Macbeth begins the play as a brave, strong, courageous, well liked man who thrives on the admiration and respect from people around him. We see this is scenes such as Act 1 Scene 2, the scene in which Duncan, Ross, Angus and others are discussing what took place in their recent battle. The Sergeant says “For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name— Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution”. We see a similar description of Macbeth in the same scene by his own leader King Duncan. Duncan says “O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!” Another trait found in the personality of Macbeth early in the play is that he is easily influenced by his wife, Lady Macbeth. Macbeth is ambitious at first, but Lady Macbeth’s ambition far exceeds his and so she is able to get Macbeth to agree with her to kill King Duncan. We can see this in many of the conversations the couple have together towards beginning, where Lady Macbeth continues to persuade and influence Macbeth as much as she can to murder King Duncan, mainly through questioning his manhood. An example of this can be found in Act 3 Scene Four where she simply says “Are you a man?”. Her power and influence over Macbeth is shown once Macbeth kills Duncan, as it’s her self-confidence in addition to the persuasiveness of her words that makes Macbeth act. Macbeth is not naturally inclined to perform malicious deeds, but he deeply desires power and is very ambitious, he simply lacks motivation. Because he isn’t motivated, he believes that rather than taking action himself, he is better off letting fate and chance arrange his future for him. This belief of his is shown in Act 1 Scene Three (the scene in which the witches tell Macbeth and Banquo of their prophecies) when Macbeth says "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me Without my stir". Macbeth has an incredible amount of ambition, but definitely lacks motivation and decisiveness, and both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself know of this flaw. We hear of it from Lady Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 5 (the scene in which Lady Macbeth is persuading Macbeth to murder Duncan) as Lady Macbeth says “Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it”. Basically she is saying “You could be great; You are not without ambition, only without The drive should usually goes with it”. We hear of it from Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 7 (another scene of Lady Macbeth’s persuasion) when Macbeth says “I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other“. The final trait found in Macbeth’s personality in the first half of the play is his fearful, indecisive nature. This can be found in Act 2 Scene 1. Macbeth’s soliloquy in this scene shows audiences that Macbeth is not a coward, he is not scared, but rather he is fearful and nervous.
Even before the crime has taken place, audiences already begin to see signs of Macbeth’s deterioration through his hallucinations. His first hallucination is in Act 2 Scene 1 during one of Macbeth’s