How did Shakespeare create sympathy for 'the dead butcher' Macbeth? "Macbeth" by William Shakespear.

Essay by selfy February 2006

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Macbeth is a central character in this novel. He is the symbol of bravery and honour. Shakespeare uses Macbeth as a character that evil changes. He goes from a brave and highly respected man into a murderous criminal through no fault of his own but because of fate. In this essay I will show the ways in which Shakespeare creates sympathy for Macbeth.

At the beginning of the play Macbeth appears to the audience as a kind, brave and honorably clever man. In the play this is shown by the way some of the other characters portray Macbeth. E.g. Ross says:

'The King hath happily received Macbeth'

I think this mediates how much respect people had for Macbeth at the beginning and how slowly over the course of the play peoples opinions of him change.

Macbeth is responsible for Duncan's murder because at the time Duncan was staying at Macbeth's castle.

Lady Macbeth convinces a wayward Macbeth to kill Duncan. Macbeth is easily persuaded and tells his wife he will carry out the murder thinking only of the good things that will come and not the consequences. He goes to the room where Duncan is peacefully sleeping. Duncan's guards are also in the room but they are also sleeping. He kills the guards whilst they are sleeping using their own daggers. He then with the same daggers kills Duncan and smears the blood onto the guards. Macbeth is very clever about this murder and makes it look as though the guards murdered Duncan and then committed suicide. I think this specifically shows how the witches' predictions changed Macbeth for the worse.

He is also responsible for Banquo's death because he hires two murderers to kill him whilst he is out riding. The murderers were supposed...