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Macbeth Essay Examples

Animal Imagery of Moral Reversal

...“We have scorched the snake, not killed it. She’ll be close and be herself, whilst our poor malice remains in danger of her former tooth.” In Act III Scene II, Macbeth thinks of Banquo in this way because of the witches' saying he will make kings, but not be one himself. Macbeth refers to Banquo like this because he has identified Banquo as a threat that could, as a snake can, lurk in the underbrush and strike him when he least expects it. It is an ironic use of the image, since it is Macb...

Macbeth and Political Force

...Adversity lies in everyone’s path and may cause most to falter and hesitate to re-visit their thinking process of if they are doing something right or not. Macbeth struggles with his loyalty and does not know what to do with his mixed feelings after the contact with the witches. Macbeth hesitates to make a decision and lets the witches control him as he is exposed with a new adversity. He loses the sight of his ambition and starts to listen to the witches and this causes him to lose the will t...

Macbeth's Obsession with Power

...In his hunt for power, Macbeth has indefinitely ended the lives of at least 4 people. Creating a blood stain on his conscience that he will never be able to rid himself of. But, these deaths have hardened and changed him. He has become immunte to the disgust and fear that comes along with gore. There was a time when “To hear a night-shriek and my fellof hair would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir as life were in’t” (A5 S5 L11-13). This refers to before he murdered Duncan, where both he ...

Lady Macbeth Letter

...Maybe when I show him what this could mean for us and use my feminine charm on him he’ll be convinced. I am not deceiving him, the eventual result is for his benefit, how I miss him so much already, he’s such a wonderful man and would make such a worthy king. I can hardly wait for him to return, it’ll be so wonderful. He was a born ruler, my true love; we shall be King and Queen Macbeth of Scotland. I do not care that ‘God’ chose King Duncan - I will give my husband his crown and we sh...

Macbeth: Act 5 Summary

...Scene VIII The castle is surrounded by Malcolm and Siward’s men. MacDuff finally finds MacBeth and the fight begins. While fighting, MacBeth tells MacDuff he is wasting his time because he cannot be killed by a woman born human. MacDuff shocks MacBeth by letting him know he was not woman born but cut out of his mother’s womb. MacBeth still does not give up and they continue fighting. As trumpets sound victory of the Scottish and English forces, MacDuff enters carrying MacBeth’s head and de...

Macbeth: Post Traumatic

...Macbeth does suffer from PTSD and throughout the story; Macbeth shows more symptoms of PTSD, dealing with the death of the traitor, death of Duncan, and Banquo. Macbeth did have PSTD. Proving that all of the events that Macbeth was involved in all of the tragic. For the death of the traitor, that was the spark of Macbeth’s major killing spree. Next was the King Duncan’s death and finally was Banquo’s death. Each of these tragic events was the cause of Macbeth having PTSD. Every one of thos...

Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet

...Lady Macbeth rivals Iago in her capacity for evil—yet hers stems from nothing as petty as revenge. She seeks to exalt her husband’s position in an almost self-sacrificial effort to promote him. She shows clarity and decisiveness in a way that Hamlet does not, as she carries out her intention with no alloy of fear or hesitancy. In addition to the beauty of the language and the depth of characterization, Macbeth’s plot (though in some ways fantastical) carries itself naturally toward the end...

Blind Ambition Leads to One’s Destruction

...In Macbeth’s case, there were three many concerns that caused Macbeth’s downfall Lady Macbeth, a growing lust for power, and the betrayal of loved ones. Lady Macbeth is a deeply ambitious woman who thirsts for power and will do anything, even corrupt her own husband to obtain the position as the queen. Macbeth’s want for power came from his wife’s lust for power. The gluttony for power that was caused by Lady Macbeth led Macbeth to do murderous things such killing the king and his best f...

Crime in "Macbeth"

...He does not have loyal supporters, in Scotland; everyone hates him and serves him only because of fear. He is alone in this world, and his life has lost its meaning. He thought to gain greatness by becoming king, but instead loses his own "I." Killing his victims, Macbeth kills his soul and everything that was really great and worthy of him. He is gradually immersing in a state of moral self-destruction. However, he is not going to admit that he is defeated. The only thing that the criminal king...

Directing Macbeth act 4 scene 1

...For my performance I would stage the three apparitions very dramatically using light to form shadows and silhouettes. This would make them more mysterious and ghostly. Macbeth will shout at the apparitions, his aggression will show the audience how desperate he is. The third apparition boosts his confidence even more because he believes that this is impossible and will never happen, but in actual fact it does happen. "Who can impress the forest, bid the tree unfix his earth-bound roots?" This ap...

