Which version of Macbeth do you prefer?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Macbeth does a great deal of evil, but because he is a good man, he suffers very greatly for it. A courageous thane, Macbeth was a good man, much admired by his peers and even king Duncan himself. Macbeth was also ambitious, and his ambitions were incompatible with the actions of a good, loyal man. When prophecies set free these thoughts, they quickly became actions. Macbeth committed great evil in the killing of Duncan, Banquo, and those who might pose a threat to his hold on the throne. These actions had serious consequences and took a great toll on him. Macbeth lost his ability to sleep soundly. He lost his peace of mind, he lost his friends and followers and even his wife. Finally he lost his sense of humanity and any real desire to live.

In the beginning, Macbeth was a good man. In the battle against the traitorous Macdonald, Duncan’s army faltered. Their situation looked bleak, until Macbeth turned the battle in Duncan’s favour. Seemingly unstoppable, Macbeth carved his way through the opposing army. Macbeth cut his way through, all the way to Macdonald and proceeded to “unseam him from his nave to his chops” with righteous brutality. Even when reinforcements arrived to assist Macdonald’s side, Macbeth continued his onslaught, undaunted by the opposition. The king, upon hearing reports of the battle, openly praised Macbeth to all present thanes and servants alike, calling him “O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!”. When the play begins, Macbeth is a man very much loved and admired.

Despite the fact that he is acclaimed as a good, loyal man, Macbeth’s mind dwelt on evil thoughts. His evil thoughts were given new vitality by the three “weird sisters’” prophecies. After the battle, as Macbeth and Banquo were walking back to the king’s campsite, they stumbled across three witches that told Macbeth he would be thane of Glamis, then of Cawdor, then King. The moment the idea that he would become king was spoken, Macbeth became trapped in his own thoughts as his mind worked on how he could seize the crown. When Macbeth returned to his castle, he and Lady Macbeth began to plot how Duncan will meet his end. The good loyal man is seduced by the temptation of power and wealth. Any doubts that Macbeth had that he should not proceed were stamped out by Lady Macbeth. She snuffed out his good instincts. We see Macbeth committed to the murder when he tries to snatch the dagger illusion that hangs in the air in front of him. With that action he has aligned himself to evil, and is forever doomed to hell.

Macbeth then proceeds to commit acts of great evil. Macbeth brutally murdered the loved and respected king Duncan while a guest of Macbeth, he slept soundly. Macbeth then killed Duncan’s drunken guards, out of fear that they might have seen him commit this atrocity. Macbeth then sent murderers after his good friend Banquo, for Banquo was there when the witches made their prophecies and Macbeth worried that Banquo might reveal the effect that the witches’ words had on him. Macbeth continued then to murder the murderers so that they would not divulge anything to anyone else. Macbeth killed off anyone who might have posed a threat to his position and power. But it’s as if after the first murder that Macbeth has nothing left to lose. He knows he is damned from that first early moment. He knows that there is no way back to grace and goodness.

Despite all the evil that Macbeth had committed, it can still be argued that he is a good man. He suffered very greatly for the evil acts he commited. After Macbeth murdered Duncan, he stumbled distractedly out of the king’s chamber in a state of utter shock. Still carrying the blood-drenched daggers, he wandered the castle. He felt as though he would never again find peace, because he understood the full weight of what he had done. He lost his peace of mind and his powerful sense of right and wrong, damned him to hell. Upon sending the murderers to kill Banquo, Macbeth saw Banquo’s ghost, whom no-one else could see. This image of his guilt tormented him and tortured him. His behaviour, seeming quite mad to those around him, showed his distress at his sense of utter guilt. The closeness between Macbeth and his wife is broken after the murders. Knowing he is damned to hell, he can understand the impact on his wife as well. He seeks by his silence to protect his wife from any more unrest and the moral repercussions of the further deaths. Macbeth suffers from the loss of support from his wife. He feels that he is upon a torturer’s rack.
Macbeth does a great evil. Killing Duncan, his beloved king, Banquo, his great friend, and many others, he knows he is a monstrous butcher. Yet his great suffering is the result of the fact that he knows the difference between good and evil. He condemns himself as much as others condemn him. Macbeth loses everything he values; the ones closest to him, his peace, and eventually his desire to continue


