This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Breakdown And Restoration Of Order In Macbeth

1432 words - 6 pages

The Breakdown and Restoration of Order in Macbeth

    When Macbeth kills King Duncan in William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, there is a breakdown of order throughout Scotland. This breakdown is evident through three main factors; within the person, mainly through Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, through the kingdom and through nature. From a completely ordered nation into the depths of chaos - Scotland collapsed from the lack of strong leadership. In the end, when resolution is reached, this chaos is reversed and Scotland is restored to a peaceful nation as it was before Macbeth's reign.


Traditional Elizabethan ideologies were based on the great "Chain of Being". The people believed in an absolutely ordered universe were ranked in order of their superiority. This order corresponded with all religious beliefs and the political system. General beings were ranked in the order of: God, angels, king, man, animals, plants, inorganic material and finally chaos. When Macbeth murders Duncan, he violates this order. The king was seen to be God's representative on earth and if any rebel was to attack the king, he was seen as rebelling against or attacking God. There was a belief that God passed special powers on to all kings, as seen in Act four Scene three "he cures... the healing benediction... he hath a heavenly gift of prophecy" (lines 168-173). Macbeth does not have this divinity, as he is not the rightful king. This is one of the reasons that Scotland turns to chaos.


The evidence that the audience receives about a breakdown within a person is within Macbeth himself. After murdering Duncan, he begins to go crazy - his mind and his thoughts begin to rule him. He becomes very domineering. Macbeth is disturbed and tense due to the effect of his deeds on his mind. When Macbeth realizes the horror of his actions he cannot turn back - his only way to move forward without being punished is to commit more murder. So he kills many more people who he believes suspect him of murder. He becomes suspicious and insecure. He is scared of what he has done and fearful of deeds to follow. One of the main pieces of evidence that portrays a breakdown within the person is Macbeth's inability to sleep. This comes forward in Act two Scene 2 "I heard a voice cry `Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep'" (lines 33-34). Sleep was seen as the natural end to the day and it was unnatural to not be able to sleep. Macbeth lost the ability to restore himself within his mind and his body, therefore becoming abnormal. The fact that Banquo's ghost appeared to him at the banquet shows his troubled conscience - his murderous deeds are playing on his mind. The vision of the ghost also represents the fact that after Macbeth killed Banquo, he entered into the world of the supernatural at a level that he had never stooped to before. All the evidence above portrays a steadily growing breakdown within the person - within Macbeth.


Find Another Essay On The Breakdown and Restoration of Order in Macbeth

The Dehumanizing Effect of Alienation and the Restoration of Self-Identity in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

1700 words - 7 pages -being. This overwhelming need to provide inevitably diminishes Gregor’s ability to be human-like. Kafka also enforces the idea of the ability to resurrect one’s self-identity following psychologically demanding events. In this essay, I utilize Gregor Samsa’s metamorphosis to address that alienation, in its various forms, is instrumental in the dehumanization process and can also oppositely induce a restoration of self-identity. The metamorphosis

The Dehumanizing Effect of Alienation and the Restoration of Self Identity in Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”

1001 words - 5 pages to provide inevitably diminishes Gregor’s ability to be humanlike. Kafka also enforces the idea of the ability to resurrect one’s self identity following psychologically demanding events. In this essay, I conceptualize Gregor Samsa’s “metamorphosis” as being instrumental in order to address the dehumanizing effect of various forms of alienation and the restoration of self identity (Kafka 116). The “metamorphosis” acts as a metaphor to express

The Breakdown of Ithaka

699 words - 3 pages truly favors Nestor in which she wishes “honor to Nestor and his sons” (3.58). “There is no mortal half so wise” (1.64) as Odysseus, the ruler of Ithaka, but in order to bring success to Ithaka, Odysseus the “noble father” (4.330) actually has to be in Ithaka to take the throne. He has been gone for so long that Ithaka is breaking down. “All the gods had pitied Lord Odysseus, all but Poseidon” (1.21-22), and this is what causes Odysseus to be

Feminism and the Hard-Boiled Genre: Breakdown in Sara Paretsky's Breakdown

2317 words - 9 pages cohere experience, reflected in the actions of the Fisher King and Tiresias in T. S. Eliot’s poem, bring to mind the narrative efforts of a private investigator. “One of the ways of restoring or maintaining order,” Scaggs says, “is the containment of the ‘other’ that threatens the social order, and such a strategy of containment is evident in crime fiction”. Crime fiction is characterized by a hope of curbing the crime, and this control depends on

Cinematic Styles in Sholay, women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown, and Amores Perros

