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...

Find Another Essay On The Sense of Evil Conveyed in Shakespeare's Macbeth

William Shakespeare's Repeated Reference to Blood to Establish the Theme of Power of Evil in Macbeth

3536 words - 14 pages William Shakespeare's Repeated Reference to Blood to Establish the Theme of Power of Evil in Macbeth "Enter Macbeth, with two bloody daggers" For me, this stage direction from William Shakespeare's Macbeth was very effective as it portrayed the power of evil to destroy. Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare used many references to blood to capture the attention of the audience. The repeated reference to blood was very...

Good vs evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1105 words - 4 pages The play 'Macbeth' is a very tragic one. It is about the downfall of a hero who is led by temptation to mass murder and cruelty. Shakespeare uses various styles and techniques to display very evidently how Macbeth's character develops as the story progresses, and...

Potential for Evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth

672 words - 3 pages Macbeth and the Human Potential for Evil      Macbeth is a study of the human potential for evil; it illustrates, though not completely in a religious context, the Christian concept of humanity’s loss of God’s grace.  The triumph of evil in a man with many good qualities becomes evident, as the reader is made aware that the potential for evil is frighteningly present in all of humanity and needs only wrong...

Evil Reaps Darkness in Shakespeare's Macbeth

2858 words - 11 pages Evil Reaps Darkness in Macbeth     "By their deeds you shall know them" is a Biblical passage which seems to state a lesson reiterated in Shakespeare's Macbeth. We intend to examine closely the dark future which the Macbeths deserved because of their sinful conduct.   A.C. Bradley in Shakespearean Tragedy comments on the darkness within the play:   The vision of the dagger, the murder of Duncan, the murder of Banquo, the...

Shakespeare's Macbeth - Macbeth’s Evil

4184 words - 17 pages Macbeth’s Evil              The Bard of Avon can scarcely be accused of a sanitized play in the tragedy of Macbeth. Rather it is saturated with evil in various forms.   Fanny Kemble in “Lady Macbeth” asserts that Lady Macbeth died as a result of her evil acts:   Lady Macbeth, even in her sleep, has no qualms of conscience; her remorse takes none of the tenderer forms akin to repentance, nor the weaker ones allied to fear,...

The Horrendous Evil Within Shakespeare's Macbeth

2044 words - 8 pages The Horrendous Evil Within Macbeth        Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a recognized classic tragedy portraying the victory of good over evil. This paper will explore the various expressions of evil within the play.   In Everybody's Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies, Maynard Mack compares the fall of Macbeth to the fall of Satan:   In some ways Shakespeare's story resembles the story of the Fall of Satan....

Evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Mary Shelly's Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

2889 words - 12 pages Evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Mary Shelly's Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Evil has always been in everyone's lives. Some people have it more than others. There are places in the world where evil almost takes over. It crops up in all kinds of places, all over the world. In these texts, "Macbeth", "Frankenstein" and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" there is a definite theme of...

Feminine Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth and King Lear

1295 words - 5 pages Feminine Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth and King Lear In Shakespeare's plays King Lear and Macbeth, evil is represented in both women and men. It is significant to the plots of both plays and to their impact through theme and character that evil actions are performed by women. The construction of evil female characters also gives insight into Shakespeare's view of women and their roles in society. The plot of King Lear is set in...

"Human Nature Is The Embodiment Of Good And Evil - Shakespeare's Macbeth"

1435 words - 6 pages Someone had once said, "Human nature is a mixture of the sham and the true, of kindness and cruelty, of meanness and generosity - of good and evil." In the play Macbeth, this quote is perfectly portrayed in the main characters' actions, their struggles, conflicts, and how they progress in the play. The quote tells the readers that human nature is the embodiment of good and evil. Humans are full of lies yet they are truthful, humans are kind...

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as Evil Murderers in William Shakespeare's Play

1582 words - 6 pages Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as Evil Murderers in William Shakespeare's Play At the start of this play Macbeth is mentioned by witches which doesn’t give him credibility with the audience, whilst soon after Macbeth is seen as a brave, loyal and trustworthy servant of his king, Duncan. Almost as soon as the play starts, you hear of Macbeth’s bravery; “Brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name…Like Valour’s minion.” But soon...

Theme of Madness Conveyed in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1217 words - 5 pages In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, one of the most evident and important themes is the theme of madness. The theme is apparent throughout the play, mainly through the actions and thoughts of Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes. Madness is defined as the quality or condition of mental illness or derangement (being insane). Madness is at the center of the conflicts and problems of the play and is conveyed through Shakespeare’s elaborate use of manipulation...

Similar Essays

The Lure Of Evil In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1371 words - 5 pages Everyone knows that evil can be devastating, especially to someone who foolishly embraces it. Most people would wonder why anyone would embrace evil. The answer is simple though; sometimes, evil does not appear as what it really is. Often, it actually appears enchanting, showing you the alluring side while hiding the darker side. The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), is an ideal example of people falling victim to evil....

The Witches' Evil Influence In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1326 words - 5 pages Audiences today enjoy both horror movies and books, content that such experiences belong to the realm of entertainment. Macbeth’s contemporary audience, however, watched the play against a context of Renaissance beliefs about the paranormal and the divine. No wonder then that these audiences’ reactions to the witches are so contrasting. Shakespeare portrays the witches in what seems to a 21st century audience a stereotypical way. There...

Evil In William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

1743 words - 7 pages Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In this essay I shall look at ho evil is portrayed in Shakespeare's Macbeth. I believe evil is the first step on Macbeth's road to destruction and turns him into the bloody tyrant he becomes. The main evil wrong doing in the play is the murder of the innocent king Duncan. Evil is also presented in the form of the witches who influence Macbeth to stray from all goodness. Macbeth...

Evil In William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

1629 words - 7 pages Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth MacBeth is a play preoccupied with evil. There is a potential for evil in people in the natural and the supernatural world. It documents the evil brought out by a tormented king. The word evil in the question means something or someone is bad or harmful. The word supernatural means something or someone from another world. The play was written in 1906 as a tribute to King...