Analysis Of Two Settings In Shakespeare’s Macbeth

1528 words - 6 pages

An analysis of two settings in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

By using the heath and castles as contrasting settings in Macbeth, William Shakespeare reinforces and reflects various themes present throughout the play. Through the combined use of these settings, he contrasts notions of security and danger, fairness and foulness, and the natural and supernatural. Although the heath is a meeting place for evil and is represented as a grim location through a number of methods, the heath itself is safe. Contrarily, the castles that Macbeth inhabits, both Inverness and Dunsinane, are repeatedly described as safe, secure, and welcoming. These castles, however, are far more dangerous than the heath, acting more as traps than shelter. The notions of fairness and foulness are also reversed at the heath and the castles in the play. The witches at the heath are relatively benign and only deliver prophecies of truth to Macbeth, while conceptions of fairness are repeatedly distorted to the point of foulness at the castles he inhabits. Finally, while it is certainly true that the witches represent the supernatural world, the supernatural deeds which occur at the heath are far more subtle when compared to the unnatural events which take place in the castles. By examining the plot developments which transpire in their respective settings, one can conclude that Shakespeare intentionally contrasts the settings of the play with the deeds that happen there, creating a strong separation from appearance and reality throughout the play.


First, the concepts of security and danger are constantly in question when referring to the settings of the heath and the castle. As Hecate proclaims to the witches, “security / Is mortals’ chiefest enemy” (Mac. 3.5.32-33). This idea is repeated throughout the play, particularly in the context of the castles. Macbeth’s first castle at Inverness is described as being quite pleasant. Upon his arrival there, Duncan proclaims that, “the air / Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself / Unto our gentle senses” (Mac. 1.6.1-3). The castle is well lit and has servants, representing itself as a symbol of nobility, higher class, and safety. The appearance of the castle, however, acts as a trap for Duncan and his stay there results in his demise. The security of the castle is further called into question when, upon discovering their father’s death, Donalbain and Malcolm flee the castle, suspicious of the circumstances and fearing for their own safety. Additionally, Banquo notes that martlets are common at the castle at Inverness. Martlets, mythical birds said to have no feet, would never be able to land at the castle, and would therefore be unable to nest there. The fact that these birds are the only wildlife described outside the castle indicates that the castle lacks safety and security, even for animals. Later in the play, Caithness refers to Macbeth and his second castle when he states, “Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies”...

Find Another Essay On Analysis of Two settings in Shakespeare’s Macbeth

The Guilty of the Two in Macbeth

1776 words - 7 pages husband to the murder:   I have given suck, and know How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you Have done to this. (1.7)   Lady Macbeth will make the two chamberlains drunk on wine. Macbeth feels the pressure of the impending "bloody business" and thereby has a vision of

Role Reversal in William Shakespeare’s Play Macbeth

1341 words - 5 pages William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth has a few main themes, one of which is role reversal. Macbeth is portrayed as a strong, fierce, and trustworthy soldier. At this stage in the story he had a conscience, and had a boundary between good and bad. However, Lady Macbeth is depicted as a devious and an extreme organizer, without a good sense of what is right and wrong. She would do anything in order to obtain supreme authority. Gradually they both

Guilt and Conscience in Shakespeare’s Macbeth

1301 words - 5 pages In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the theme of guilt and conscience is one of many explored throughout the play. Macbeth, is a well respected Scottish noble who in the beginning of the play is a man everyone looks up to; however as the play progresses he makes a number of bad decisions. Eventually, as a result of his actions he suffers guilt and this plays heavily upon his character until his personality is completely destroyed. Shakespeare uses a range

Deception, Seduction and Ambition in Shakespeare’s Macbeth

2900 words - 12 pages reader feel uncomfortable with the oncoming episode. “When the battle is lost and won” could refer to the opposing sides of a battle, but that is too obvious, everyone knows there are victors and a losers. In all likelihood, it implies that someone, namely Macbeth will win a battle, but lose another. After reading the first two acts one must wonder whether it is a battle to secure his kingdom, or a battle for his very soul that Macbeth will lose

Ambition: The Destruction of Shakespeare’s Macbeth

1278 words - 5 pages One of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies is that of Macbeth. It is also known as “the Scottish play,” primarily because of its Scottish setting and because it is based loosely after the life of a real King Macbeth of Scotland. (Mendham) This play is considered a tragedy because the protagonist of the play, Macbeth, will suffer a terrible downfall as the result of his actions. From the beginning of the play, Shakespeare effectively

