Establishing Macbeth As A Noble Hero English Literature Essay

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One of Shakespeare most famous plays ever "Macbeth" is about a popular and loved thane in Scotland whom then crumbles under the power and temptation of becoming king, turning him evil. Shakespeare originally wrote this play in 1603 because he was asked to write a play by, King James. This story could be argued as one of the strongest male characters Shakespeare had ever created.

Shakespeare shows Macbeth as a hero at the beginning of the play and how he involves into an evil king towards the end, so of the ways Shakespeare does this is by soliloquy, hearing/ reading what Macbeth is thinking and also by what other characters think about him.

Although Macbeth is known to one of Shakespeare plays, it wasn't his original idea. Along with many other plays he wrote, he "stole" the idea from a man called Raphael Holinshed, but he then changed and modified to make the plot better or to change the story for stage purposes.

One of the main Differences between the two stories is that the time span on the Holinshed version stretches over 70 years when as Shakespeare changes the time spans to only two months. Shakespeare also changed the plot and characters for example Shakespeare's version lady Macbeth is an extremely important and strong character and helps with the killing of the king, where as in Holinshed version lady Macbeth plays a small insignificant part and Macbeths friends help with the killing of the king.

Throughout the novel we see that Shakespeare is trying to get his point across that Macbeth is a noble Scottish hero. He does this in many ways, but the clearest to us is his bravery and courage. For example in Act 1, Scene 2 in response to Macbeth battle, a "Captain" that has returned from battle explains how Macbeth trumped during battle. This is one of the most obvious ways that we understand that Macbeth is a "Noble Hero".

Another way we know that Macbeth is a "Noble Hero" is in the rewards he gets. Firstly the king of Scotland explains that he trusts Macbeth, "He was a gentleman whom I built an absolute trust". This is an extremely important part of the play, as most people in these days would rarely meet the king, let alone gain his trust.

An additional way we see Macbeth Nobility is in the way other characters react to him, for example when Macbeth and Banquo meet the three witches they greet them as "all hail Macbeth and Banquo" which explains how important and how much of a "Noble hero" Macbeth is because from the twenty or so characters in this play Macbeth is one the fue that is greeted as "Noble hero".

We also understand how much of a hero Macbeth is by the soliloquy's he and Shakespeare provides us. For example we understand the Macbeth is good enough inside to think about both sides of the argument, For example he thinks is he should or shouldn't kill King Duncan. One of the reasons Macbeth doesn't want to kill King Duncan is because he was the king and Macbeth was his subject, "as I am his kinsmen and his subject".

On the other hand Macbeth also tells us one of the reasons he wants to kill the king, "I have no spur To prick the sides pf my intent, but only Vaulting ambition", this basically tells us that the only reason he decides to go on and kill King Duncan is because of ambition, and this out weights all the other options. Although this is a horrible thing for a "hero" to do we can see some of his hero treats as he is at least tell him self how bad it is to kill the king where as most tyrants would have complete ignored all other options.

As we start to read more of the play Shakespeare starts to drop some hints into the play about Macbeth's dark and mysterious side, for example in Act 1 Scene 3 we hear Macbeth's first lie in the play. The first lie Macbeth tell us is when he explains to Banquo that he hasn't been thinking at all about the witches' prophecy when in fact he had.

Another clear example of Macbeth's doubt is in Act 1 Scene 3. Here we see that Macbeth seems very optimistic about the Witches' prophecy compared to Banquo's reaction. For example, Macbeth asks lots of questions as he is very inquisitive and excited "Speak if you can: what are you?", "And Thane of Cawdor too: went it not so?" These are just two of the many examples of doubt and ambition Shakespeare shows to us in this Act.

So, in conclusion, we can clearly see that Shakespeare spends a vast majority of the written play carefully describing Macbeth and his attitude with regard to his character and his traits. This however was less obvious when watching the performance. We also see that Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as a hero at the beginning of the play but as the play goes on he becomes more and more of a tyrant. Seeing these many sides of Macbeth helps to give the reader an idea of this complex character and keeps us interested throughout the play.