MACBETH: HERO OR VILLAIN? 1- Shakespeare wrote this play taking in mind current affairs at the time in 1603-1606. This is the time when Scottish king, James I, was given the English crown. This king was obsessed with witches, so Shakespeare brought this theme strongly into the play (the play starts with the appearance of three witches). All happens in a chaotic time (the reign of James I of England), so "Macbeth" shows as a Jacobean play, describing a period of England history.
Describe the three apparitions that Macbeth sees when he visits the witches. What does each apparition tell him? (sc. 1, 70-95) First apparition- a helmeted head: “Beware Macduff! Beware the Thane of Fife!” Second- a bloody child: “Laugh to scorn the power of man; no man of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” Third- crowned child bearing a tree: “Macbeth will never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood come up against Dunsinane Hill.” (Dusinane is where Macbeth’s castle is, surrounded by Birnam Wood) 4.
We are unaware of the witches plans regarding Macbeth but it is clear that they are planning to meet him to unleash evil in the play at that is what witches do. King James was particularly interested in Witches and even wrote a book on it. Shakespeare opens Macbeth with a scene that introduces the witches
As the play begins, Macbeth and Banquo are friends and comrades in arms, both Scottish noblemen and valiant defenders of King Duncan. The first description of them concerns how fiercely they had recently fought together to defeat the forces of the King of Norway and Macdonwald, a traitor to the King. Macbeth and Banquo together encounter the witches on the heath where Macbeth hears their prophecy for the first time. Banquo reacts as a friend would at the sound of Macbeth's good fortune, then seeks to know his own future. Shortly after, Banquo warns Macbeth of danger, explaining that the witches may not be trustworthy: And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray's In deepest consequence.
In the opening of the play, a loyal Macbeth is approached by three witches who entice him with their claim that “[he] shalt be king thereafter.” (1-3-50). This information stimulates his hidden thirst for power and willingness to keep the throne for himself. He plots to murder the king and takes the liberty of killing Banquo, and anyone else who poses a threat to his reign to aid his own insecurity. Macbeth begins to lose trust in those around him and becomes unstable. Shakespeare shows through Duncan, who carries a legitimate power, that only direct threats to the kingdom are punished accordingly.
However, our opinion of him quickly changes in Act I Scene III when his true ambitions are revealed after an encounter with three witches and he soon learns that he himself will become king one day. During this key scene we see a seed planted into Macbeth’s mind which leads him into taking a murderous path. Through analysis and evaluation of these key scenes and in particular the characterisation of Macbeth, I will show how our view of him significantly changes throughout the entire play. In Act I Scene II we are led to believe that Macbeth’s character is a noble and loyal servant to his king as we hear of his courageous action on the battlefield: “For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name…” This is the first time we get a true in site into Macbeth’s character and we are told of his courageousness in battle. Shakespeare’s use of the word “brave” is used to give us a false impression of Macbeth’s true self.
/All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor. / All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter” (1.3.46-48). Soon after his prophecy Macbeth hears news of his new title (Thane of Cawdor). This assures him that the witch were true in their words. He then begins about the prophecy of becoming king, which then led to thoughts of murder.
Macbeth was given a set of prophecies by the witches, saying he would eventually become king; “All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter.” (AI.SIII.L48). This prophecy plagued Macbeth and subsequently encouraged his murder of king Duncan which then lead to his
In I,1,3, the witches tell Macbeth that one day he will become the king of Scotland. When he meets them in the woods in I,1,3, they exclaim, “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! / All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! / All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” (I,3,150-2).
From that time he bent all his thoughts on how to win the throne of Scotland. 5. The witches do not tell Macbeth directly to kill King Duncan, they use a subtle form of temptation when they tell Macbeth that he is destined to be king. By placing this thought in his mind, they effectively guide him on the