A true picture of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth, by Shakespeare

Essay by Anonymous UserB, September 1996

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Looking through the scenes of the play and finding the differences in characters I will map the changes of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth .

In the second scene of the play, Macbeth is praised for being loyal, brave and savage in battle by the sergeant and Ross. Here Macbeth's violence and killings are praised because they have preserved the rightful king. Duncan is grateful to Macbeth and says when the treacherous Thane of Cawdor is captured he will be executed so awards Macbeth the title 'Thane of Cawdor'. The irony here is that Macbeth, the new Thane will be even more treacherous.

In the next scene, act 1 scene 3, after Macbeth meets the witches, he tells us his thoughts in his first soliloquy. He is already thinking of murder by himself, without the witches giving him this idea. But for the moment he views a murder as only 'fantastical', meaning it only exists in his imagination.

He asks himself, if the witches predictions were evil, why have two good things they foresaw been true, and if the predictions were good, why is he reacting so violently to himself.

In act 1 scene 4 Duncan says that his eldest son Malcom will succeed him as king. This is unconventional as the Thanes normally elect the king and Macbeth sees this as provocative. To him Malcom is just another obstacle between himself and the throne. Macbeth gives another soliloquy revealing his 'black and deep desires', although he calls upon the stars to 'let not see' them. Macbeth's mask of loyalty and honour hides these feelings from Duncan.

By this stage we know that Macbeth's character is changing, and his inner greed to have more power and be king is overcoming his loyal and brave personality. To show his gratitude...