Asked in
Macbeth

Was Macbeth a compassionate caring character who became overwhelmed by greed?

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July 24, 2009 1:19AM

Yes, Macbeth [c. 1014-August 15, 1057] was a brave, noble Scotsman whose raging, greedy ambitions became uncontrollable. In Act 1 Scene 5 of the Shakespearean play, Macbeth's Lady [b. c. 1015] worried about her husband's kindness. She also anguished over his tendency to follow correct procedure. And she agonized over the high ambitions that he kept in check by his even higher standards of conduct for himself. But Lady Macbeth knew how to overcome the brave and noble restraints on her husband's character. For his fatal flaw wasn't just ambition. It also was manipulability by his wife. All she had to do was make him choose between saving the life of King Duncan I [d. August 14, 1040] and saving their marriage. The answer was clear, and foredoomed the Macbeths' tragedy.