In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, we see a good man who does great evil and pays a great price for it. Macbeth loses his power, his reputation, his mind and the love of his wife. Macbeth kills his king believing that in doing so he will become king and get the power and position he deserves. Macbeth knows he must kill anyone in his way to become king as Duncan has heirs. Macbeth began as a good man, who was widely loved and praised. He gave into doing evil to get the thing he wanted most but in doing, in the process so he lost everything he valued.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth was most highly regarded. He fought ruthlessly in the battle against the traitor Macdonald, cutting through other soldiers as if he was carving a joint. He was admired for his ferocious valour as he sliced an enemy from the ‘knave’ to the ‘chops’. In acts such as these he showed his courage, determination and power. As the play opens, we see Macbeth as unstoppable. His soldiers watch him in admiration. No one in his path could slow his stride. Word was quickly carried to king Duncan of Macbeth’s nobility and valour on the battlefield. Macbeth was celebrated as a ‘worthy gentleman’ and honoured by his king. A brave and unstoppable soldier and a loyal servant of his king, he took the lives of others to protect his king and country.

The noble Macbeth appeared to be a good man and the king trusted him completely. But the king had no idea of the many evil thoughts that where filling his friend’s mind. The witches met Macbeth after the battle and gave him great hope when they told him he would become king, but those evil thoughts were already in Macbeth’s mind. The witches told him one day he would be king and rule Scotland. On hearing this Macbeth suddenly realised that he must turn these hopes and dreams into plans. These prophecies spurred Macbeth into action. Macbeth told Lady Macbeth about the prophecies and that it seemed it was his fate to become king. Macbeth was a good man and a brave soldier but once he associated with evil he become evil. With the witches’ words tempting him and Lady Macbeth eager to help him realize his dreams, Macbeth began on a path that would take him to hell.

Macbeth embraces evil knowing full well what he is doing. Macbeth yearns for the crown but such desires he knows are ‘black and deep’. For Macbeth’s plan to kill King Duncan to work, Macbeth knows he must ‘look like the flower, but be the serpent underneath’. He must continue to seem loyal and honest, but to plot and scheme and kill. Macbeth kills the king as he sleeps. He orders the dagger into his hands with the words ‘come let me clutch thee’. Macbeth wants a quick death for his king. He wants to do one evil act and have that be the ‘be-all and end-all’. What he does not realize is that once he breaks that great bond between himself and God, there is no way that this horrible murder can be the end.


In Shakespeare’s Macbeth we saw a good man turn to evil as he strived to become king of Scotland. He then, in turn, suffered as he felt the guilt of the murders he committed. We saw Macbeth lose the respect of his peers. He lost the close relationship with his wife and most importantly he lost his peace of mind as he sank into evil.

In the beginning of the play, we saw in Macbeth a noble man respected by his peers. He was celebrated as a “worthy gentleman” by the bloodied captain as he helped win a great battle in defence of his king. It was after this, that he met up with three witches and began to believe that he deserved more rewards than the king was prepared to give him. Macbeth gradually lost his good reputation as anyone who got in his way of becoming king, bloodily and mysteriously died. People started to get suspicious and spoke about him darkly. Soon rather than calling him “brave Macbeth”, he was mocked by the thanes as a “dwarfish thief in giant’s robes”. Macbeth was a respected man with a reputation as a good man. He had a good life but he yearned for more power and suffered as he grasped for honours that were not his. His peers turned against him when he acted sinfully.

Macbeth and his Lady were very close but as Macbeth continued along his bloody path they began to drift apart. As the play opened they were almost of one mind. They spoke obscurely, so as not to arouse suspicion, but they clearly understood the other’s intent. They knew exactly what each other was thinking. After Macbeth killed Duncan things changed in this great partnership. They stopped confiding in each other. They became isolated from one another as they tried to protect one another from the great guilt and fear that both felt. Slowly they drifted apart and lost each other amongst the various bloody events of their gloomy lives. The loss of this partnership and closeness was another terrible loss for Macbeth. From this point on he had to shoulder all the guilt of his crimes without anyone to confide in.

