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Word Count: 629
A huge debate can be waged over who is the evilest character in William Shakespeares Macbeth This argument can be narrowed down into a competition between two key characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth In the first few acts of the play the calculating Lady Macbeth may be seen as the evilest character but later it becomes apparent that behind his hero veneer the title character Macbeth is truly the devil character in Shakespeares play Prior to King Duncans murder the Macbeths seem like a normal good-natured couple However everything changes once the witches announce to Macbeth that he shalt be king hereafter 1352 From then on Macbeths character takes a downward spiral into evilness partly due to a gentle push from his ambitious wife While Macbeth is reluctant at first to kill Duncan Lady Macbeth finally convinces him to do it She takes complete control over the planning of King Duncans murder and tells Macbeth to put this nights great business into my dispatch 1575-76 Later that night the death of the King takes place After Macbeth has completed the deed he is overwrought with guilt and hears voices saying Sleep no more Macbeth does murder sleep 2246-47 In contrast Lady Macbeth is almost indifferent to the death of Scotlands ruler and shows her unaffected conscience by uttering a little water clears us of this deed 2283 So with their first murder Shakespeare paints a picture of the differing personalities of the Macbeths After Macbeths first taste of homicide his behavior changes He suffers from insomnia and guilt which later leads to his erratic actions Shortly following Macbeth becoming the new King of Scotland he remembers the witches prophecies made about Banquo that said thou shalt get kings though thou be none 1369 So to protect his throne Macbeth plots the murder of Banquo and his son John Unlike the first murder of the former king Macbeth does not inform his wife of his plan
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