MACBETH Essay

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Shakespeare encompasses a large amount of modern day television, movies, and books. Authors draw influence from his majestic writings and directors rave about creating dramas that entrance and capture an audience’s attentions, as Shakespeare has with the masses. Why, however, has Shakespeare resonated in modern day society while other also affluent authors have faded into irrelevance? The answer ultimately lies in Shakespeare’s ability to write heart wrenching plays that center around moral dilemmas that the everyman experiences. The universality of Shakespeare’s work, in this case particularly Macbeth, stems from his portrayal of the common moral struggles humanity faces; how as a species the distinct, savage, and innate feelings humans are born with are difficult to interpret by the mind. Macbeth serves as not only the tale of how a man killed his king in order to assume the throne, but it in essence is a tale of a man’s struggle with jealousy, power, betrayal, and the resulting paranoia that stems from his inability to cope with the reality of his actions, through the use of explicit imagery, metaphors, and personification by Shakespeare. Macbeth, as the title character, struggles with a departing sense of humanity and the battle between a naturally good nature and the impounding corruptions of society. This moral dilemma Macbeth faces is the penultimate struggle every generation has to face; the struggles of dealing with the consequences of poor moral decisions and the resulting struggles with morbidity that accompany it.
Early in Act II Scene I, Macbeth is encouraged to kill King Duncan by his power hungry wife. After the servant leaves Macbeth reflects, “Now o’er the one half-world nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse…” (2.1.49-50). Nature holds a great importance in Macbeth. The fact that the “one half world” of nature is dead seems to correlate to the half of his mind afflicted with the “wicked dreams”, which has been ravaged and left desolate and barren of moral righteousness. The night-time begs Macbeth to take action and evil seems to seep from the outside world to infect his human nature. Macbeth curses “the curtained sleep” that “witchcraft celebrates” that brings about evil thoughts in his mind during his reflections. The prophecy of the witches obviously has already built a heavy toll on Macbeth’s life and the future in store for him. Macbeth suffers from the common id, ego, super-ego conflict (popularized in later literature by Sigmund Freud). Macbeth’s id or the impulsive side of his conscience, urges him to listen to his wife, to succumb to the “wicked dreams” of power fueled by his jealousy for the crown. His id is fueled by the innate savage instincts humans have, rarely governed by the normal rationality. However, he is counseled by his super-ego (the good-side of his conscience). The super-ego emphasizes rationality and internalized cultural values. In previous passages he was seen telling Lady Macbeth that the King...

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