Macbeth lost his peace of mind as he suffered great guilt for all the terrible murders he’d committed. Macbeth became fearful and suspicious that his thanes suspected him of these great sins. He heard them talking about him and imagined that they knew he had killed Duncan and many others. He knew that he was guilty and therefore he convinced himself that everyone could see the evil in him. Though Macbeth sat on the throne, he knew that it was not rightfully his. The guilt devalued his possession of the throne and he called it a “barren sceptre” and “empty crown”. With the guilt, Macbeth also suffered hallucinations. He saw Banquo, his friend and the man he had killed, all bloody with cuts. These hallucinations were a sign of Macbeth’s guilt. He knew he had done wrong. He just couldn’t stop himself as he had wanted to be king so badly even though he knew that it would cost him a very high price. He suffered and the “golden round” was no more than a hollow, metal, meaningless adornment.

Macbeth did great evil and suffered greatly for the crimes he committed. This was a sign that he was a good man and that he knew the difference between good and evil. He lost everything he ever valued and his dream turned into a nightmare. When death came, he almost welcomed it. He lost his reputation as a noble man and the respect from his peers. He lost his wife and the close relationship with her. Finally he lost his peace of mind and lived looking over his shoulder to make sure he didn’t get found out. Macbeth was a moral man who suffered greatly and as a result, at the end, his life wasn’t worth living.


Shakespeare’s Macbeth is about a courageous, respected loyal man who turns to evil and loses everyone and everything he values. In murdering his loved and respected king, in order that he may get the throne, Macbeth loses his friends, followers and his family. Macbeth, the once admired nobleman, becomes a ruthless bloody murderer laughingly dismissed as a “dwarfish thief” by those people who once respected him. Macbeth does great evil but he never completely erases the good man he once was. It could be said that it is because he is a good man he can see he has behaved with great evil.

Because Macbeth can see his own evil, he suffers enormously, realizing that he is doomed to go to hell. As the play opens we see Macbeth slaughtering his traitorous enemies. We hear how he “carved” his way thought the battlefield. Though he is capable of great brutality, we are encouraged to see him as worthy and noble. Macbeth’s battlefield murders are done in a noble cause. He acts with good intentions, killing his king’s enemies and bringing peace to Scotland. Macbeth is fighting in defence of his country. He fights for the rightful King. Macbeth is highly regarded at this early point of the play. He is seen as a “worthy” gentleman by his peers and by his King. The soldiers who saw Macbeth fight report to King Duncan that Macbeth single handedly turned the battle against the traitorous Macdonwald. As the play begins, Macbeth is praised by all and admired by all.

Macbeth is highly regarded and a loyal gentlemen but he is only human. As he is rewarded by his loyal king, he reveals to us he has had thoughts of overpowering his king and taking the throne. He asks stars to hid these evil thoughts; these “black and deep desires”. These evil thoughts were echoed by the three witches he met as he returned to camp with his friend Banquo. Macbeth was amazed at the prophesies the “weird sisters” made. Their word left him “rapt” with awe as they seemed to speak his own thoughts. In contrast, Banquo just laughed at the witches and seemed not to be tempted by what they said. In a split second Banquo saw into Macbeth’s mind and could see how ambitious his friend was. The witches’ words were like a “serpent” in Macbeth’s mind. Like the biblical “serpent” the talk of being king tempts Macbeth to turn his back on goodness and defy his God. The good, loyal feelings he has are drowned out by the evil prophesies by the witches. These words echo his evil thoughts and encourage Macbeth to have “black” thoughts.

Even though Macbeth is clearly tempted to do evil and take the throne, he soon regrets such thoughts. The evil side of Macbeth seems to wrestle with the goodness inside the man. When Macbeth tries to retreat from doing evil, his wife urges him back to the murder. She humiliates him, calling him cowardly and demanding that he shows he loves her by sticking to their plan. The good man tried to turn back from evil, but his own ambitions, his love for his wife and the words of the witches all drown out his desire to be good. Outside the king’s chamber Macbeth’s mind is balanced by thought that he must not do evil. Macbeth knows that if he gives into evil and clutches the dagger he will be doing the bidding of the devil.

