Home Research PapersA a bloodthirsty tyrant, who is cruel to nature

A a bloodthirsty tyrant, who is cruel to nature

A foil is a character who contrasts with another character to show particular qualities/characteristics of the other character, and usually one of those characters is the protagonist. Examples of foils are used in the book Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Macbeth, who is the protagonist, goes from a brave soldier to a diabolical king through harsh actions. Macbeth can be contrasted with many characters, the most obvious of which is Macduff, who is mostly likely Macbeth’s opposite. Macduff and Macbeth exhibit different qualities, and throughout the play their actions and their personalities hold stark contrast.Macbeth is described as a bloodthirsty tyrant, who is cruel to nature and is overconfident that he will defeat all his enemies that are in his way. Macbeth is depicted as an ambitious, treacherous individual, who has no loyalty and authoritative disposition. While Macduff is depicted as the opposite Macbeth, who is a loyal, honest person, and who is mostly likely shown as the avenging hero to the readers. Macduff places the nation above himself, this is shown when Macduff volunteers himself to go to England to convince Malcolm to help him make an army to rebel against Macbeth, and Macduff did this even before Macbeth killed his family, so he didn’t have a reason to do it for himself. Macduff knew that it was going to be hard task to convince Malcolm to come back, and fight with him, because he knew that Malcolm was scared that Macbeth would kill him. Macbeth only cares about himself and that he will do anything in order to get what he wants. For example, Macbeth kills Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macduff, and Macduff’s son. Macbeth didn’t really care who he killed even though Macduff’s son was a little boy he still killed him, and Macbeth even killed his best friend, just because Macbeth was afraid that Banquo had suspicion towards Duncan’s death. Also, Duncan was such a nice guy to Macbeth, and in the story Duncan was portrayed as a nice king, but Macbeth still killed him because he wanted to be king. Not only was Macbeth not a caring person compared to Macduff, but Macbeth’s views on certain topics are vastly different from Macduff’s views. One of the big differences between Macduff and Macbeth is that Macbeth is driven by selfish ambition, and he anxious / devoted to get the ultimate rank of being King, by fair means or foul. For example, Macbeth comes up with an evil plot to to eliminate not only Duncan, but also Malcolm, and Donalbain, since they are in closest relation to the King, and with them out of the way Macbeth would be crowned as the King of Scotland. On the other hand Macduff is loyal to his country, and he doesn’t give into selfish overriding ambition. Even when Malcolm tested to see if he would be loyal to his king, Macduff says, “No, not to live.—O nation miserable,/ With an untitled tyrant bloody-sceptered” (IV. iii. 105-106) . Then he goes on to saying, “These evils thou repeat’st upon thyself/ Have banished me from Scotland” (IV. iii. 114-115) . He is trying to say that he would rather go into exile than serve such a tyrant. Cleary Macduff believes his countries means more to him than any other man, including himself. In addition, in the end of the book. Macbeth’s fully believed that his destiny is what the witches told him, and this shows that Macbeth was gullible and foolish in this regard. On the other hand Macduff fled Scotland and took control of his own destiny. He went to England to seek assistance so that he may free his beloved Scotland from rath of Macbeth, and his tyranny. Unlike Macduff, it’s clear that Macbeth lost love in his country, and he was solely lead by greed, and self interest. Throughout the story both Macbeth, and Macduff have different points of view towards death. When Macduff finds out about his family getting killed his reaction is very emotional, and he is just left with sadness. While, at the end of the story when Macbeth hears about Lady Macbeth’s death, he says that “She should have died hereafter” (V. v. 20), meaning that she would’ve died eventually, and he says that “Life’s but a walking shadow” (V. v. 27), meaning death is inevitable, and it will come up eventually, and Macbeth compares lives to a ghost, both of them vanish. His short response shows that Macbeth really didn’t care about his wife’s death. Macbeth believes that all men should deal with death in the same way, which is with no emotion, so he believes what Macduff did is not right. Also, how Macduff reacts to the death of Duncan he is horrified, at first he can’t find words to describe what he has seen, but then he figures out some words, and he says “Confusion has made his masterpiece”(II. iii. 40), meaning that it is a perfect work of destruction. Also. Macduff tells Macbeth and Lennox that the sight is so horrible that it could turn them into stone. Then Macduff cries for treason, and Macduff is disgusted, and outraged from the King’s death. The way that Macbeth reacts is he feels guilty, but then he starts to go crazy, and holicinate, and as the story goes on he doesn’t care what he did to Duncan. To Macbeth, Duncan was just a person that was getting in his way to become King. Macduff is basically what people thought Macbeth was going to be in the story, which is a brave caring soldier, who puts his country over himself, and he cares for his family. As the story begins to develop the similarity between Macbeth and Macduff starts to change in many different ways. Macduff is a great foil for Macbeth, because Macduff is what people expected MAcbeth to be, but instead he is actually the opposite of him. Also, Macduff is Thane of Fife, and Macbeth is Thane of Cawdor, so they both have the riches, and they basically have a similar life at the begging of the story and they both have a ruler above them. The thing that seperates them is there viewpoints,and their actions different viewpoints. In some ways Macduff could be similar to Macbeth but overall they are vastly different.


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