Macbeth Character Analysis, Willie Willson, Portfolio BM

For this BM, we had to incorporate the knowledge of the character transformation in Macbeth in order to form a thorough analysis.  This analysis had to have ten quotes and had to involve a thesis statement which must be proven true.

Macbeth Benchmark

Thesis:  Macbeth started out as an innocent but turned into a bloody tyrant who was feared by all because of his cruelty.

In act 1, scene 2, page 4, line 15, Scotland has just won a war against nor-weigh because of the brave fighting of Banquo and Macbeth.  A bloody captain speaks to the lords and Duncan about how Macbeth is brave, valiant, and a good warrior.  “But all’s to weak: for brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name- disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution, like valor’s minion carved out his passage, till he faced the slave, which never shook hands nor bade farewell to him till he unseamed him from his nave to the chaps, and fixed his head upon our battlements.”  In this quote Macbeth is so far portrayed as a brave valorous person that everyone likes.  He is also very loyal to his cause because not everyone has to kill in such a flashy way.  He seems like a person that commands respect from everyone at all times.  Macbeth so far is feared on the battlefield, but is respected off of it as a loyal person.

In act 1, scene 3, page 12, line 144, the three witches have just popped out and told their prophecy to Banquo and Macbeth.  Macbeth is talking to himself about the witches’ prophecy.  (Aside)“If chance will have me king, then chance will crown me, without my stir.” This shows that Macbeth doesn’t really want to be king, but if he should become king it would be welcome.  Macbeth says this aside to himself, which shows that he doesn’t want his companions to know exactly what he is thinking about.  He also says that he will not pursue this idle thought that he may become king because it may lead to bad things and thoughts.

In act 2, scene 1, page 25, line 37, Macbeth is talking to himself mulling over if he should kill Duncan or not.  Lady Macbeth has been egging him on, so his mind is wavering and his loyalty is failing.  “Art though not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight?”  Macbeth is having an illusion of a dagger floating around, and is thinking of taking it and sticking it into the king.  He is being convinced which shows that he is weak willed and is easily tempted with power. 

In act 2, scene2, page 28, line 34, Macbeth has just killed Duncan and has planted the daggers covered in blood on his unconscious guards.  He is depressed because he sinned and could not pronounce Amen in prayer with the drunken guards.  “But wherefore I could not pronounce “Amen”, I had most need of blessing, and “Amen” stuck in my throat.”  Macbeth was pushed over the edge when he killed Duncan.  His old valorous brave self no longer exists and has been replaced with a shell of grief and violence.

In act 3, scene 1, page 41, line 49-51, Macbeth has just seen Banquo and Fleance (Banquo’s son) go out horse riding. He has ordered some assassins to go and kill Banquo.  He needs to kill Banquo in order to keep his position as king because Banquo is full of loyalty to the old king.  “Our fears in Banquo stick deep, and in his royalty of nature rein that which would be feared.”  He says this alone after he just sent for the assassins that he hired to kill Banquo.  Macbeth has not gotten over murdering Duncan and is eager to quench his thirst to stay in power.  He won’t stop for anything not even killing his own best friend and his young son.

In act 3, scene 2, page 47, line 46, Macbeth has just ordered the assassination of Banquo.  He is telling Lady Macbeth to mind her own business and thank him later for helping them stay in power.  “Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, until you applaud the deed.”  Macbeth’s evilness has now progressed so far that he has started to think for himself when planning evil deeds.  He has become to think like a criminal and a murderer. His mind has now become so twisted that he would now be unrecognizable to anyone save for his appearance.

In act 4, scene 1, page 66, line 122, Macbeth has just seen the ghost of Banquo, which startled him and has gone to the witches seeking advice.  He sees three apparitions that tell him that none of woman born shall harm Macbeth, fear Macduff, and Macbeth shall never be harmed until the forest marches right up to his castle.  After hearing this he demands to know one more thing.  “Yet my heart throbs to know one thing.  Tell me, if your art can tell so much, if Banquo’s issue shall ever reign this kingdom.” Macbeth wants to know if he should pursue the issue of Banquo further.  This shows that Macbeth is ready to do anything to remain in power.

In act 4, scene 1, page 68, line 173, Macbeth has just heard from one of the apparitions that he should fear Mac duff, but Mac duff has fled the country.  Macbeth decides to kill Mac duff’s family in his stead. “The castle of Mac duff I will surprise, seize upon Fife, give to the edge of the sword, his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line.”  Macbeth can now pronounce the deaths of innocent children easily, and because of his cruelty, he now reigns by mostly fear.

In act 4, scene 3, page 75, line 56, Mac duff and Malcolm have fled to Scotland and have had a heat filled conversation about Macbeth.  In the middle of this conversation, a lord comes up and tells Mac duff that his children and wife have been murdered.  Macduff says how Macbeth is the most evil “thing” ever.  “Not in the legions of hell can come a devil more damned in evils to top Macbeth.”  Macbeth now commands fear and hatred over everyone.  Wherever he goes death follows him.  He is now recognized as such an evil person that his name has become taboo to say.

In act 5, scene 3, page 87, line 11, Macbeth is  waiting for the report on the enemy thanes and their progress.  Macbeth is talking to his servant in a harsh manner for no reason at all. “The devil damn thee, though cream faced loon!”  Macbeth before would never be this blatantly rude to someone.  This shows how Macbeth has grown so evil that he no longer cares how he treats people who are of lesser status then he is.

            Macbeth as a character evolved over the course of the play.  He started out as a gracious, brave, valiant, and honest person, and ended up as a twisted, evil, and cruel villain.  This change was brought on partly because Macbeth was a lose cannon ready to blow in the beginning, but his wife helped pushed him over the edge so that he snapped.  This manipulation is sickening, and lady Macbeth rightfully went insane and died.  This change in character is a great example of how a person can become the exact opposite of what they originally where.