Macbeth has been the smiling “flower” all his life and when he realizes that his kinsman will pass the crown on to the undeserving son Malcom, he finally decides to be the “serpent” underneath the flower and take what he deserves. Macbeth is driven to bloody, traitorous murder by desires he cannot drive away. Macbeth kills Duncan in a brutal way believing that the crown will be worth the high price he has to pay. Immediately after the murder he sees what he has done. This traitorous act brings him to his knees and as we can see Macbeth reduced to a shocked state as he wanders back to Lady Macbeth, still holding the weapons he used. This proves that Macbeth knew it was a terrible act that he had committed. His hands are bloody and he knows “evil dreams” will swamp his brain. He knows “Glamis hath murdered sleep”. He realises what he has done. He has sold his soul to the devil. These are the thoughts of a good man who can very clearly see what is good and what is evil.

Macbeth becomes king, but to stay in power, he has to kill anyone who becomes suspicious of him. Macbeth sends assassins to kill Banquo and his son Fleance as Macbeth feels they threaten him by being alive. He raves that has lost everything he values by this murder, and in the future Fleance who is not even his own son will become king. Macbeth is wild with anger and self hatred. He knows the murder of Banquo and Fleance are wrong but he has to act if he is to remain king. Macbeth’s conscience forces him to see the ghost of Banquo shaking his “gory locks” at him. This hallucination is his own guilty mind, accusing him of doing evil.

If Macbeth were an evil man, there would’ve been any nightmares or fears. By the end of the play Macbeth is reduced to ruin. He has lost everyone around him. In the final fight between himself and Macduff he knows he will lose and yet he takes up the sword, not seeming to care about the outcome. He knows he is hated, laughed at, and alone. He knows he deserves a traitor’s death and he seems to give his life up to Macduff. Macbeth is a good man who gave himself over to evil, but never lost his strong sense of what was right and what was wrong.


Macbeth is a good man and he does suffer greatly as a result of the evil he does and the sense of guilt he feels. Although Macbeth is good he does great evil. When he realises that he could be king and have the power that he yearns for, Macbeth is driven to betray and kill to get it.

When the three witches first approach Macbeth and Banquo, Macbeth thinks that maybe what they were saying is true. He knows that they have great knowledge. When the witches tell him he could be king he gets the idea that maybe he could be king and rule. When Macbeth writes to Lady Macbeth about the idea they are both excited by the idea and join to plot to kill Duncan.

Macbeth has a good heart. We see this when he tries to back out of killing King Duncan until is wife persuades him differently. Because he has a good heart Macbeth suffers and genuinely wishes that he hadn’t murdered king Duncan and brought down on his head such serious consequences. Macbeth once fought for King Duncan. He was on his side and defended him bravely on the battlefield. Although Macbeth had ambitions thoughts he never planned on betraying his king and everything he believed in by acting to realise his ambitions. But Lady Macbeth really drove him to do evil. She wanted to realise his dreams any way possible. She wanted the status that came with the crown. It was she that was the one who wouldn’t let him back down from his word. Lady Macbeth wanted the crown more than he did and because of her immorality, Macbeth committed the murders.

After Macbeth murdered Duncan he was in a state of shock. We see this when he walks out of the room after killing him with the bloody knife still in his hands. Lady Macbeth has to actually tell him to put the knife back in the room so that it can be discovered with King Duncan’s body. Macbeth is so conscious of the evil he has done that he doesn’t want to go back in there. Macbeth is in a state of traumata the killing of his king.

Macbeth feels guilt and regret. He suffers great regret and his hallucinations are the result of him feeling bad over what he has done. He knows that what he did was wrong and feels guilty and his destroyed reputation he feels like a great burden. He was once seen as a noble and brave man but he is now looked upon as a “dwarfish thief”. People start to suspect that there is something wrong when people close to Macbeth begin to die. People start to talk behind his back and drift away from him because they are afraid that they will be next to die in Macbeth’s murderous rampage. Although all of this is going on Macbeth has to pretend that everything is normal. He has to “look like the flower, but be the serpent under’t”.

