Overall darkness is at fault for the tragedy of Macbeth. Most scenes in story were dark and held an evil atmosphere. A.C. Bradley stated that with so much darkness surrounding the hero, (Macbeth), he was bound to be corrupted by it. The witch’s prophecy, Lady Macbeth, and the constant spilling of blood both innocent and guilty. This darkness that corrupted him led Macbeth to madness as well as his wife. He and Lady Macbeth feared the night when sleep would succumb them and their guilty conscious plagued their dreams. All their evil deeds were brought to the for-front of their minds when they were asleep and this recurring nightmare drove Lady Macbeth to take her own life. When surrounded by darkness one will eventually succumb to its overwhelming power.
A.C. Bradley’s argument about the atmosphere of Macbeth was fairly logical. Except for paragraph three where his words caused confusion. Bradley states that momentary flashes of light are shown at random parts of the play. Then he proceeds onto listing those moments. However, this confuses one’ because he doesn’t state what he believes is the reason for these flashes. This paragraph makes one question whether these flashes are good or bad? Are they a sign of Macbeth turning a new leave? All these questions are a burden to the readers.
Another confusing matter that comes into play after reading the article is its clarity. The article is partially written in an advanced jargon. This jargon trips up the readers and forces them to re-read the article, divide it into sections, then analyze and translate the meaning of his words. At first it is difficult to interpret the meaning of his words but once understood one would think “OH, How come I didn’t get it the first time I read it or was it always this clear”? The analyzing of Bradley’s words take up too much time and he should have written them in simpler terms.
This article may have its confusing parts but it is well constructed and states the writers’ opinion clearly and methodically. The reactions it evoked from one’ were confusion, stress, and amazement. A.C. Bradley can truly write an amazing paper that makes the readers think deeply without restraint. This article made one think of questions such as “ Did Shakespeare really use light as a fore-warning of an evil deed instead of a good deed?” or “Does living in a negative environment warp a person’s personality and make them evil and deadly?” the article is great and should be read and critiqued by others.
The atmosphere of Macbeth was indeed dark and did weigh on the characters souls, but it is not what caused the tragic events in Macbeth. What caused the tragedy was pure human greed and lust for power. In the beginning of the play when the witches for-told Macbeth of his destiny to become king he began to think of all the ways he could hasten his crowning. However, he feared his treasonous thoughts but his wife didn’t. Ensnared in her lust for power, riches, and fame Macbeth acted on those treasonous thought and killed his king. The man he swore ever-lasting allegiance to. All this just to satisfy his and his Lady’s’ greed for the power King Duncan held.
However, his crowning only led to paranoia and un-satisfaction. This is because a senseless act done out of greed can never satisfy or settle ones heart and conscious. Like Erich Fromm stated “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever ending satisfaction.” The hole that could never be filled in Macbeth drove him to madness and in the end led to his and many others’ demise. Greed, lust, and power all added together never result in a happy ending. It only leads to tragedy. The tragedy that was the atmosphere of Macbeth.
Courtney from Study Moose
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