1399 words - 6 pages Sholay, Women on the verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Amores Perros have very different cinematic styles; yet, are equally able to convey their messages effectively to their audience. These films span four decades (from the 1970s to 2000s), take place in very different countries; however, are all connected in that all three films are masterful works of cinematic genus and that globalization greatly affected each film. Sholay, a 1975

The cuases of the Showa Restoration In Japan

3413 words - 14 pages Sonno joi, 'Restore the Emperor and expel the Barbarians,' was the battle cry that ushered in theShowa Restoration in Japan during the 1930's.Footnote1 The Showa Restoration was a combination ofJapanese nationalism, Japanese expansionism, and Japanese militarism all carried out in the name of theShowa Emperor, Hirohito. Unlike the Meiji Restoration, the Showa Restoration was not a resurrection ofthe Emperor's powerFootnote2, instead it was aimed

The True History Of The Captivity And Restoration Of

717 words - 3 pages This book was about the life, while in captivity of the Indians, of Mary Rowlandson. She tells us about the society and beliefs at that time and what she had to go though for the 11 grueling weeks she was captured. She was forced into this cruel and atheistic world and no one can even imagine what she actually had to go though, all the difficulties, sorrows, and losses, but the others that were captivated too. Her views of the Indians

Androgyny in the Characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

2329 words - 9 pages regarded as the province of the clerics, and madness and illness were inevitably conceptualized in terms of good and evil (Ussher 45). Thus, the symptoms of madness in Macbeth and his wife are symptoms of their corrupt and evil nature which provide the basis for their downfall. This insight leads to a reinterpretation of the tragedy of the play as a triumph of good and proper divine order. Macbeth as a play attempts to elicit intrigue, wonder

The Breakdown of a Manuscript and the Content

932 words - 4 pages The Breakdown of a Manuscript and the Content The introduction, located in the first paragraph of the manuscript, prepares the reader. It documents the main points covered and gives the reader insight into the rest of the paper. The synopsis of the article Management of Diabetes in the Dialysis Patient includes four crucial content areas, which are headings, abbreviations, crediting sources, and reference. Synopsis The supervision of dialysis

The History and Breakdown of the Glass Ceiling

2473 words - 10 pages The History and Breakdown of the Glass Ceiling The term the "glass ceiling" first came into use in 1986 when two Wall Street Journal reporters coined the phrase to describe the invisible barrier that blocks women from the top jobs in corporate America. (Glass Ceiling Commission,"Successful Initiatives "). Since then the metaphor has also been applied to the barriers of minorities. The Glass Ceiling Effect has been around for

Relationship of Breakdown in The Second Coming Poem

790 words - 4 pages The societal breakdown of the Ibo people can be harmonized to the poetry of Yeats during its collapse. The poem, “The second coming”, successfully describes the emotion felt by a person or persons during times of war, anarchy and even defeat. The African journey in this story and its untimely end are riddled with the very same emotion W.B Yeats expresses in his poetry. Both publications are a tale of pain expressed at different times, in

Similar Essays

The Breakdown Of Lady Macbeth In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1664 words - 7 pages The Breakdown of Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Throughout the play of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth goes through several drastic personality changes, which finally leads her to breakdown. In some ways I feel the breakdown and collapse of lady Macbeth is quite unexpected, but on the other end of the scale it could be seen to be inevitable. I will cover the points for and against, how the collapse could be seen to

Natural Order And Phenomena In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1420 words - 6 pages order of Scotland commences, and this turn of events is reflected by the violent reaction of natural phenomena in the country. William Shakespeare, as an author contracted by King James I, sought to preserve a conservative monarchical system, promote the philosophy of the Divine Right of Kings, and please his patron through Macbeth: Pairing Macbeth's murder of Scotland's King Duncan with a series of unnatural events, Shakespeare illustrates to

The Breakdown Of Women In Combat Situations

1269 words - 5 pages Back in the Dark Ages, before feminism and egalitarianism enlightened us, conservatives used to claim that women just aren't suited for life in the military. Today, after a decade or so of applying enlightenment to the profession of arms, the Clinton administration is telling us that the military just isn't suited for women. However you phrase it, it comes out to the same thing.So perplexing have been the problems of sexually integrating the

The Breakdown Of Mental Health And Stability

1661 words - 7 pages The Breakdown of Mental Health and Stability Progress has always been an essential component in modern society. At times it is equivalent to success, learning, and overall growth. In the field of science, progress is measured by comparisons to what was known before, what is known now, and what can be known in the future. Therefore, one could say that much progress was made in the field of science in terms of understanding the functions