Macbeth has to keep on killing in order to make himself feel “safe”. Digging the hole that he’s in, deeper, but he has gone too far and he knows that. But if he stops everyone will find out what he has done. He thinks that if he keeps killing he might have a chance. Macbeth has to live with the guilt of what he has done. But that guilt makes his life a living death.

Macbeth does commit a lot of evil acts but because of the guilt that he feels, he suffers. He knows that he is in too deep and he can’t get out of it. He knows that he can never be free and ever again have the peaceful mind of the innocent person he once was.


Macbeth is a good man, but commits evil deeds. The guilt he feels slowly reduces him to nearly nothing. Where once he yearned to be king, at the end, all he wants is the peace of death.When the nobleman Macbeth comes across three witches after a battle in which he has earned great honours, they have great prophesies for him. On hearing that he will become king he gets so caught up in what they say that his loyalty and goodness mean nothing. Macbeth follows the bait of the witches and asks them to explain how this great prophecy may happen. This is the point were the root of evil starts to grow in Macbeth. Though before he had vague hopes that he would become king, it is here with the witches that he really starts to dream and plan the actions that will destroy him and send him to hell.Macbeth and Lady Macbeth agree to murder King Duncan. Duncan was a much respected man, a loved leader and a cousin to Macbeth, yet Macbeth decided to kill him so he could take the throne. Before the murder we see Macbeth alone, and thinking over the many reasons why he shouldn’t kill Duncan. The good man in Macbeth can see that this murder will be a terrible sin. While Macbeth’s guests and the King celebrate their victory, Macbeth is planning to do exactly what the traitor Macdonald did, and betray his King.

Despite being tempted, the good man in Macbeth chooses not to murder Duncan but when Lady Macbeth hears that he doesn’t want to carry out the murder, she is enraged. She tells him he looks like a child. She makes him feel absurd. She insists that he shows his love for Lady Macbeth by being true to the plans they made. It is then that Macbeth decides to kill his king, even though he knows it to be wrong. We know Macbeth is tempted when standing in the corridor he sees a “dagger” leading him to Duncan’s chamber. In a brutal manner, Macbeth murders Duncan, but we can see that Macbeth fully understands that he has done great evil. After murdering Duncan, Macbeth carries with him the blood covered dagger. Macbeth knows that this murder has changed his life forever. He knows he will go to hell for what he has done Lady Macbeth tries to calm him down and takes the dagger back to the chambers and wipes the blood on the guards that are drunk and unconscious. She leaves the daggers next to them. Macbeth is so terrified at what he has done that he can’t go into the room where the dead king is laying. If Macbeth wasn’t a good man, this murder would have meant nothing to him. If Macbeth did not value his eternal soul, he would not have been afraid of the sight of his sin.Macbeth shows his guilt and regret when a little later he hears a traveller knocking at the gate he says “Duncan hear thy knock and awake”. Macbeth wishes he could turn back time and have Duncan alive again. Immediately after Duncan’s death, Macbeth knows that the crown is not as valuable as his peace of mind. Once Macbeth is crowned King he starts on a string of murders. Out of fear he must kill to keep himself out of danger. He sends two men to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. Later he sends his men to murder Macduff’s “pretty ones” and everybody in his castle. These thanes are as dangerous as they are good men. He fears they will oppose him if they get a hint of his guilt. Though Macbeth has them murdered without another thought, because of these actions Macbeth has horrible, guilty nightmares. In waking and in sleeping he sees ghosts. He sees Banquo sitting at the table with his face covered in blood, looking right at him. At this sight Macbeth breaks down screaming and shaking. This is the fear of a good man, who realises he has sinned and deserves to be punished.In the end Macbeth loses the love of the thanes. His wife goes mad and kills herself. His peace of mind is lost because of the horrible mistakes the once noble Macbeth made. When Macbeth finally dies he seems to accept that he has destroyed everything. He can only find peace from this nightmare by being killed by Macduff. Macbeth is a good man who destroys everything by giving in to guilt, greed and the evil that tempts him.


