Shakespeare’s play Macbeth was written sometime between 1603 and 1607. He is renowned as an English playwright and poet, whose works are considered to be the greatest in English history. His characters never fail to amaze the audience with their complex yet interesting characteristics. In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, one might judge Macbeth as a prudent hero of the play, yet his ironic character reveals he is also the villain. It is the complexity of characters that hold the interest of the audience, to which he is relevant and necessary today, a playwright for all time. Through the use of soliloquy, Shakespeare discloses the thoughts and feelings within Macbeth on the decisions he makes. Upon this, the aggravation developed by the influence of Lady Macbeth exposes the distinctive ambition within Macbeth.
Shakespeare’s character, Macbeth is seen as the protagonist of the play. He is first mentioned by the three witches in the beginning of the play, though does not appear until Act 1 Scene 3 (Gibson, 1993). This creates anticipation of the character to the audience. Macbeth’s presence is initially met by the audience, as a brave loyal Scottish general while at work protecting his king from rebels of the Norwegian invaders. ‘ For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name— Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,’ Act 1, Scene 2, 16-17 (Gibson, 1993, pg. 5), a wounded captain reports. The report gives the audience an impression of bravery and courageousness towards Macbeth. Further in the report, ‘Like valor’s minion carved out his passage. Till he faced the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,’ Act 1, Scene 2, 19-21 (Gibson, 1993, pg. 5) meaning, ‘Through the battlefields he chopped his way through to the opponent and slices him, not allowing him to shake hands, nor bid farewell’. From the report, the audience is given the impression of Macbeth as a mighty warrior. Shakespeare shapes the beginning of the play to have a positive character of the protagonist, Macbeth, but his complex character is yet to be revealed.
Shakespeare’s established character of Macbeth is put to questions after he is discovered easily corrupted by evil of the prophecy made by the three witches; the first of which Macbeth would become Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth will become king of Scotland, and last Banquo’s son will become king, rather than him. Despite the news of his promotion, Shakespeare gives a twist to Macbeth in shock and fright. The prophecy made by the witches awaken Macbeth’s inner dormant ambition for the crown, also which is encouraged by Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare intensifies the audience’s attention with the use of the considerate conflict of Macbeth with his morals or his noble nature to his ambition and the captivation of Lady Macbeth. The witches’ prophecy of which Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor materialized, yet Macbeth refuses to believe it. Shakespeare’s analysis of Macbeth’s mind and emotions are delicate and critical, in which is achieved by the use of soliloquy. Before the murder of Duncan, soliloquy is evident, whilst Macbeth is in Duncan’s room supporting the temptation of the dagger before him.
Act 2, Scene 1, 33
Act 2, Scene 1, 33
‘Is this a dagger which I see before me’
By the account of soliloquy, by Shakespeare, it develops multiplicity of meanings within their personality which reveal the character’s inner complexity.
Shakespeare writes of Lady Macbeth a strong influence on Macbeth and the most evil feminine creation. Shakespeare’s skills distinct the complexity of characters by the perfect fit of the couple, in terms of dramatic and contrasting. They complement every aspect of their mind and actions. Shakespeare’s uses the multiplicity of meanings of their character and irony, of what they appear to be and what they are; Macbeth appears strong, yet he is often weak, Lady Macbeth appears kind, of which she is full of evil. A letter is sent