Macbeth/Macduff Essay Macbeth is the main character, but also ends up being the antagonist. At first the reader tries to understand what he’s doing and have sympathy for him but as the play progresses we lose faith. Macbeth is a very bad character, but there are also other “foils” which we can compare to him. Macduff is portrayed as the good, respectable and loyal protagonist of the book, juxtaposed to Macbeth, who is evil, deceitful and a traitor. Macbeth’s wrongdoings are amplified by the kindness and loyalty of Macduff and the legacy Duncan left as a great king.
Explore the presentation of the theme of kingship in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. In the play ‘Macbeth’ there are many examples of kingship, whether that is a good King or a bad King. There are four different Kings in this play Duncan, Edward the confessor, Macbeth and Malcolm, each of them have their own traits each very different then the next. Duncan is humble and generous, Edward has his own special traits that are individual, Macbeth is a heartless and somewhat of a coldblooded killer, and Malcolm is very similar to his father Duncan. We start of with the first King, Duncan, our first sign of humbleness come in at Act 1 scene 2 “So well thy words become thee as thy wounds; they smack of honour both.
To put it bluntly, Macbeth is about to chicken out because he thinks that he's likely to get caught. Only at this point does he start thinking of other reasons that he shouldn't kill his king. As the King's subject, as his kinsman, as his host, Macbeth is supposed to protect his king, not kill him. Besides, Duncan has done nothing wrong. He is a good king, and he is "meek," not arrogant, so when he is killed, pity itself "Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, / That tears shall drown the wind" (1.7.24-25).
At the beginning of the play Macbeth is at his highest point. He is a respected general and is loyal to his king. There are three main factors which contribute to his deterioration. Firstly the prophecies told to him by the witches; secondly how Lady Macbeth influenced and manipulated his judgment, and finally Macbeth's long time ambition which drove his desire to be king. Macbeth's character degenerates from that of a noble man to a violent one.
This is reinforced by his rejection of imagery through the us use of personification, “whose horrific image doth unfix his hair” which shows Macbeth is a man who is sensible enough to dismiss the prophecy, however, he has also thought about what he can do to become King. Shakespeare has given us a shaded image of Macbeth, no longer is he just a noble, obedient soldier of Duncan, but he is a man who is attracted to power, with great ambitions.
Macbeth is physically strong and competent, however his weak character causes him to lose his grip over guilt and his insecurities. When he becomes crowned thane of Cawdor just as the prophecies had said, the thought of murdering Duncan crossed Macbeth’s mind, and he starts to seriously consider it. However, during this period, Macbeth reveals his inner turmoil and moral dilemma in his soliloquies. (kinsman, host, and Duncan hath born his faculties so meek, act 1 sc 7) Lady Macbeth knows that Macbeth is too “full o’ th’ milk of human kindness”, so she challenges his manhood by calling him a coward, knowing that Macbeth will in turn, show that he is not a coward by accepting to murder Duncan. This shows that his ambition and self-image of bravery wins over his virtues.
Macbeth says to himself, “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion/ Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/ And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,/ Against the use of nature?” (1.3.135-138). This quotation tells us that Macbeth’s strong ambition tells him to want more because he feels unsatisfied. He thinks of murdering King Duncan and fulfilling the last prophecy because consciously, Macbeth knows that it is the only way to satisfy his ambition for things he does not have and that is by becoming the King of Scotland. This will eventually lead to his downfall and death, as karma exists. We know that it isn’t right for Macbeth to become the king, as Malcolm is the heir to the throne.
The character of Edmund in Shakespeare’s King Lear a complex antagonist whose quest for power, and the treatment he deserves from society fuels the subplot. Cunning, deceitful, and a villain, Edmund will do whatever it takes to achieve his objectives, even if it means betraying the people who love him most. Edmund plays a key role in setting the stage for the disaster waiting to unfold, which is the subplot. Initially, the audience sympathizes with Edmund’s character; society treats him poorly, and his own father publicly embarrasses him. In Act 1 Scene 1, when Kent asks Gloucester if Edmund is his Gloucester’s son, he replies “his breeding hath been at my charge” (1.1.9) yet Gloucester “blushed to acknowledge [Edmund]” (1.1.10).
Hamlet's apparent psychological state as the play progresses changes from that of a scholar, to that of a madman, though contradictorily this change is in itself a deceptive act. Polonius, a lord and right hand to the King, is involved in a large amount of lying and deception. Polonius manipulates his children to benefit his social status and relationship with the King and has no moral objections at any time. Commonly a co-conspirator to Polonius' spying plots is the King, Claudius. Claudius, Hamlet's uncle is the most serious offender of lying and deceit.
He just threw himself in the bloodiest middle of the fray, and hacked his way out. Just as he had admirable strengths of character, so did he have unpraiseworthy weaknesses. His biggest weaknesses were his ambition and his manipulability. Because he was such a good worker, he couldn't help but hope for recognition and reward for the consistently superior quality of his work. It may have been that he was serving a sovereign, King Duncan I [d. August 14, 1040], who wasn't known for appreciation or generosity.