In the story MacBeth, many things change throughout the story. The settings, clothing, and weather are just some of the noticeable changes that the reader sees during the story. One of the most noticeable changes that the reader sees as the story goes along, is the change in the characters actions, opinions, and attitudes. The characters change due to what has happened around them and what has been said to them. MacBeth changes in his actions and his attitude throughout the story.
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In the beginning of the play, MacBeth is content with his status. He is the Thane of Glames. He has a great reputation among his peers and his followers. He has many friends, including a good friend named Banquo. He is a loyal subject to the King and he would do nothing to displease him. The King actually holds MacBeth with high regard, as he is about to proclaim him the Thane of Cawdor. He would fight and die for the King. He is happily married to his wife Lady MacBeth, who is sane at the time and they live their lives simply and happily.
As MacBeth and his good friend Banquo are returning from a battle which they have won they come across three witches. The witches tell MacBeth and Banquo about their destinies. MacBeth?s destiny is to become the Thane of Cawdor and later become the King. Banquo?s fate is to have his son?s become King?s. This is where MacBeth becomes corrupted by his own ambition. The witches prophecies make MacBeth wonder about the future. He thinks about what it would be like to be King but he does not plan to take any action on it. Banquo, on the other hand, realizes that the witches prophecies must be hiding a trick but MacBeth is ignorant and refuses to accept that. Banquo decides not to try change fate and he lets nature take its course. MacBeth and his partner in crime, Lady MacBeth, try to change the future by going on a bloody and savage murder spree. The try to change natures course.
After hearing about his possible future, he is startled when he come along MacDuff on his journey home. MacDuff talks to MacBeth and presents him with the name, the Thane of Cawdor. MacBeth is starting to realize that the witches prophecies may have not have been bogus. He once again is wondering about what it would like to be King. His change in character is starting to become more apparent as he is pondering about owning the throne. His thoughts are becoming corrupted by the thought of becoming King.
Lady MacBeth does not help the situation. As MacBeth was a little ambitious at first, he is still not thinking about killing the King. Lady MacBeth?s ambition of moving up socially far exceeds MacBeth?s. The thoughts of doing any immoral act to the King do not enter his mind until Lady MacBeth puts them there. She keeps antagonizing MacBeth until he finally succumbs to her pressure. Her once shy behavior has become cold-hearted and deceitful and MacBeth has been sucked into her game. King Duncan stays at MacBeth?s castle, while MacBeth and Lady MacBeth plot the King?s death. As MacBeth is going to kill the king, he is still a little hesitant, as he still has a little compassion and decency in his heart. The killing of King Duncan is when MacBeth loses any feeling in his heart and he will stop at nothing to be and stay King.
All through the play the readers notice MacBeth?s character change not just the way he thinks and what the reader hears from the play, but from the actions that MacBeth takes during the play. MacBeth?s character totally changes when he kills his good friend Banquo and attempts to kill his son. He has Lady MacDuff and her children murdered to get under MacDuff?s skin. These actions show MacBeth?s insecurity while being King. After the Murder of King Duncan, MacBeth becomes paranoid and his first step of killing the guards is one of many that MacBeth takes to secure himself. This act also shows the cold-heartedness of MacBeth, as he has to innocent men?s heads cut off for his own benefit. MacBeth is also very superstitious and this is also shown when he believes the prophecy the witches told him that Banquo?s offspring would become kings. This is why he attempts to murder Banquo?s son.
Towards the end of the play when Lady MacBeth has died and the battle against MacBeth is reaching an end, MacBeth shows a little decency in his heart. He wishes that he could live a normal life. MacBeth says that if he could lived a normal life, he would have lived an honorable age. He realizes that he denied himself this opportunity and that he let his ambition get the best of him. He realizes that he will not be King forever and that MacDuff is preparing to kill him. The witches prophecies have tricked MacBeth into thinking that he was invincible and that no one could stop him. That reality is halted when MacDuff kills him in a fight to the death.
MacBeth changed from an honest and decent man to a cold-hearted killer. His character had many sides to it. He was strong physically and very weak mentally. His weakness caused his downfall, which eventually led to his death. Lad MacBeth?s ambition also took control of her. She led MacBeth into going on a killing spree. MacBeth?s faith in the witches and his ambition in life is what ultimately changed him and led him to his miserable and wretched death.