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Macbeth:a character sketch

            Macbeth is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophesies of three witches. Macbeth is a brave soldier, but he is not a virtuous man. This is evident after he receives his final prophecy, that he will become King of Cawdor. These prophesies lead Macbeth into a destructive path which ultimately destroys who he is. Macbeth has three predominant attributes throughout the play, which further him in this destructive path. These three attributes- bravery, ambition, and self doubt struggle for power over Macbeth throughout the play.
             The initial impression of Macbeth is made after the wounded Captains account of his valour on the battlefield: “ For Brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution, like valour’s minion, carved out his passage…” (Act 1, Scene 2 PG 9). This account highlights Macbeths bravery that is really only seen on the battlefield, yet it is a trait of Macbeth that does not diminish from the beginning of the play to the end. He begins in the play with winning the title of Thane of Glamis for his unprecedented bravery, and ends the play with bravery as he awaits his death as a soldier. This bravery is conveyed through the contrast of many other tragic heroes’ who contemplate suicide. Macbeth never does, although death is knocking at his door. Macbeth says: “Why should I play the Roman fool, and die on mine own sword?” This perspective of un-faltered bravery is skewed however when Macbeth meets the three witches, and his bravery is over shadowed by his self-doubt.
             After Macbeth receives the prophecy that he is to become King of Cawdor, he quickly begins to doubt himself. He doesn’t see how he can possibly become King, so he devises a plot that will guarantee his title of king. He then begins to doubt if he can go through with killing the king.