The Positive and Negative Traits of Macbeth

Length: 1 Pages 280 Words

As Act One of Macbeth unfolds, Shakespeare reveals Macbeth’s positive and negative traits. The Captain vividly describes Macbeth’s bravery: “For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),/Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,/Which smoked with bloody execution,/Like valor’s minion, carved out his passage” (9). Macbeth’s willingness to sacrifice his life in order to protect his homeland is courag Continue...


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His reasons for considering betrayal are selfish and he is solely motivated by his overwhelming desire for power rather than the welfare of his subjects. Macbeth concludes that Malcolm stands between him and the throne when Duncan names Malcolm Prince of Cumberland: "The Prince of Cumberland! That is a stepOn which I must fall down or else o'erleap,For in my way it lies (29). However, Macbeth also demonstrates the capacity for disloyalty and ruthless ambition. eous and leads to victory as the Scottish triumph over their adversary. Despite Duncan's generosity towards Macbeth in rewarding him for his bravery, Macbeth admits that he is willing to murder a strong and admired leader only for his personal benefit and his quest for power. Macbeth reveals the evil plot to Lady Macbeth: "When we have marked those sleepy two,Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,That they have done 't (43). Macbeth demonstrates a negative trait when he admits his plan to kill Duncan and frame Duncan's guards as the culprits, only to attain more power. Although Malcolm is innocent, Macbeth's desire to become king is so great that he is willing to sacrifice Malcolm for his personal gain. Shakespeare introduces Macbeth in Act One as a character with both positive and negative traits and a rising internal conflict.