The play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, presents a lot of interesting and intriguing characters. Without a doubt, one of the most complex and best-achieved personalities throughout the play belongs to the main character himself: Macbeth. This character’s profound personality can be thoroughly analyzed; and it can be observed that it suffers many important changes, which are directly related to important turning points in the story’s plot. The witches’ first prophecy, the murder of Duncan, all the power he’s given and his ambition for more, provoke significant and interesting changes in the character’s personality, behaviour and decisions. As the play goes on, a clear metamorphosis can be seen from the goodness, loyalty and weakness he has at first, to the twisted evil, deep remorse and utter madness he ends up having at the end.
lost and won,” (37) to be followed shortly by the famous “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” (37) Here, particularly in the latter oxymoronic example, we see acutely the power of the paradox, forcing us to seek a context in which the contradiction does not contradict. The repeated use of paradox throughout Macbeth suggests that there is something in the device itself which seemed wholly appropriate to the content of the play: the paradox presents something which is not, says something which it does not say, concealing the truth from the superficial glance. Accordingly the paradox in itself, aside from what it might 1This is a major rewrite. All sections have been either corrected, expanded or replaced in there entirety. K. Waddington 2 eventually render as the true meaning, underlines the deceptiveness of appearances.
The over-arching conflict of Shakespeare’s Othello taps into the very darkest corners of the human psyche. The most poignant of these, Othello’s moral quandary over the faithfulness of his beloved provides an insight into the tragic and emotional limits of humanity within a greater plot that cannot be controlled, an inexorability that suffocates the protagonist in this tale and draws upon the empathy of a captivated audience. Conversely, the audience may be forced into feelings of contempt for Othello’s adversary, the quick-witted and shamefully sly Iago. Iago seems to be driven by an extreme form of jealousy, a kind that provokes him to seek weaknesses in his perceived enemies, and cause destruction. It would be reasonable to assume that the individual actions of these characters and the interaction between these characters would expose the most base of emotions, and due to this, their intentions.
Othello is usually regarded as the greatest tragedies among Shakespeare’s tragedies (Shakespeare and Honigmann 1). Iago has a unique place in the drama as a dramatic character placed on a pedestal of human incarnation of evil. The first glance at Iago’s character speaks of pure evil, but as he progresses into play the villain comes out as as amoral rather than immoral. Iago exhibits villainy tactics deeply embedded in his characterization. Iago’s soliloquies award the audience with a distinct perspective into the episodes of the plot (Shakespeare and Honigmann 31).
How does William Shakespeare present Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Act 1 of the play? Macbeth, arguably one of Shakespeare’s most twisted plays, shows us how having too much ambition can have disastrous consequences especially if there is someone there to keep pushing and encouraging you do to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Macbeth we first see as a courageous and valiant man who slowly slips into a dark character with the help from Lady Macbeth, who we see as a ruthless, heartless person from when she is first introduced. The supernatural, blind ambitions (greed) and equivocation are just some of the main themes introduced to us in Act 1. At the start of the play, we were introduced to our Macbeth by the injured captain's recount about his war-time battlefield valour and heroics, therefore we were given an impression that the male protagonist was theoretically meant to be a courageous, brave and capable warrior who would risk anything to defend his country.
This is used as a device to introduce the idea t of ‘knowledge for knowledge’s sake’, which is one of Stoppard’s key themes. It also demonstrates the contrast between Romanticism and Classicism, as each of the characters is representative of one of these ideals. From the beginning of Act 1 Scene 2 and within this extract, it is made obvious to the audience that as a character, one of Bernard’s major purposes is to create comedy through his unabashedly terrible personality. His deceitful nature is introduced when he asks Chloe to lie to Hannah about his name, due to the fact that he wrote a derogatory review of her book yet still wishes to use her intelligence. As an audience, we are already aware of this before Hannah makes the discovery, which increases our sense of disgust at his deceitfulness.
Shakespeare further cultivates Macbeths quickly changing character through soliloquy and dramatic irony. His success in doing so is disclosed as the once ‘noble’ Macbeth goes against all odds to convey his idea of fulfilling the witches’ prophecies: to kill King Duncan. Macbeth also notifies us that to even anticipate slaughtering the sacred King is an act of treachery and betrayal nonetheless he delivers himself as quite motivated and determined to do so. The “horrid image”, “doth unfix” his hair and make his “seated heart knock”; his lust for ultimate power poisons his loyalty and decays at his integrity. As the play moves on, the audience observe the hasty crumbling of his devotion to God and the King.
Although it is true that Lady Macbeth is a big part of the play and adds a lot of interest, her character is revealed through her unkind attitude with Macbeth, careless feelings towards the lives of others, and her guilty conscience. Lady Macbeth is very pushy when it comes to the murder of Duncan and Macbeth’s hesitations towards it. She gives this comment to Macbeth, “Oh, never shall sun that morrow see! Your face, my Thane, is as a book where men may ready strange matters. To beguile the time, look like the time, bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue.
Macbeth: Character Analysis Often times, we judge others with extreme opinions and dismiss the incredible feats of talent they may possess. Although these same people we judge gives us good reason to judge, it’s better to see who they really are, and instead dismiss the act they put off. In Shakespeare’s’ tragedy, Macbeth is a great thane who is also a sane normal man. From the beginning, we are told about Macbeth’s triumphs. We see that he is a great warrior, “For brave Macbeth-well he deserves this name,-disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, which smok'd with bloody execution."
At first glance, Macbeth appears to be a noble, humble, and brave man, but as the play progresses, Macbeth’s good character regresses. Macbeth’s character can be compared to Jack Merridew in William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies (1954). As Lord of the flies progresses Jack’s true inner character begins to shine through his skin. The same applies to Macbeth, he begins to show his inner character, an ignorant, fearful, distrustful, and overall unstable man. Easily one of Macbeth’s biggest character flaws is his pure ignorance.