Macbeth is a warrior and antihero who has won the hearts of many people — including King Duncan — with his military skills. Thus, it is not surprising that the king visits him for dinner. Aside from his military prowess, Macbeth is an ambitious man. He wants to achieve honor and glory. Macbeth’s monologues make clear the fact that he will do anything to attain his heart’s desires. However, the witches’ prediction of Macbeth’s ascent to the throne troubles him. His thought processes are hazy. He does not understand what he needs to do to make the prophecy a reality. Macbeth’s frustration peaks when King Duncan announces appoints his son, Malcolm, his heir. Since the witches had informed Macbeth he would be the next king, it was inevitable that he would be devastated by King Duncan’s pick. When it becomes clear to Macbeth that he must kill King Duncan to take his place, Macbeth’s conscience plagues him. His ambition conflicts with his morality. Moreover, in Act 1 Scene 7, Lady Macbeth mocks and chides Macbeth for his apparent failure, as a man, to do what needs to be done. This adds to Macbeth’s torment.
With time, Macbeth overcomes his emotions to behave in ways he initially resisted. By Act 3 Scene 2, Macbeth becomes a villain, and he is no longer worries about the consequences of his actions. By this time, his ambitions have taken control over him, and he commits terrible deeds. After killing King Duncan, Macbeth finds it easy to commit one murder after another. He plots Banquo’s death as a response to his efforts to stop the prophecy. Macbeth also orders the murder of Macduff’s wife and children. Macbeth’s descent into murderous amorality appears unstoppable. Yet, as Macbeth wades through this bloodbath, supernatural events surround and worry him. At one point, Banquo’s ghost appears and terrifies Macbeth.
Near the end of the play, a bloodthirsty Macbeth faces Malcolm on the battlefield. Just as Macbeth lurches forward to kill him, he lands on Malcolm’s sword. With this misstep, Macbeth suffers his tragic downfall.