Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth is not only well-known, but very often criticized by numerous scholars because of its corrupted interpretation of the historical figure of a Scottish general Macbeth, and also due to the fact that the main hero appears to be a symbol of lust for power and comrades’ betrayal and cruelty. Among numerous examples, one can mark out that according to Aristotle Macbeth can not be regarded as a proper tragic hero because of his evil characteristics. However, it is essential to trace the evolution of the protagonist into a tyrant in order to prove that he can not be regarded as inherently evil. He is more likely to be considered as weak, amendable to his wife’s persuasions and dependent on the extrinsic influence rather than a common negative character.
In order to prove the abovementioned idea, it is essential to pay attention to the fact that at the beginning of the story, Shakespeare depicted Macbeth as a courageous and strong soldier, who “stands not within the prospect of believe”, whom people respect, and witches call a “Thane of Cawdor” in their predictions (Shakespeare 35). King Duncan values him as a loyal and honorable warrior, who defended Scotland. However, it becomes obvious that the predictions of the “weird sisters” and the actions of his wife Lady Macbeth have influence on the deeds and ambitions of the main hero. After he has heard the predictions, he became very worried and pleased at the same time asking the witches: “Speak! I charge you!” (Shakespeare 14). However, Macbeth started feeling doubtful about all his further decisions. He has betrayed and killed the king, and his thoughts that “two truths are told” become a proof that his doubts haunt him (Shakespeare 55). Nevertheless, all these doubts fade away with the help of Lady Macbeth’s manipulations as she encourages the protagonist to develop his evil part of personality and kill King Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff’s family. Only in the end of the story Macbeth understands that his “soul is too much charged with blood”, and he is not doubtful about what has to happen with him (Shakespeare 167).
To sum it up, one can see the character of Macbeth as having changed from the beginning till the end from a warrior to the evil tyrant. However, when the final moments of his life came, the readers can see that he has stayed a soldier till the end. The doubts, manipulation and weakness of the character appear to be the main reasons for his moral downfall.