Macbeth Characterization In William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, the main character is a killer. Thorough the course of the play, he kills five different people or groups of people, one in each act.
There are characters are Macdonwald, Duncan, Banquo, Macduff's family, and Young Siward. These five killings are all different. In the beginning, Macbeth kills for his king.
He then suffers a fall from grace before finally becoming a noble figure again in the end.
But what was interesting was the way in which Shakespeare shows the changes in Macbeth's character. Shakespeare uses the killings as a sort of "barometer" to illustrate those changes.
Before the play begins, Mabeth's Scotland and Norway fight a war. In the war Macbeth is the hero and was admired for his courage and his strength. The killing that the captain describes about the war depicted Macbeth's characterized view and a heroic killer. The Captain admires him for his remarkable bravery.
The other members of the Scottish court continue in praising him. Macbeth's motive for killing here is unlike all his later murder and not for personal reason. It is a selfless, courageous, heroic deed that is throught to be able to save Scotland from utter destruction. Shakespeare uses this killing to introduce the audience to Macbeth and a hero.
Thanks to Macbeth bravery in the war he was made the Thane of Cawdor, which was part of a three part prophecy given to him by the Weird Sisters. Mabeth yearns to complete the prophecy and become King, yet at this point Macbeth is torn between killing and not killing. He is loyal to Duncan yet at the same time, Macbeth longs to be king. He is very ambitious, though still loyal. At this pint, confusion sets in towards Macbeth. Macbeth's ambition over his loyalty does eventually have him killing Duncan.
Macbeth's third killing, Banguo, has his return to nobility. For him this killing is a matter of protection even though it may be because of pure jealousy. Macbeth is still killing for personal gain. However with Duncan there is no self-defense involved, only a power of struggle. Macbeth sees Banquo as an enemy who must be defeated in order for his success. Due to that he returns to his ignoblility.
Macbeth both rises and falls as he kills the Macduffs. Macbeth has a prophecy from an apparition which says to him "Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff!, Beware the thane of Fife! dismiss Me. Enough." Macbeth loses all self-restraint and gets the idea of killing the Macduffs and immediately does it. This personality trait was different from the first one, the one he endures while agonizing over whether or not to kill Duncan.
Finally with the killing of Young Siward, Macbeth returns to no longer killing for personal gain of his own security but for the noble cause of self-defense. Macbeth at the beginning of the play is not a killer. Though he does kill Macdonwald it wasn't for higher power. He suffers a fall from grace by killing Duncan, but then he pick up the pieces and returns to being the noble man he once was. Shakespeare shows the various sides of Mabeth's character though the killing, for death, in literature, can convey important messages. This is the role of the death in Macbeth.