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Macbeth and His Fatal Thirst for Power

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The Fatal Thirst for Power

The character of Macbeth is a classic example of a Shakespearean tragic hero. There are many factors which contribute to the degeneration of Macbeth of which three will be discussed. The three points which contribute greatly to Macbeth's degeneration are the prophecy which was told to him by the witches, how Lady Macbeth influenced and manipulated Macbeth's judgment, and finally Macbeth's long time ambition which drove his desire to be king. Macbeth's growing character degenerates from a noble man to violent individual.

The prophecies which were told by the witches were one of the factors which contributed to the degeneration of his character. If it had not been for the witches telling him that he was to be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and King of Scotland, Macbeth would still be his ordinary self. After Banquo and Macbeth hear these prophecies Banquo seems mildly amused by the witches' predictions about Macbeth and himself, but Macbeth is stunned and needs to hear more about how he will be King of Scotland. He says, "Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more....I know I am Thane of Glamis, but how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives... and to be King stands not within the prospect of belief... Say from whence you owe this strange intelligence....such prophetic greeting....Speak, I charge you," (Shakespeare Act I Scene iii 70-78). Then Macbeth learns that the witches' first prediction, that he would become Thane of Cawdor, has been fulfilled, and he is hooked by the "instruments of darkness." As the play progresses, Macbeth slowly relies on the witches prophecies. Shakespeare uses the witches as a remedy for Macbeth's curiosity which corrupts his character.

The influence of Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth also contributed to his transformation from a hero to a tragic hero. Lady Macbeth's character in the beginning reveals that she is a lovable person. When Lady Macbeth was ready to kill King Duncan herself, it showed that Lady Macbeth could not murder King Duncan because he reminded her of her father. This proves that Lady Macbeth has a heart deep inside her. Lady Macbeth plays an important role in this play because she provided a scheme which caused Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan. After Macbeth had killed King Duncan, he later regrets on his wrong doing. At the point of this play the audience can note the change in Macbeth's character. Macbeth's first



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