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Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Macbeth is a courageous Scottish general who is not naturally inclined to commit evil deeds, yet he deeply desires power and advancement.
He kills Duncan against his better judgment and afterward stews in guilt and paranoia.
Toward the end of the play he descends into a kind of frantic, boastful madness. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, pursues her goals with greater determination, yet she is less capable of withstanding the repercussions of her immoral acts. In each case, ambition—helped, of course, by the malign prophecies of the witches—is what drives the couple to ever more terrible atrocities.
There are always potential threats to the throne—Banquo, Fleance, Macduff—and it is always tempting to use violent means to dispose of them.
In the same manner that Lady Macbeth goads her husband on to murder, Macbeth provokes the murderers he hires to kill Banquo by questioning their manhood. Such acts show that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth equate masculinity with naked aggression, and whenever they converse about manhood, violence soon follows.
Their understanding of manhood allows the political order depicted in the play to descend into chaos. At the same time, however, the audience cannot help noticing that women are also sources of violence and evil. While the male characters are just as violent and prone to evil as the women, the aggression of the female characters is more striking because it goes against prevailing expectations of how women ought to behave.
Whether because of the constraints of her society or because she is not fearless enough to kill, Lady Macbeth relies on deception and manipulation rather than violence to achieve her ends.
Ultimately, the play does put forth a revised and less destructive definition of manhood. Macduff shows the young heir apparent that he has a mistaken understanding of masculinity. He tells Macduff of his reproachable qualities—among them a thirst for personal power and a violent temperament, both of which seem to characterize Macbeth perfectly.
The model king, then, offers the kingdom an embodiment of order and justice, but also comfort and affection. Most important, the king must be loyal to Scotland above his own interests.
Macbeth, by contrast, brings only chaos to Scotland—symbolized in the bad weather and bizarre supernatural events—and offers no real justice, only a habit of capriciously murdering those he sees as a threat. As the embodiment of tyranny, he must be overcome by Malcolm so that Scotland can have a true king once more.Importance of the Witches Prophecies in Macbeth - Macbeth is a play written by Shakespeare that is set in eleventh century Scotland.
In the play, the witches give Macbeth numerous prophecies that are malicious designs to provoke Macbeth towards his demise. Contrasting Evil and Good in Macbeth - In this essay I will look at the ways that Shakespeare has contrasted evil with good in his play Macbeth.
A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah Macbeth and the Nature of Evil. In Macbeth evil is the opposite of humanity, the deviation from that which is natural for humankind, yet evil originates in the human heart.
Supernatural and unnatural forces are the agents of human beings, not their instigators. The witches’ words do not seduce Macbeth. Macbeth- the Evil of Lady Macbeth Essay Lady Macbeth & Her Evilness "Bring Forth men-children only!
For thy undaunted mettle should compose nothing but males."(I, vii, ) Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most frightening and strong female characters. A summary of Themes in William Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Macbeth and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.