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Macbeth: Character Development
Transcript of Macbeth: Character Development
Murdering Macduff's Family
1st APPARITION: Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff; /Beware the thane of Fife. (4.1, 71-72)
MACBETH: Our fears in Banquo stick deep...There is none but he /Whose being I do fear: and, under him,/My Genius is rebuked; as, it is said, Mark Antony's was by Caesar. (3.1, 52-53, 57-60)
MACBETH: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, /Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, /Who should against his murderer shut the door, /Not bear the knife myself. (1.7, 13-16)
Murder of Duncan
LADY MACBETH: He that's coming/Must be provided for: and you shall put /This night's great business into my dispatch...(1.5, 67-71)
The Murder of Macduff's Family
LADY MACBETH: The thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now?-- What, will these hands ne'er be clean? (5.1, 47-48)
ONCE UPON A TIME...
Three weird witches told a prophecy that changed Scotland forever.
A Scottish general in Duncan's army, and also lord of Glamis and Cawdor. After hearing the three witches' prophecy that he will one day be King of Scotland, he takes fate into his own hands.
The evil, ambitious, wife of Macbeth, who desires for her and Macbeth to be greatest powers in Scotland
Macbeth sees the wrong in carrying out Lady Macbeth's plan to murder Duncan, but his mind is changed once he is called
by Lady Macbeth.
After Duncan is murdered, his heirs flee, making Macbeth king of Scotland.
Macbeth becomes more ambitious, tough and evil. Lady Macbeth has instilled in him her characteristics and a greater desire for power. The new Macbeth brings us to another major event in the play.
FIRST WITCH: All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!
SECOND WITCH: All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!
THIRD WITCH: All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!
Macbeth doesn't want Banquo's children to succeed him, so he sends murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance.
Macbeth's evil deeds disgust him, and he gains new characteristics: paranoia and insanity.
We are updated on his new character during the feast in 3.4, when he hallucinates seeing Banquo's ghost .
Macbeth's characteristics, and terrible state of mind, is the cause of the next event:
Macbeth has just visited the three witches again to see his future, and finds out that Macduff is a threat to his power.
Macbeth orders Macduff's entire family to be killed.
Macbeth's character caused this major event because his paranoia, wickedness, ambition, and fears of being womanly and "infirm of purpose"(2.2), influenced his behavior.
In this part of the play, he has also become very arrogant, wrongly believing he deserves to be King of Scotland, and murdering anyone in his way.
You know the saying, "What goes up must come-"
When Duncan comes to spend the night in their castle, Lady Macbeth plans to murder him.
When Macbeth suggests that they don't do the plan, Lady Macbeth questions his manhood and loyalty; effectively changing his mind and getting him to do the murder.
Lady Macbeth is evil, pushy, and clever, which makes the perfect murderer. She knows exactly what to say to influence Macbeth, which helped to create the vile man Macbeth became.
When Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo during a feast with noble guests, Lady Macbeth tells him it was all in his head. She tries to tell him that everything's okay, and that he's ruining the feast.
From Macbeth and our point of view, the Lady is handling Duncan and Banquo's murder much better than Macbeth. It's as if she isn't bothered by the murders. Thus, we see no change in her character. But, the peace she keeps greatly influences Macbeth. Her certainty that Macbeth is overreacting only encourages him to be tougher, and more wicked, causing the next event:
MACBETH "When now I think you can behold such sights,/And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks, /When mine is blanched with fear." (3.4, 114-116)
When a doctor and gentlewoman observe Lady Macbeth reliving the night of Duncan's murder in her sleep, they find out about her evil deeds. This is a major, unexpected change in Lady Macbeth's character. This is the first time she's not roughing up Macbeth for showing guilt. This is the first time we see her tortured with guilt. Even though her husband killed Lady Macduff, Lady Macbeth scared knowing she's in the same danger.
It is also this night that Lady Macbeth commits suicide.
By the end of the play, we can see the path taken by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth that led to their downfalls.
Macbeth's downfall was caused by bad characteristics encouraged by Lady Macbeth, his natural reactions to doing something evil, and his rush to take fate into his own hands.
Lady Macbeth's downfall was caused by her repression of natural emotions, her initial evil characteristics, and her rush to take fate into her own hands.
By: Tori Broward