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SparkNotes: Macbeth: Character List

Date of publication: 2017-08-24 11:00

It is the complexity of Hamlet’s characterization that has made him so enduring. Today, it is difficult to appreciate how revolutionary Shakespeare’s approach to Hamlet was because his contemporaries were still penning two-dimensional characters. Hamlet’s psychological subtlety emerged in a time before the concept of psychology had been invented – a truly remarkable feat.

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The depth of Hamlet’s emotional turmoil can be measured against the high spirits displayed by the rest of the court. Hamlet is pained to think that everyone has managed to forget his father so quickly – especially his mother, Gertrude. Within a month of her husband’s death, Gertrude has married her brother-in-law. Hamlet cannot comprehend his mother’s actions and considers them to be an act of treachery.

Shakespeare's Macbeth essay, summary, quotes and character

At the banquet, a murderer arrives and reports to Macbeth just as the dinner guests begin to arrive. He informs Macbeth that Banquo is dead but Fleance has escaped. Shaken, Macbeth thanks him for what he has done and arranges another meeting on the following day. The murderer leaves and Macbeth returns to the feast.

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Macbeth begins as a somewhat sympathetic character. He is loyal to the king, he is brave in battle, and is happy to win the king's praise. His ambition and his wife's ambition turn him into the tyrant that we know. The moment he kills Duncan sets.

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