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As a result of Macbeth's great loyalty and service to the crown, Duncan describes him as "valiant" and "worthy" (Act I, Scene 2, line 26).
Lady Macbeth insults her husband's masculinity, calling him a "coward" and saying that, when Macbeth is willing to murder the king, "then [he will be] a man," implying Macbeth wouldn't really be a man unless he goes forward with their plan (Act I, Scene 7, lines 47, 56).
None of this would even be an issue, however, had the Weird Sisters not tried to manipulate Macbeth with their "prophecies." They say, "Fair is foul, and foul is fair," meaning that good things will look bad and bad things will look good, implying their "prophecies" to Macbeth will seem wonderful but will really lead to terrible consequences (Act I, Scene 1, line 12).
Macbeth is a tragic hero because he starts the play as a good man who is loyal to the king, but he then succumbs to moral corruption by giving in to his ambitious desire to become king himself.
He puts his faith in the prophecies of the three witches, betrays his former friends, and commits murder in a quest for power that leads to his downfall by the end of the play. Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions.
When the Captain speaks about the battle, Macbeth is described as "brave," even as "Valor's minion" (Act I, Scene...
When the Captain speaks about the battle, Macbeth is described as "brave," even as "Valor's minion" (Act I, Scene 2, lines 18, 21).
We see a man, once noble and honorable, praised by the king, a cousin of him as well, suddenly sell his humanity to ambition.
He knows what he's doing and he's in full control, but we see the struggle in his eloquent poetry.
Macbeth tries to get out of the plan to kill Duncan, telling Lady Macbeth, "We will proceed no further in this business" because his own ambition is not enough to compel him to murder his friend, kinsman, and king (Act I, Scene 7, line 34).
It is not until Lady Macbeth insults Macbeth's pride, deftly manipulating him to do what she wants, that he finally truly commits to their plan.