The Sense Of Evil Conveyed In Shakespeare's Macbeth

830 words - 3 pages

Throughout his play, Shakespeare uses a wide variety of themes in order to convey the sense of evil. These themes are omnipresent, and well implemented into the text, as they allow the reader to visually imagine the different occurrences, and how they might lead to a sense of evil throughout. The themes included consist of appearance and reality, guilt, ambition, violence and tyranny and order and disorder. Several quotes are weaved into the text in order to express more clearly the theme Shakespeare is attempting to convey. The themes all come together to enhance the dark symbolism of evil, and how it is actually conveyed.

The most prominent theme throughout Macbeth is ambition. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth risk their innocence and will in order to pursue the throne. Lady Macbeth sees her husband as a coward, and therefore this relates to the theme of Violence and tyranny, as she is ruthless in getting what she desires. Lady Macbeth speaks about Macbeth’s ambition: “Though wouldst be great Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it:” This important quote enables us to understand Macbeth’s nature, which is “too full of the milk of human kindness”. Lady Macbeth’s provocation enlivens the evil residing in Macbeth and his ambition receives a new dimension: “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which overleaps itself and falls on the other.” Throughout the play, Macbeth’s rising sense of ambition and realization, leads to him enhancing the themes of guilt and violence, as ambition acts as ‘the four legs’ that hold the two upright.
“Your hand, your tongue, look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't". Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that she is trying to say look and be pure in the eyes of the king and his men. The quote explains Macbeth’s sense of evil as the “serpent” relates to the devil, as expressed within the story of Adam and Eve. Lady Macbeth influences her husband to pursue the murder of Duncan.

Shakespeare also utilizes the theme of appearance and reality. The classic dagger scene, when Macbeth is not sure if he can trust his eyes, is only one of many references to this theme. For instance, he sees Banquo's ghost at the banquet and Lady Macbeth imagines blood on her hands. Banquo talks about the 'cursed thoughts' he has had and his dreams of the...

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