Macbeth's Strengths and Weaknesses

Essay by y2fu February 2005

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Macbeth by William Shakespeare portrays the major characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They are both ambitious and are yearning for power. In the beginning of Act One, Shakespeare portrayed Macbeth as a brave and honorable general who received admiration from everyone around him including the king of Scotland, Duncan when he triumphantly defeated the rebel MacDonwald. Macbeth is a good friend and loyal confidant to Duncan. Macbeth is at tragic hero because unlike Shakespeare's other works Macbeth is not all evil. He is consumed by his evil ambition and guilt for the throne of Scotland that he will go to any measures necessary to achieve it. Macbeth's character is very cunning and witty. He is smart enough to understand that Duncan is very kind and naïve and he takes advantage of the fact that he could easily overthrow him. The pressures from his wife Lady Macbeth and the witches make him eager to kill Duncan, but most importantly it is his overwhelming ambition for power that makes him a weak character.

Throughout the first act the character of Macbeth is developed, in which Macbeth's strengths were ambition, courage, and honor. His use of these strengths and loyalty to King Duncan earned him the title of "Thane of Cawdor." After the murder of Banquo, however, his large amount of pride and ambition disrupted his morals and faltered his heroic image, leading to the backfiring of the strengths that he once had, which later became his weaknesses.

When Macbeth was visited by the three witches, his superstitious nature was brought out, causing him to trust them and their prediction that he will rise to the throne if he kills Duncan. He wasn't satisfied with his position as the Thane of Cawdor. This is one of Macbeth's weaknesses because...