Macbeth is a good man even though he committed great acts of evil in his time. Macbeth does a lot of evil killing innocent people and betraying his king. He suffers as he knows what he has done, and understands that he was wrong. In this play Macbeth begins, a great man but he is overcome by evil thoughts and greed. He gets what he always wanted, that is to be king of Scotland but he realises that this isn’t the valuable thing he thought he was.

At the start of this play Macbeth appears as a very good and trusts worthy person. His friends call him a “worthy gentleman”. He has a great reputation. When we see what he has done on the battlefield it seems like he single handedly destroyed MacDonald’s army. Every one knew what Macbeth had done and he was respected for saving Scotland from the traitor and the chaos he would bring. As well as being as a loyal thane, Macbeth was loyal to his wife sharing everything. They had no secrets from each other and together they were a powerful force.

We see Macbeth changing after he returns from the battlefield. He always wanted to get the crown but before the battle he knew deep own that Duncan would choose his own sons to succeed him. When the witches met him on the heath and prophecied that he would become king, greed and ambition overwhelmed him. He felt that his fate was to become king. This is when we first see Macbeth’s evil side. When he returns to King Duncan’s camp he is disappointed at the reward the king gives him. He wants to be more than Thane of Cawdor. He was devastated. Because of Macbeth’s greed and because his ambition was awakened by what he had heard from the three witches he was certain that he was going to become king. But even at this stage, Macbeth has not become completely evil. He has evil thoughts tempting him, but his actions are the actions of a good, loyal man.

When Macbeth returns to his castle and to his wife, his ambitions have faded. Lady Macbeth wants him to become king and she works hard to convince him even though he never mentions any word of a plan to her. After she works on him, Macbeth and his wife put together a plan to kill King Duncan but she seems to be the one who is determined to do evil. Lady Macbeth says to Macbeth he must “look like a flower but be the serpent beneath it”. She wants him to think evil thoughts, but to look like a good man. Macbeth didn’t like the idea but his wife forced to him to act this way by laughing at him when he tried to say he couldn’t kill the king. Finally Macbeth kills Duncan that night. The king is asleep. But as soon as he does, Macbeth knows it’s a mistake. We see this when he says “I wish Duncan would wake up” when there is a banging at the door. We can see in these words that goodness is in his heart. He regrets what he has done and wishes he could go back to the peace of mind he had before he let evil takeover him.

When Macbeth killed king Duncan he hoped that he would get the throne and would ever have to do evil again. He soon sees that he has to kill more people, because he has to stop people who think he is responsible for the king’s death from spreading their suspicions. He has to kill people who he thinks are a threat to him. We see Macbeth going on a sort of killing spree. Because he felt guilt he thought everyone who looked at him could see his guilt. First he killed the guards who might have seen him kill Duncan. Then he killed Banquo and then Banquo’s murderers. Every one was afraid of him. All his friends and peers started to avoid him as people became suspicious of him. No one wanted anything to do with him. We hear even the doctor and nurse are afraid of him. Behind his back people started to call Macbeth a “dwarf” and a “thief”. They knew that he was not the rightful king Macbeth knew that people thought of him as evil and he knew he was guilty of doing horrible, evil things but he also knew that he couldn’t stop.

Macbeth began to realise that he had lost everything that made his life valuable. He didn’t want to live anymore. Even though he got the throne, the possession he had wanted, he realised that he wasn’t happy. Lady Macbeth wasn’t happy, and in fact she suffered from having a guilty conscience. He knew his life was finished because he had committed so many evil acts in his life time that God would judge him and send him to hell.

At the beginning of the play Macbeth was a good man with good intentions. When greed took over his mind and he realised that the only way to get what he wanted was to use evil, he lost his way. Once he killed his king, once he betrayed country and his God, there was no turning back. He knew he was evil. He knew he had destroyed his life. Macbeth killed many people, hoping he would not get caught, but in his heart he knew there was no escape. Macbeth was full of goodness and that goodness made him feel awful at having lost his “jewel” or soul. At the end Macbeth dies but he knows that he deserved it. Living with his guilt is like a torture. Only a good man could feel this guilty about all the evil he has done.