Character Analysis: Macbeth

Characters in play can be assessed by studying the following aspects

  • What do they say, what do they do and what do others say about them
  • What are the beliefs, values and motivations
  • How much do they succeed in practicing what they preach
  • Who are they made to be in conflict with or how do they differ from the other in the play

When attempting a character analysis of Macbeth, bear the following points in mind:

  • His bravery
  1. Report by the sergeant
  2. Macbeth accepts Lady Macbeth’s challenge to act like a man
  3. He faces the witches and goes to confront them again
  4. He responds well to challenges and never shies away
  5. All his words show determination and dynamism
  • His ambition
  1. Obvious from his actions
  2. Lady Macbeth is aware of it.
  3. Banquo is aware of it
  4. The witches exploit it
  5. He goes blind with ambition  and commits horrible murders
  6. The price he pays for his ambition and consequent action does not deter him
  • His imagination
  1. He is able to look his circumstances and the consequences of his actions
  2. His words are highly poetic
  3. He sees a lot of apparitions and hallucination
  4. He is able to daydream about his prospects
  • His affection
  1. He loves his wife and confides in her
  2. He accepts her guidance and advice
  3. He uses terms of endearment in his conversation
  4. He insulated her against more evil news after the first few murders
  • His nobility
  1. It takes a lot of persuasion from the people around him as well as the circumstances to make him commit the crimes
  2. He aborts his plans several times
  3. Other characters comment on his good nature
  • His fear
  1. he gets scared when he sees the witches and seeks clarification from Banquo
  2. He shies away from his own evil plans
  3. He fears Banquo
  4. He is superstitious

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