“Soldier, Husband, Murderer… Consider the Different Roles Played by Macbeth in the Early Stages of the Play (to End of Act 2, Scene 2), Commenting on the Audiences Reaction to Him in Each Role.”

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“Soldier, husband, murderer… Consider the different roles played by Macbeth in the early stages of the play (to end of Act 2, Scene 2), commenting on the audiences reaction to him in each role.” Throughout the play, we can see how Macbeth evolves from a loyal and brave warrior to an ambitious murderer. Macbeth goes through many changes and the audience would have reacted differently to each as he develops further into a murderer. Shakespeare first establishes Macbeth as brave and loyal. His character development conforms to the classical idea of a ‘tragic hero’. He is not a murderous tyrant from the beginning but a good man who goes terribly wrong. We first hear of Macbeth as a determined and admired soldier or even warrior. He had just won a great war and earned the well-deserved respect of the king, plus the title of Thane of Cawdor. This is a great achievement for Macbeth and the audience would feel that they are inclined to like this courageous and powerful man. He is highly respected by all in the play at this point, for example, “brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)” and “valour’s minion” meaning that he is so brave that Bravery itself counts on him as a friend or favourite. These quotes indicate the respect that the people had for Macbeth and his mighty victory. Shakespeare uses the word “brave” as a precise choice of adjective so that it emphasises on the main quality that Shakespeare wants the audience to know about Macbeth. In the times when this play was written, I think the audience would have appreciated Macbeth’s character more than the modern-day audience because now, there is no such thing as battles where you would kill your opponent with swords and arrows. Therefore, the audience would understand the great feats that a soldier of those times would have to go through. Also, to earn the respect of a king would have been an awe-inspiring

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