In most stories the main character or protagonist develops and his or her state of mind changes by the end of the story. The state of mind tends to change at the various stages of the plot including the introduction, beginning excitement, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion. Freytag's pyramid shows the usual structure for the development of the story and he explains how the protagonist changes and develops at those different stages. Macbeth, the main character, is confident and satisfied with his kingship in the beginning of the story, but by the climax he feels his reign was worthless and insignificant. In Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, the state of mind of Macbeth parallels with the dramatic structure.
The introduction of the play starts with the prophecies of the three weird sisters, who have a mysterious foreshadowing of the future for Macbeth. The beginning excitement or intrusion starts with the initial soliloquy that follows the prophecies of the witches. Right before this speech Macbeth has returned from a battle, very proud of his courageousness and superiority. King Duncan praises him for his bravery and the victory. Soon after he and Banquo are approached by three witches who prophesy him to be thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland. Macbeth then starts to think about how he would assume this position, but he almost ends up going to war with himself. The thought of killing King Duncan to become king gives him an assurance of success, but he says, "Why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs against the use of nature?" Here he explains that inside he feels nervous and is scared of the horrible image this will give him. Macbeth knows that killing Duncan is going against his nature, but he begins to develop great ambition for these vivid pictures of success that he sees. The imagery he uses about his restless heart shows he usually has a calm nature over making decisions, but this one is much more difficult for him.