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Word Count: 598
Macbeth Macbeth is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who was led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches especially after their prophecy that he would be made thane of Cawdor comes true Macbeth was a brave soldier and a powerful man but he was not a virtuous one He was easily tempted into murder to fulfill his ambitions to the throne and once he commits his first crime and was crowned king of Scotland he embarks on further atrocities with increasing ease Ultimately Macbeth proves himself better suited to the battlefield than to political intrigue because he lacks the skills necessary to rule without being a tyrant His response to every problem is violence and murder Unlike Shakespeares great villains such as Iago in Othello and Richard III in Richard III Macbeth is never comfortable in his role as a criminal He is unable to bear the psychic consequences of his atrocities Analysis of Major Characters Macbeth - Because we first hear of Macbeth in the wounded captains account of his battlefield valor our initial impression is of a brave and capable warrior This perspective is complicated however once we see Macbeth interact with the three witches We realize that his physical courage is joined by a consuming ambition and a tendency to self-doubtthe prediction that he will be king brings him joy but it also creates inner turmoil These three attributesbravery ambition and self-doubtstruggle for mastery of Macbeth throughout the play Shakespeare uses Macbeth to show the terrible effects that ambition and guilt can have on a man who lacks strength of character We may classify Macbeth as irrevocably evil but his weak character separates him from Shakespeares great villainsIago in Othello Richard III in Richard III Edmund in King Learwho are all strong enough to conquer guilt and self-doubt Macbeth great warrior though he is is ill equipped for the psychic consequences of crime Before he
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