Macbeth Is A Play For All Time. Write An Argument For Or Against.

3310 words - 13 pages

Macbeth is a play for all timeShakespeare's Macbeth, written in the Elizabethan period, is still immensely popular and is performed by theatres all over the world today. It has been adopted by many cultures and still has the ability to engage the audience's attention and entertain us. The characters, settings, plot, themes, language and context have appealed to its audience throughout time. Macbeth will always have the ability to connect with people and reflect human traits and development, through its historical context and themes of ambition, appearance vs. reality, the supernatural and masculinity. Macbeth has a contemporary significance; it shows the perplexity of life and the problems with humanity.Shakespeare had many sources and much of his work was based on historical fact. Holinshed chronicles in the sixteenth century, the histories of England, Scotland and Ireland, and it is from the "Historie of Scotland" that Shakespeare built significant parts of this drama. For example, the murder of King Duff and the insomnia born of guilt over the murder of a nephew suffered by King Kenneth are a matter of historical record. Each is clearly incorporated into the drama and so is the way in which King Kenneth was influenced by his wife to sponsor the murder. The historical record contains the belief of Macbeth in the prophecies of three wild women soothsayers who reinforced his ambitions for the throne; records Banquo's role, the subsequent murder of King Duncan and Macbeth's paranoia concerning MacDuff. Humans do not learn from the past, as it is so easy for us all to commit evil deeds. The themes presented in the play are relevant to any context that involves humans. The play Macbeth, first published in 1623, wove the separate histories into a coherent whole. No doubt Shakespeare pleaded poetic license. The result is timeless.Originally set on the stage of the globe, resembling medieval Scotland, Macbeth has been performed in many different settings and interpreted in many ways. When placing Macbeth in a modern situation, the audience can still enjoy the themes of the play. The language, although slightly difficult to be understood by modern audiences, is poetic, smooth and flowing. The syntax is complex and the imagery creates a vivid picture to the audience. We see the swaying armies; weary of battle, impeding one another, too tired to strike, too frightened to break off the fight. A few lines on, MacDonald is pictured as a kind of carcass with the flies of evil swarming on him. "Swarm" is the memorable word here; it creates the picture. The description of the battle by the Captain in this scene is made startling by the violent imagery created by words and phrases like "smok'd with bloody execution", "unseamed him from the naves to the chaps", "Reeking wounds". We see another Macbeth in Lady Macbeth's description of him as "too full of the milk of human kindness", suggesting mildness and gentleness. Shakespeare pictures the poetic, imaginative...

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