrilled by his new title--Thane of Cawdor--and he wants even more praise to come to him.  This sense of ambition motivates Macbeth to trust the witches' prophecy.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team