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Word Count: 1,303
In William Shakespeares play Macbeth the title character is a killer Through the course of the play he kills five different people or groups of people one in each act These are respectively Macdonwald Duncan Banquo Macduffs family and Young Siward These five killings are different In the beginning Macbeth kills for his king He then suffers a fall from grace before finally becoming a noble figure again in the end But more interesting than this process is the way in which Shakespeare shows us the changes in Macbeths character Shakespeare uses the killings as a sort of barometer to illustrate these changes Before the play begins Macbeths Scotland and Norway fight a war In this war Macbeth is a hero admired for his courage and strength But alls too weak For brave Macbeth well he deserves that name Disdaining Fortune with his brandished steel Which smoked like bloody execution Like valors minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave Which neer shook hands nor bade farewell to him Till he unseamed him from the nave to th chops And fixed his head upon our battlements Captain 1217-25 The killing that the Captain describes here is Macbeths most heroic killing The Captain admires him for his remarkable bravery The other members of the Scottish court continue in praising him Macbeths motive for killing here is unlike all his later murders not a personal reason It is a selfless courageous heroic deed that is thought to be able to save Scotland from utter destruction Shakespeare uses this killing to introduce the audience to Macbeth Here we see Macbeth as a hero This is possibly the most potent way in which Shakespeare could introduce Macbeths heroism to us What could be more heroic than killing for ones king Similarly what could be so evil as killing ones king Macbeth thanks to his bravery in the war is made the Thane of Cawdor
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