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ENGLISH
Asked by Bobby

How does Macbeth’s power change during the play?

The play is about a valiant soldier who becomes too engrossed in an idea, proclaimed by the witches, about becoming King of Scotland. Macbeth is a respected Thane who has shown great loyalty to King Duncan. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo are told to have been fighting in the battle. Macbeth is then hailed as brave Macbeth, as a hero because he has killed the rebel McDonald and is continuing to face the Norwegian troops successfully. The witches planted seeds of ambition in his mind and he lets them fester until he begins to believe them. He develops into a vicious murderer, killing the original King of Scotland in order to earn his place on the throne. The start of the play shows Macbeth as a noble, valiant and victorious character. Murderous thoughts begin to fill his mind when Malcolm is announced to be Prince of Cumberland, because Macbeth fears his ambition coupled with his evilness. Soon after, Macbeth succumbs to ambition and, encouraged by a prophecy and Lady Macbeth, murders King Duncan to take his throne. This betrayal throws Macbeth into a state of guilt and fear, prompting him to murder again and again to satisfy his paranoia. Macbeth feels less and less guilty about the murders he has committed but Lady Macbeth’s mind deteriorates throughout the play, and slowly the locked up guilt drives her mad. There is a significant alteration in Macbeth’s character now as he now no longer possesses the desire to do anything with his life, he has lost all ambition and any drive towards anything, his attitude is extremely pessimistic. His reaction to Lady Macbeth's death is not mournful and there are not even any signs of sadness, he merely says that now is not a good time for her to die and there would have been an appropriate time for he to pass away. By the end of the play, he has become an evil tyrant and is rightfully deposed and killed for his crimes.

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Alyssa Miller
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Macbeth’s power starts off from an outside perspective as being contextually the epitome of an upper class male stereotype, young, mighty, loyal to the king. Yet his weakness is he is gullible, and he has a hunger for power, which is gradually being fed as he becomes a thane. Yet he wants more but isn’t yet powerful enough to do this on his own, so Lady Macbeth plays the integral part of helping and persuading him to do so. As Lady Macbeth loses control and dies alone, Macbeth no longer needs her help or assistance. But he so so power driven and so focused on protecting his power that he makes mistakes. He listens to the witches too much, murders too many people and doesn’t listen to anyone’s opinion but his. His over indulgence in power ends up being his weakness and he never feels stable and he always wants more and more, causing his fall.

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Octavia Evans
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