Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play
The question is asking us to show our opinions to whether he is a
person injured/destroyed in seeking to obtain an object or whether he
is a person guilty/capable of great wickedness. The question tells us
that Macbeth is a man of superhuman qualities.
The play is written in 1606. Shakespeare wrote it as a tribute to King
James VI of England. King James was fascinated by witchcraft and was
devoted to the divine right of Kings. The people of the 17th century
believe that god appointed Kings. This belief makes the murder of
Duncan in the play particularly grave. James I wrote a book entitled
Demonology. In this he expressed his belief in witchcraft. A belief,
which he shared with many people in society. In choosing these issues,
Shakespeare, reflected the interests of time. The source of the play
was, Holinshead Chronicles. For setting, Shakespeare chose Scotland,
which at the time was associated with bleakness and war. Thus it
provided an appropriate setting for the events of the play.
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's mature tragedies- it was written at
the height of his powers.
It is no surprise, therefore, to discover that the language of the
play is rich and varied. These are three forms of language to
consider: blank verse, prose and verse cuplets. Shakespeare's
exploitation of language is used for emotive, aural and figural
Macbeth is a man of action: the play concerns things he does. He is a
fearless warrior- and is an important lord- who defends his king
against treachery. However, ambition is his fatal weakness. He allows,
first the witches' prophecy and then his wife's ambition for him, to
undermine his integrity. It is clear that he is not easily won over by
evil- his conscience is strong, and throws up many objections to his
doing the deed. However, he is also too easily influenced in the
direction that secretly desires to go. Once he has decided, he does
not deviate and each step subsequently reaffirms his initial choice.
Macbeth, then, is determined, and his determination goes to a violent
and ruthless nature.
The three witches, who are speaking in rhyming couplets, first
introduce us to Macbeth in line eight of Act one. Macbeth is described
for the first time in Act one scene two. He is described, by Malcolm
as, 'a good and hardy soldier,' and by the captain who says he
deserves the title of, 'brave.' This shows us people's first thoughts
and reactions of Macbeth. He was a good warrior and liked by many. He
is such an outrageous character in bayyle that he is awarded the title
of, 'The Thane of Cawdor,' by the King himself. This now means that
people will have more respect for Macbeth. The rhyming cuplets give
the effect of an incantation almost as if the witches are trying to
call upon the evil spirit....