How Does Macbeths Characterist Essay

1030 words - 4 pages

A final point worth noting is Macbeth's reported inability to answer "Amen" to a solemn prayer to God. Shakespeare's post-medieval world still strictly adhered to the binary opposition between the divine and the occult, or to put it in more ecclesiastic terms, between Christ and Satan. The belief went that Satanic forces would not, or could not pay homage to Christ. Thus, Macbeth's inability to answer "Amen" reflects his debasement, sinking to the ranks of the witches and joining his wife there (recall her prayer to "spirits" in I.v.40).More specifically, James, king of England, was in competition with the king of Scotland at the time, and let us not fail to notice that this play takes place in Scotland, the troubled country of the north. This Scottish trouble due to riotous kingdoms is meant in due contrast to James's legitimate, peaceful and just England. As this play was seen by the masses in Shakespeare's Globe Theater, this was excellent "PR" for James.It was written for his new patron, James I (James VI of Scotland), following the death of Queen Elizabeth. James was interested in witchcraft and Scotland, and hence the themes in the play. Banquo is James's ancestor. The play itself tells the story of a man, urged by his wife and foretold by prophecy, who commits regicide in order to gain power. Unfortunately, due to numerous quirks of language and obscure allusions, the play is difficult to understand without assistance. Using this annotated version along with external links and analysis, to more information, you can now get a better grasp of one the best tragedies ever written, the tale of Macbeth.At this moment she thinks she hears something and says, "Hark! Peace! / It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman, / Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it" (2.2.2-4). A lot happens in these few words. When she says "Hark!" she's telling herself to listen, and then when she says "Peace!" she's telling herself to be quiet, so that she can hear what she's listening for. After she listens, she decides that she heard a screech owl, and she takes that as a good omen, because the screech owl is nature's own "fatal bellman." A "fatal bellman" is a night watchman who rings a bell at the door of a prisoner scheduled for execution in the morning, and an owl does the same job in nature, because--according to folklore--the screech of a screech owl foretells the death of a person. Therefore, Lady Macbeth believes that because she has just heard the owl's screech, her husband must be "about it," that is, doing it (the murder) at this very moment.Characteristics shown by Lady Macbeth that develop later in the play.Lady Macbeth - Wife to Macbeth and his primary motivator. A childless woman, from the start of the play she turns feverish at the prospect of becoming queen and declares that she would kill her own child--"dash his brains out"--if it helped her achieve this (I.vii.55). This connection between childlessness and power has...

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