Loyal Character In Macbeth

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Which is more important, your own life, or remaining loyal to those close to you? In his play Macbeth, Shakespeare introduces the main character, Macbeth, as an honorable and loyal character. However Shakespeare introduces the dilemma to Macbeth of choosing between his obligation to Duncan and his personal ambitions. It is this conflict that illuminates Macbeth’s character and enhances the play to represent a major lesson in the importance of remaining moral and honorable in life.

In the first act of the play, Three Witches introduce a prophecy that Macbeth will soon become Thane of Cawdor, and then King. Macbeth later realizes that in order for this to be true, he must kill the current King, Duncan. This is where the conflict between his
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Macbeth even says that he “has no spur to prick the sides of [his] intent, but only vaulting ambition” (1.7.25-26) which is nearly stronger than his…show more content…
This decision was not an easy one for Macbeth to make, as he constantly battles with himself over it. After being named Thane of Cawdor like the witches prophesied, he wonders “why [does he] yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix [his] hair and make [his] seated heart knock at [his] ribs” (1.3.147-149). Just thinking about Duncan is unsettling to Macbeth. Duncan is a good king and thinks very highly of Macbeth. However, part of the prophecy had already come true. Macbeth is now Thane of Cawdor, so by his logic, there is little to stop him from becoming King as well. So despite his internal debate, Macbeth decides to discard his obligation to Duncan and kill him. With the decision made to kill Duncan, Macbeth and his wife come up with a plan. Once Macbeth’s signal to commit the act sounds, he says “I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven or hell” (2.1.75-77). At this point, there is no turning back. Macbeth has decided to kill Duncan, and that is what he does. His last words to Duncan are for him to disregard the bell, for it signals his death. Macbeth’s ambition for power surpasses his loyalty and dedication to Duncan and he ultimately betrays him. In his choice to disregard his loyalty and obligation to Duncan, he begins to change who he is, and not for the
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