The Character Traits of Macbeth
William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth shows us that cheating will not get you were you want to go. Macbeth was written in the 16th century England during the Elizabethan period, because of this the story has a complex plot and many themes that the people in the Elizabethan period would enjoy. The character Macbeth has many traits that Shakespeare used to develop Macbeth throughout the play and even how the character Macbeth advances the theme of the play.
Macbeth is put together with many character traits. He is a very complex character. In the beginning Macbeth was brave and loyal. He won the battle of Norway and became the Thane of Cawdor. For brave Macbeth disdainding fortune with his brandished steel which smoked with bloody execution( ACT1 SC2 LNS18-20). Macbeth is also a gullible man, when he runs into the witches he believes them when they say, all hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter(act1 sn2 line 50) . He is so gullible to what these witches said that he killed his best friend Banquo and nearly kills Banquo’s son. Macbeth also was convinced by his wife to kill Duncan. Macbeth conscious becomes guilty after he kills Duncan when he said, will all great neptunes ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?(act2 sn2 lines 79-80). He is thinking that nothing can take back the murders he had committed.
Throughout the play Shakespeare developed Macbeth into a cold and depressed man. In the beginning Shakespeare developed Macbeth into a brave and loyal man. After the witches tell him of the prophecies Macbeth was convinced by his wife to kill Duncan. After this Macbeth starts to lose it by going crazy by seeing 3 apparitions then a row of kings(p125 sn1 lines 77-140). Shakespeare has turned the character of Macbeth totally around. Toward the end of the play when Macbeth starts to get things together he learns that he is going to be invaded by Malcolm, Donnalban, and Macduff. His wife also commits suicide. After hearing this he starts to treat his servants cold heartedly and then said “She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word. Tomorrow and tomorrow and to morrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time, and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!”(p177 Lines 20-30)which means that he thinks life is pointless.
The theme chosen for the play is the will for power. Macbeth’s will before he started his murders earned him the title Thane of Cawdor. After the witches told him about the prophecies, Macbeth started his rampage by killing Duncan and framing the guards. This made him king with all the power he wanted. The risk of him losing power made him kill Banquo because of the witches prophecy and then killed Macduff”s family in a conflict with Macduff of the possibility of him losing his power. In the end of the play Macduff and Macbeth fight and Macbeth dies. This shows that Macbeth would rather die than be without power.
As mentioned before the character Macbeth has many traits that Shakespeare uses to develop Macbeth throughout the play and even how the character Macbeth advances the theme of the play. With out Macbeth’s complex traits and personality this play would not have been as sound as it is today. The moral of Macbeth is whenever you want something bad enough to do many harsh things in getting there, that those harsh things you did will eventually catch up to you.
The Character Traits of Macbeth