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Evil In William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

1629 words - 7 pages

Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

MacBeth is a play preoccupied with evil. There is a potential for evil
in people in the natural and the supernatural world. It documents the
evil brought out by a tormented king.

The word evil in the question means something or someone is bad or
harmful. The word supernatural means something or someone from another
world.

The play was written in 1906 as a tribute to King James the 1st of
England. Shakespeare wrote it. King James was fascinated as most
people were at that time by witchcraft. He was also intrigued by the
notion of the divine right of Kings. The people at the time believed
that Kings were appointed by God, this makes the murder of Duncan
quite grave. The source of the play was Holinheads Chronicles. For the
setting of the play, Shakespeare choose Scotland, as it was an ideal
setting for the play. At the time Scotland was similar to what was
happening in the play like bleakness and war.

Key Episodes

Already in the first three lines there is the theme of evil present.
Three witches meet to discuss when they should meet with Mac Beth. The
language they use set an evil feeling. The witches use rhyming
couplets, quote lines one and two. This gives an incantation effect.
The thunder and lightning indicated by the stage directions represent
the confusion of the heavens, and linking the evil theme. The
unnatural events as seen as a result of evil.

In scene two as a result of MacBeths fearlessness and his ability to
do great harm on to others in battle King Duncan confirms on him the
title Thane of Cawdor.

The opening of act one scene 3 is an invocation of evil by the
witches. Mac Beths first words of the scene echo those of the the
witches, linking him with evil. His connection to the witches is the
language. MacBeths reaction to the witch's prophecies suggests he had
hardboard thoughts of becoming King, again he is linked with the evil
witches.

MacBeths aside quote lines 50-54, is full of dark imagery , evil and
deception in Scene four

In scene five Lady MacBeth makes her 2nd speech , it is an invocation
of evil as she wishes to be freed from emotion and conscience so she
could assist her husband in gaining the crown. Her language is violent
and shocking. The imagery of darkness recalls Mac Beths earlier
invocation of darkness. Lines 49 - 52.

In scene 7 Banquo can't sleep. He has a premonition of evil and has
dreamt of the witches.

In act two scene one the evil thickens even further as Mac Beth
murders Duncan. Mac Beth realises what he has done. He fears that his
eyes will be plucked out. The word 'plucked' gives you an image of the
evil he thinks will be done onto him. We now realise the enormity of
the deed and the evil associated with it.

Mac Duff uses Christian imagery 'Sac religious...

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