Macbeth, One of Shakespeare’s Greatest Tragedies

1288 words - 5 pages 'Macbeth' is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. Unlike most other Shakespeare plays were there are a multiple amount of plots for the readers to follow, 'Macbeth' has one direct plot. The torture and anguish of a respected man who, in one moment of weakness, had his life ruined and changed from what could have been happy and joyful. Just through the simple convocation with three hags, his trail of deceit against the people he once fought

Two of Shakespeare’s Most Successful Comedies

854 words - 3 pages Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night are two of Shakespeare’s most successful comedies. Some may say that the two poems are like day and night, much different from one another. But it will be proven to you that they are very similar. Shakespeare incorporates many of the strong elements of Much Ado About Nothing into Twelfth Night and vice-versa. The characters also share common traits across both plays. The settings have a slight utopian

Different Types of Communication in Care Settings

3621 words - 14 pages Different Types of Communication in Care Settings We live in a world where communication is a vital process of day to day life. Without communication the world would be in turmoil people would be in pain, there would be no jobs because you wouldn’t know what to do, there would most likely be more violence and the government would not be able to look after its country because there would be no government. In care

The Importance of the Settings in Novels

1763 words - 7 pages the North East of the United States, New York, and Long Island known as West and East Egg. Setting is very crucial element in any novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the setting of The Great Gatsby in a very graceful manner. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald utilizes setting such as “The Valley of Ashes,” Gatsby's grand mansion, West and East Egg. Fitzgerald uses these settings to express, symbolize and represent the current state of society and help the

Dickens' Use of Settings in Great Expectations

3185 words - 13 pages Dickens' Use of Settings in Great Expectations Great Expectations is the story of a young boy called Pip's physical and emotional journey. The story starts when Pip meets an escaped convict in a churchyard near his home and gives him food and drink. The convict then disappears and is eventually recaptured. Then Pip is sent to Satis House which is occupied by an old woman called Miss Havisham, there Pip is attracted to

Prevention of Transmissible Infections in Preoperative Settings

1118 words - 4 pages different approaches in labor and pain management on breastfeeding effects. Maternity care staff should create an informed consent discussion for labor pain management in the prenatal period, and before the onset of labor. The risk analysis should entail what the medical professionals acknowledged and documented about the consequences of the various modalities on labor progress, the risk margins of instrumented and cesarean delivery, and

Similar Essays

Macbeth: Shakespeare’s Two Key Motifs Essay

1282 words - 5 pages ”, “Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?”, “Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm excite the mortified man.” Blood appears in “Macbeth” in two ways: It appears in the text, and it also appears literally, due to the many deaths in the play. In a lot of ways, blood symbolizes a person’s bravery. For example, In Act I, after the battle, Duncan asks the wounded sergeant, "What bloody man is that?” The sergeant

Psychoanalytical Criticism Of Shakespeare’s Macbeth Essay

1654 words - 7 pages . As result, since Macbeth now bears the guilt of murdering the king, his chamberlains, and his friend Banquo, Lacan’s theory of one symbol, which in this case is blood, representing a whole series of associations is connected to Macbeth’s hidden desires, guilty conscious, and vile acts. The main characters in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth are driven by ambition and such desire is readily analyzed by applying psychoanalytic theory. In

Analysis Of Shakespeare’s

901 words - 4 pages The Taming of the Shrew- Analysis of Shakespeare's Handle on Elizabethan Stereotypes Today, when one gazes upon Elizabethan stereotypes they may be offended or disgusted. In the fourteenth century there were guidelines and rules that had to be followed when it came to how a woman should or should not act. There were even some for the men, but women who went against these boundaries were sunned in society as outcasts and tramps. If a

Impression Of Macbeth In First Two Acts

5125 words - 21 pages Impression of Macbeth in First Two Acts The first two acts of the play Macbeth are probably the most crucial; they set the scene, introduce the characters and, with the bloody murder of Duncan, give us a taste of the horror to come. For the person Macbeth, the first two acts are equally as important and significant. We, as the audience, gain many insights into his thoughts and feelings through his powerful soliloquies