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Shakespeare’s Unanswered Questions in Macbeth Essay

Classic literature, such as the works of Shakespeare, often leaves the reader with unanswered questions. The entire theme behind every rendition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth can be different because of the dynamic method Shakespeare used to write it, and how the director deals with (or doesn’t deal with) unresolved plot lines. While many directors attempt to follow the original work as faithfully as possible, even in the casting stage they have to make decisions which Shakespeare does not readily provide a “correct” answer to. For example, there is no way to tell from reading the text who exactly the character of Lady Macbeth is. At some point in production it must be decided whether her actor must portray a truly evil character with mental problems, or instead maybe just someone who considered themselves free from morality, only to learn the opposite in the worst way possible. Both methods tell an awesome tale, but a different one.

Almost every character a similar decision, and there will always be ways in which a new production will have something entirely different to say from all the other ones, providing evidence to this quotes validity. Obviously, directing this play poses many challenges, but if a director wishes to go above and beyond, he might provide an answer to one or many of the ambiguities which abound in Macbeth. In addition to the dynamic character aspects, Shakespeare leaves us wondering in Macbeth more than he gives us resolution. Whether or not the witches actually had magic powers, whether or not that was really the ghost of Banquo, and who sent the messenger to Banquo’s family, are only a few examples where the answer is left up to our imagination. The most plot relevant seems to be how Fleance will come to take the throne.

If a director wishes, he can provide hints as to how that will happen, or even if it is going to happen at all. If Fleance takes the throne through his somewhat distant bloodline, the play shows that fate is inevitable and trying to rush it will get you killed. If he is raising an army or something similar to take the throne, the play might be showing a recurring cycle of violence and loss of peoples souls. If the director implies that Fleance will never take the throne, the play shows that part of the witches prophesy was just a device to get Macbeth to do evil things. Each similar decision takes a huge role in what the production is trying to express, making this truly a literary work that has never finished saying what it has to say. Unresolved plot points and dynamic aspects make Macbeth a story with no limits in theme and messages. The director is given so much freedom with producing the play that he could twist the perception of the viewer in a totally different way than another director. Macbeth has never finished saying what it has to say and likely never will.


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