Is Macbeth a hero or villian?

Essay by punkskankHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2004

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Throughout the play Macbeth, there are many crimes and manipulating. Macbeth plans most murders for superiority. This makes us wonder if Macbeth is a hero or a villain. With that Macbeth is both a hero and villain from different perspectives.

In the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo go to war against Macdonwald and his band of rebels. Macbeth was a great warrior which in return defeated Macdonwald. Duncan rewarded Macbeth with the title of "Thane of Cawdor". Macbeth also became the leader of the Scottish army "Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof [...] the victory fell on us" (1.2.55-59) Macbeth is also loyal to Duncan. "To our own lips. He's here in double trust." (1.7.13) "What he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won" (1.2.68)

They're lots of reasons why Macbeth is a villain. Macbeth killed Duncan. Macbeth can't control himself and got pushed over the limit.

If Macbeth is not pressured to kill someone, like how Lady Macbeth pressured him to kill Duncan, he will get someone to do it for him. All Macbeth wanted was to become King of Scotland. "I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?" (2.2.15)

Another reason why Macbeth is a villain is that Macbeth had too much faith in the witches' prophecies. Macbeth likes to know ahead of time of what is going to happen to him. "Speak, if you can; what are you?" (1.3.47). Also, Macbeth is always going back to the witches' for answers to protect himself even though they may not be the right answers. "I conjure you, by that which you profess- howe'er you come to know it - answer me:" (4.1.50-51)

Just after the murder of Duncan, Macbeth isn't fully caught. Many of Macbeth's noblemen would believe Macbeth is a hero...