You all probably know the story of Macbeth written by Shakespeare and probably think of Macbeth as an anti-hero.
You probably think Macbeth is an anti-hero because he starts off the story as a hero defeating the traitor of Scotland, which he will later become when he takes over as king. You probably think Macbeth is killing all those people to keep the kingdom safe and away from any harm. But the truth is, I think he is nothing but a villain. I mean, he started the story for a brief time as a hero defeating the Thane of Cawdor and the traitor of Scotland and being congratulated as a hero. But after that, when Macbeth and his friend Banquo were discussing the weather, three witches spat out a prophecy stating that Macbeth will be “king hereafter.” Macbeth, clearly exposed of his ambitions tells Lady Macbeth about the prophecy.
After that, lady Macbeth starts plotting how to kill King Duncan to become “king hereafter.” Macbeth then kills Duncan that night and framed the two guards and then became king himself. See where this is going? Macbeth has killed already one person for his own greedy power. But later on, he not only kills one person, he kills his own friend, Banquo just because he thought Banquo had suspicions of Macbeth being the real murderer of King Duncan. He killed his own friend, not even knowing if his own suspicions were true or not.
After that, he kills more than one person, he kills most of a family and he didn’t even kill his initial target. He murdered the family because the three witches told him to “Beware of Macduff” So he ordered a few murderers to kill Macduff. When the killers arrived at Macduff’s castle, Macduff wasn’t there so they thought, “Oh why not just kill his wife and his children” So they killed Macduff’s family. Macduff later kills Macbeth to end the story of Macbeth. What a jolly ending to the Tragedy of Macbeth.
So let me recap: Macbeth was a hero at the start of the story. He later kills the king to become king himself. He then slaughters his own friend and most of a family. The last remnant of that family, Macduff, then kills Macbeth to end the story. Comparing him to let’s say… Batman, he kills those innocent people because he wanted to keep all his power whereas Batman kills those villains to keep the city safe and to save innocent people. Macbeth killed those people for his own greedy will, and not to save innocent people, he had no thoughts on what good the murders would have done to his kingdom but only thought of what good the murders will do for himself.
But I mean, most of us would do some terrible stuff to stay in power of a large population. And also Macbeth did start off the story as a hero until the three witches provoked him to try and become king and to kill all those people. But Macbeth CHOSE to believe the witches and CHOSE to do all the stuff the witches wanted him to do.
He could have very well ignored the witches and just lived life happily at the high rank of Thane of Glamis. But in the end, Macbeth did all those terrible things for himself and never took a second to think about what alternatives he could have done like being a good king or not even killing Duncan to become king but to maybe to earn king. He could have convinced Macduff not to attack him and not kill his family. I think Macbeth is a villain because he had so many alternative and beneficial choices that he didn’t choose, but he chose the darkest, bloodiest route for his own greedy power.