"They horrify us, and yet, oddly, we never lose sympathy with them."Is this how you responded to the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?

Essay by sunshine_angelHigh School, 10th grade February 2005

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This is how I responded to the characters of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth. Yes, they do horrify me. The way they act, their decisions, their thoughts, it does horrify us. But strangely, I do feel sorry for them, no matter what horrible thing they did. Their characters are complex, and the basic instinct of human nature makes us feel sympathy for them. So although the two of them caused many deaths and committed many crimes, I still feel sympathy for both of them at their deaths.

MacBeth and Lady MacBeth are one of the two most complex characters in all of Shakespeare's plays. The way they act and think is completely intriguing, the characters so complex, but no matter how horrible their actions are, we still feel sympathy for them.

From a traditional point of view, MacBeth is portrayed as a brave and strong soldier, but for the sake of ambition, is willing to murder not only his king, but his best friend as well.

He is often seen as someone who was a victim of the witches and overpowered by his hamartia, the need for power and ambition, which leads him to his downfall.

But what separates him from other villain characters of Shakespeare is that MacBeth, unlike Iago in Othello or Richard III in Richard III, feels so terrible about the crimes he commits. His conscience almost stops him from committing the crime, and after he does commit the crimes, he is full of guilt, when he says ""..all great Neptune's oceans will not wash this blood/clean from my hands" MacBeth, unlike Iago for example, does not enjoy being evil. MacBeth never enjoys being king and taking the crown, instead, he is in anguish and distressed, which is shown when he says "O, full of scorpions is...