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The loss of humanity in macbeth

In Shakespeare's play Macbeth the character Macbeth proves to be somewhat dynamic

in his human representation. He starts off as being very human; he is actually a war-hero.

However the seed of change is planted right away when he meets the witches and they tell

him their prophecy of him becoming king. This makes Macbeth ambitious, and it leads to

his demise. Once he kills Duncan the change rapidly begins to accelerate. By the end of the

play, and Macbeth's killing spree, his transformation is complete and all of his human

thoughts and feelings are gone. Macbeth changes from being a great individual to the

focus of everyone's fear and anger, because he loses his human characteristics of

conscience and remorse.

As the play starts Macbeth is very human; he has feelings and friends and he is a war-

hero. As time elapses, he begins to change into a ruthless killer, "a tyrant". Once he meets

the witches and learns he will become king he begins to plot and think murderously. When

he arrived at a plot to kill Duncan, and told Lady Macbeth, he realized it was the only

way. However, in doing this he made a lot of people suspicious. This meant that more

people would have to be killed, and this included the king's son who was next in line for

the throne. At this point Macbeth experiences the first of a number of breakdowns, and he

begins to lose his human characteristics. Macbeth begins to fall into a murderous rage after

killing Duncan. He thought this would clear his name, but it only made things worse. Each

person he has killed results in another that needs to be killed. With each kill Macbeth

makes he loses feelings. Macbeth's conscience is soon deteriorated to nothing, and his

killings are numerous. After killing Banquo and confronting his ghost Macbeth breaks

down for the last time. At this point Macbeth's last shred of remorse are nearly gone. His

wife dies and he barely cares, and then he orders Macduff's family to be killed. Macbeth is

completely crazy at this point, and he begins to believe solely in the witches prophecy that

he cannot be killed by "a man of woman born". This belief ultimately results in his

demise. Macbeth kills a young soldier on his way to confront Macduff, and he does not

care one bit. Here he has become nothing but a cold-blooded killer, not the least bit


Macbeth's change from human to killer is his own doing. He allowed the evil that is

within everyone to overwhelm him. His ambition and need for power put him through a

transformation from hero to killer. Macbeth's conscience and feelings seemed to leave him.

At first he needed Lady Macbeth to coax him into killing, and at the end he kills on

impulse. After a number of mental breakdowns, Macbeth just loses it. At this point he

stops representing anything human, and displays no human characteristics.

Source: Essay UK -

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