Study of Macbeth and the leading characters in Shakespeares play.

Essay by SamanthaLynne1983College, Undergraduate November 2003

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Pointing the finger at Macbeth

In 1606, a British author by the name of William Shakespeare wrote the play, Macbeth as a tribute to the king. Shakespeare wrote many kinds of literature, but he is infamous for his tragedies. A tragedy is defined as a play dealing with tragic events and usually includes the down fall of the protagonist, or the leading person in a play. The protagonist in the play Macbeth, is Macbeth himself. The theme of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, is ambition, greed, and murder. Macbeth, through various slaughters and plots of revenge, proves that he is the cause of his own collapse. At first, our impression of Macbeth is one of a courageous and capable warrior, who is greatly respected and admired by the King and his subjects. This is all true until Macbeth visits the Weird Sisters, who prophesize his rise to kingship. Also, Lady Macbeth influences Macbeth to go after the kingship as well.

Macbeth is trapped between his head and his heart. After much thought, Macbeth decides he wants the kingship with all he has. This sends Macbeth into a murderous and downward spiral. Through the deaths of King Duncan and his loyal guards, Banquo, and Macduff's family, Macbeth proves that he, and only he, is responsible for his own downfall.

Duncan, the King of Scotland, has a great amount of Macbeth as a warrior and as a friend. Otherwise, Duncan would not have made Macbeth the Thane of Cawdor after the original thane commits treason and is killed. This is a problem because the witches predict his reign as Thane of Cawdor and so Macbeth reconsiders everything that the witches predict Macbeth's eventual reign as king. With a little convincing by his wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth comes to the realization that he must...