"Macbeth" - the only interesting character is Macbeth himself- discuss

Essay by jack_blackHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2006

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"Macbeth" is a Shakespearean tragedy focused solely on the tragic hero Macbeth. All major events that take place in the play involve the presence of Macbeth, including the witches' prophecies, the death of King Duncan, and the return of the rightful King Malcolm. Being so intricately tied to all aspects of the play allows the character of Macbeth to be completely developed, and become of considerable interest to the reader.

Because we first hear of Macbeth in the wounded captain's account of his battlefield valor, our initial impression is of a brave and capable warrior. This perspective is complicated, however, once we see Macbeth interact with the three witches. We realize that his physical courage is joined by a consuming ambition and a tendency to self-doubt--the prediction that he will be king brings him joy, but it also creates inner turmoil. These three attributes--bravery, ambition, and self-doubt--struggle for mastery of Macbeth throughout the play.

This complexity adds another dimension to the character of Macbeth, making him much more interesting.

Before he kills Duncan, Macbeth is plagued by worry and almost aborts the crime. It takes Lady Macbeth's steely sense of purpose to push him into the deed. After the murder, however, her powerful personality begins to disintegrate, leaving Macbeth increasingly alone. He fluctuates between fits of fevered action, in which he plots a series of murders to secure his throne, and moments of terrible guilt and absolute pessimism. These fluctuations reflect the tragic tension within Macbeth: he is at once too ambitious to allow his conscience to stop him from murdering his way to the top and too conscientious to be happy with himself as a murderer. This constant inner struggle provides a deep insight into the Macbeth, making the reader sympathise with him while strongly disapproving of...