“Macbeth” : Character Evaluation
I have read the play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare, and in this essay I aim to answer the question “To what extent did Macbeth cause his own downfall?” I have come to the conclusion that Macbeth was only partially responsible for this, and I will try to back up this opinion by showing how Macbeth’s character develops throughout the book, from his original standing as Thane of Glamis, a commander in the Scottish army, through his ascent to King, then to his death at the hands of Macduff.
In act one, scene two, we do not hear from Macbeth himself, but we get our first indications of his personality through his cousin and King of Scotland, Duncan, who calls him a “valiant gentleman” and sings his praises about his heroic win in battle against the army of Norwegians and Scottish traitors, where he won the day for his country, slaying the rebellious Scot, Macdonwald, slicing him “from nave to th’ chops”
Thus we see a loyal and great warrior in Macbeth, with absolutely no indication of future treachery other than clever wordplay from Shakespeare as King Duncan says “With his former title meet Macbeth”, meaning to have Macbeth named Thane of Cawdor, yet the last title given to the Thane was “Most disloyal traitor” by Ross. This is certainly an early, subtle sign of what was to follow, which would be the most disloyal of crimes in the murder of a king, who is also a family member.
In act one scene three we see Macbeth for the first time, and also we witness his first encounter with the Weird Sisters. They greet Macbeth as “Thane of Cawdor” and “Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter”. Also to Banquo, another commander of the Scottish army and friend of Macbeth’s, they say that his sons will be kings in the future, yet he will never be one. I believe that once the prophecy of Macbeth’s title as Thane of Cawdor becomes a reality, Macbeth shows his first sign of his very dangerous ambitious streak. Only a short time after...