Macbeth Character Analysis
In this essay I will write about the character of Macbeth and what my first impressions are of him, such as his bravery, strength, determination and courage.
I will also write about how he is introduced, his reaction to the encounter with the weird sisters, his attitude towards Banquo, Duncan and Malcolm. Also, his relationship with his wife, Lady Macbeth.
My very first impression of Macbeth was that he was was brave as the captain said, “For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name…”.
Also, the captain implied that he is very strong and a great fighter, “… With his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution, like valour’s minion carved out his passage, till he faced the slave…”. This means that he stands with his sword covered in blood which shows he has killed a lot of people and valour’s minion means bravery’s favourite.
The captain also says how merciless Macbeth is as he kills the traitor Macdonwald, “…which never shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops, and fixed his head upon our battlements”.
This quote shows how merciless Macbeth is as it states that he ‘carved’ his way through the army, and how he killed Macdonwald even after bring tired and bruised without even speaking to him. He even paraded his head on the battlefield to show everybody what he had done. Our first impressions of Macbeth are that he is brave, merciless and a great fighter.
The three witches soon appeared and told their predictions;
“All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!”
“All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!”
“All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, that shalt be King hereafter!”.
After Macbeth heard the wierd sisters he was too shocked to speak as Banquo said, “Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear things that do sound so fair…” He finally answered back by asking them to tell more and in more detail. He started to question the three witches and himself as he was confused; “…I know I am Thane of Glamis, but how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives…” . He was trying to figure out what this all meant and how these creatures got this information. He again tried to question them but the suddenly vanished into thin air, “The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, and these are of them.”. He asked Banquo if this was real or if they had eaten some kind of hallucinogens or drugs, “Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root…”
He then started thinking about being Thane of Cawdor and whether or not this could be true.
The two messengers came, nearly straight after the predictions by the three witches, and told Macbeth that he was given the title Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth was in shock and Banquo said that evil was at work, Macbeth asked the messengers why he was the new Thane even though the old Thane still lived. He thanked the messengers and said to himself that more was to come as this is shown in the quote, “Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor. The greatest is behind.”. This means that the greatest prize is still to come and this is referring to him being King.
His first thoughts of the three witches after they appeared and told their predictions were that they were some kind of supernatural beings and so Macbeth tried to find out what they meant, where they received this information and why they were telling him this. He was first thinking this was some kind of hoax but after the messengers came and said that the King had named him the Thane of Cawdor, he began to consider what it will mean if the third prediction is to come true.
Banquo is Macbeth’s best friend and he trusts him with his life and vice versa. He respects Banquo and he uses his advice most of the time. They are partners in war and in friendship and do almost everything together. He likes Banquo but he sometimes has different thoughts than him as this quote states, “…But ’tis strange: And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths…in deepest consequences.”
This quote means that the recent occurrences are unnatural and the forces of evil encourage them to do things, which are misleading, and there could be some consequences later.
Duncan is the King of Scotland and Macbeth had given him the most respect he has ever given anyone. Macbeth was loyal to the King and fought for him and the country of Scotland. Macbeth thinks that Duncan is a good King and uses his power to good strength and also the fact that he has a good judgement, this quote shows this, “Strong both against the deed; then…besides Duncan hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his great office…”
This means that Macbeth thinks King Duncan is a good king who is not corrupt.
Macbeth does not like Malcolm even though he is related to him, Malcolm is the heir to the throne and that is a bit of a pain in the neck. Macbeth wants to be king but cannot as Malcolm is the heir so, as you would imagine he is an obstacle in Macbeth’s ambition and target, this quote shows this. “The Prince of Cumberland-that is a step…”
Lady Macbeth is Macbeth’s wife and Macbeth loves her very much and so he sends her a letter telling her that he has become the Thane of Cawdor, “They met me in a day of success…they have more in them than mortal knowledge…came missives from the King, who hailed me ‘Thane of Cawdor’… “
Lady Macbeth is the kind of person that gets what she wants and I don’t think that Macbeth likes this that much. She persuades him to murder Duncan nearly straight after she recieves his letter. Macbeth likes Lady Macbeth but he doesn’t like the way she gets her way but he still goes with the flow, “Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself…and live a coward in thine own esteem…each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show… “
Here, Lady Macbeth uses reverse psychology by accusing him of cowardice and a lack of love or her.
Overall the first impressions we get of Macbeth are that he is brave and a good fighter and that he is loyal to his country and the King. His first impressions of the three witches were the same as anybody else, surprise and that the witches are some strange people or that they are seeing things. He likes Banquo and respects him and he is very loyal to Duncan who is like a father figure to him. He doesn’t like Malcolm that much as he is an obstacle but he is still related to him. His relationship with Lady Macbeth is very good but you get the impression that she is very much in control of their relationship.
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