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How does the character of Macbeth change from Act 1:3 to act 3:1

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is seen as quite strong and courageous after his victorious win in a battle against Norway. He is quite loyal towards the King and also respects the king, as he has just won the battle for King Duncan. Macbeth is respected by the King respects him and this is showed by the praise Macbeth is given and how happy the King is (‘my plenteous joy’). He is not only respected by Duncan, but also by other people like his fellow fighters, this is shown when a wounded captain in Duncan’s army exclaim, ‘for brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)’.

At the beginning of the play, it is obvious Macbeth is also seen as brave and courageous, this is evident when Rosse says ‘silenced with that’, means a number of things, including, he is speechless with admiration and he fought against Norway, unafraid of the hideous scene of death and destruction. At the beginning of the play, it is obvious Macbeth is quite noble and is respected.

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Soon after he sees the witches, Macbeth feels quite ambitious and happy that the apparition says he will be King, but he is hiding some things. We can tell that Macbeth is starting to become a bit worried about the three witches apparitions, as in act 2:1 it is clear he is thinking about them. Banquo tells Macbeth about a nightmare he had about the three witches (‘ I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters’) and then Macbeth simply replies, ‘I think not of them’, meaning he is not bothered about the witches and then Macbeth says we can think of a more convenient time to talk about the witches. Macbeth is actually lying though because he has constantly been thinking about the prophecy.

Macbeth also changes, because doesn’t seem as brave and courageous as he did at the beginning of the play. He also has to be persuaded by Lady Macbeth, as he does not want to go through with Duncan’s murder (We will proceed no further with this business), as he is scared. He seems quite easy to control, as he is easily influenced by Lady Macbeth. Another way Macbeth changes is that he becomes quite weak, as he is easily persuaded is when Macbeth says he no longer wants to go through with the murder, Lady Macbeth, starts saying things to persuade him, like, ‘and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man’, meaning if Macbeth commits the murder it will make him even braver and courageous than he was when he won the battle against Norway. She also starts getting angry.

Another main change is, that Macbeth has loses his respect from the King, because although he does not want to murder Duncan, in the end, he still does it and by killing the king he is committing a mortal sin, as he is killing the King, which was said to have been chosen by God, in the Divine right of Kings. As stated before, Macbeth loses his respect for Duncan, but, in a way, he seems to gain his respect for Lady Macbeth, as in the letter he writes to Lady Macbeth, telling her about the witches, he says “This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou might not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee’, as he knows lady Macbeth would like the idea of becoming Queen.

Macbeth became a weaker person after committing the murder of Duncan and he felt a lot of guilt, (a sorry sight), but when committing the murder of Banquo, his feelings change. He feels a lot more confident about the murder of Duncan and this time he plans the murder himself, unlike Duncan’s murder when Lady Macbeth decided what was going to happen. And this time, instead of committing the murder himself, he hires 2 murders for him.

That shows his strength but that he is quite weak morally. He feels a bit guiltier and due to his guilt, he experiences hallucinations and at the banquet, he sees Banquo’s ghost. He can’t find a place to sit as Banquo’s ghost is actually in his place and simply replies ‘the tables full’. It is obvious, he is tormented by the murder and is quite fearful, as he is hallucinating such a thing. Also, Macbeth is beginning to think negative thoughts, as he refers to the murderers as dogs, (‘as hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels).

The main influence, for Macbeth’s change throughout the play, was probably Lady Macbeth. As a lady, Macbeth was the person who thought up the plan for Duncan’s murder and he was quite ambitious, but Lady Macbeth’s ambition seemed to overrule him. Also, lady Macbeth was the one who persuaded him to commit the murder and committing the murder of Duncan, was the thing that made Macbeth feel great guilt and regret and also lead to him committing another murder of Banquo.

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How does the character of Macbeth change from Act 1:3 to act 3:1. (2021, Apr 18). Retrieved July 15, 2021, from