Essay on Macbeth: From Hero To Villain

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Throughout Macbeth by William Shakespeare we see the transformation of the main character, Macbeth, from hero to villain. Translated, this basically means that Macbeth changes from a brave warrior to a serial killer!

The story of Macbeth takes place in Scotland in the 11th century. Shakespeare has written a tragedy about how a Scottish nobleman (Macbeth) who plots the death of the King in order to become King himself. Due to the tragedy aspect, things do not really go according to plan!

The first time we see Macbeth in the play, he is returning from the battlefield after a victory alongside the Norwegians against a rebel army. “For brave Macbeth” (I, 2, 16) is used by an army Sergeant to describe his actions in the battle. Such phrases
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She may have been a woman, but she had the heart of a man.

On the night the murder was to take place, Lady Macbeth drugged the King’s guards and then Macbeth murdered Duncan as he slept. This is the point where Macbeth really is considered a villain. In an attempt to conceal his actions, Macbeth murders the guards in his apparent anger and fury! In fear of their lives, Malcolm and Donalbain (the King’s sons) fled to England and Ireland. Automatically, this placed the blame on Malcolm, as people were suspicious that he had killed Duncan in order to become King himself.

After the murder, Macbeth then went about the process of killing anyone in line to the throne, or anyone who suspected him of killing Duncan. Macbeth then tried to have Fleance and Banquo killed as the witches had made predictions about how Banquo’s son would become King “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none: So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!” (I, 3, 67-68). Fleance escaped, but Banquo was killed. When a banquet was held to honour Macbeth – the new King of Scotland, Macduff did not appear. Later, the witches warned Macbeth to beware of Macduff “beware Macduff, Beware the thane of Fife.” (IV, 1, 71-71), so when Macbeth found that Macduff had fled to England, he had Macduff’s family killed instead.

At this stage, Macbeth is no longer a villain, but a cold-hearted psychotic serial killer! Due to severe paranoia, Lady

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