The Tragedy Of Macbeth

...Afterwards in Scene 6 a message is sent to Macbeth from a lookout that Birnam wood is coming to Dunsinane. Macbeth is shocked as he hears it and goes into a state of denial and calls the messenger a liar and warns him that he should tell the truth. Macbeth goes up to see for himself and sees what he wouldn't of believed; he immediately calls for his armour, his shield and his sword. Macduff soon arrives and he and Macbeth have a sword fight, Macduff, still with the anger of his family's slaughte...

Macbeth's Crimes

...I believe that Shakespeare has presented Macbeth as some one who you can feel sympathy for, as he seems to be pushed in to killing Duncan by Lady Macbeth. I think that he never had any intentions of killing Duncan it was because his wife drove him so that he could gain power. He was not as strong as he seems, his wife bullies him into killing Duncan but he is a hero on the battlefield. Also if he had not seen the witches then I do not think that he would have any thoughts of killing the king....

The Role of Masculinity in Macbeth

...In conclusion, Shakespeare uses this play to show us two very different ways for men to behave. One, based on getting your way through pure strength and violence, is doomed to failure. As the Macbeth's found out, you can rule over people by instilling fear in them for a short period of time, but eventually they will rise up against you. The proper role for a man is to be strong, yes, but to temper that strength with compassion and trust in others. In human nature there must be a balance between ...

Macbeth- Tyrant or tragic hero?

...Macbeth learns that he is truly alone but has lost all feeling to put right his ways. He is also tricked by the equivocations of the Witches and the dominance of Lady Macbeth. I also think it is symbolic that Macbeth does not take his own life, like Lady Macbeth. They are both in the same helpless state towards the end of the play, but it is only Macbeth who deals with this. He does not resort to suicide, like his wife who once sought to be filled '...from the crown to the toe top full of direst...

Diary entries for Lady Macbeth on reading Macbeth's letter

...A banquet had been prepared for all our friends. Everything was fine until, suddenly, out of the blue, Macbeth's expression changed. He started shouting at an empty space at the table and looking terrified. I tried to comfort him and persuade him it was a hallucination, just like the imagined dagger he had seen before he murdered Duncan. Then he started talking to the mirage! It was so embarrassing in front of our guests, and yet worrying because I wondered what was happening to my husband. I ha...

Macbeth - Hero or "Hellhound"

..."Turn hell hound, turn." Macduff yells to 'Macbeth' to which 'Macbeth' replies no. He decides that he doesn't want to kill Macduff as he has already killed all of his family. Is this 'Macbeth' showing some compassion to Macduff by not fighting him or is it just arrogance? 'Macbeth' realises what the witches were talking about when Macduff says he was born by caesarean section - not born of a woman. Even though he now knows this he still wants to fight. The audience will wonder if this is 'Macbet...

Studying the Banquet Scene in Macbeth

...After studying this scene in Macbeth, I have found many examples of where Shakespeare openly displays his dramatic and poetic talent. However, I personally believe that the greatest evidence of Shakespeare's extraordinary playwriting skills is the fact that the play Macbeth has survived the test of time. Although it was written just under four centuries ago, it is still an extremely popular and much loved play and for a writer to achieve something as great as this unanimously proves that Shakesp...

The Power of Selfishness

...Macbeth portrayed many similar characteristics as Richard Nixon. His popularity greatly stood above his peers around him, however; he chooses to instead tear apart a kingdom for his success, a success that likely would have brought him to power anyways. Shakespeare along with history teaches us the power ambition holds over us, the importance of containing that ambition, only searching for what we can do to improve ourselves without harming others. The egoist commonly addresses the criticisms re...

This Dead Butcher and his Fiend-like Queen - Macbeth

...Lady Macbeth begins to sleep talk, confessing all of her wrongs to the servants. She doesn't even know that she is doing this. Neither does her husband, the king. The servants get so worried about her that they call a doctor to come and have a look at her condition. Once again she comes clean, confessing every crime that she has ever commited. This is only a short time before Macbeth finds out about the advancing English army, led by Malcolm. When he is preparing for the battle, he hears the sou...

English Macbeth coursework

...One must clearly recognise that witches under any circumstances told Macbeth to murder. Had Lady Macbeth not tackled and challenged Macbeth's manhood, one could argue Macbeth may never have murdered Duncan or become embroiled in future murders. Yet it is clear that though in the early stages Lady Macbeth and the supernatural influenced Macbeth, he became a murdering lunatic all of his own accord and was in control of what he was doing. He chose his destiny and killed innocents without any influe...

Roman Polanski's treatment of Act One Scene One of Macbeth

...This opening scene shows us Polanski's use of atmosphere, props, script and theme of appearance vs. reality bringing us a timeless, universal experience of Act One Scene One where not only do we suspect the witches to be meddling with the future of Macbeth's life but amazingly Polanski has involved us to question our own sense of fate. Polanski doesn't make use of obvious witchcraft techniques such as the bubbling cauldron but goes for a subtle cunning approach successfully placing genuine unset...

Lady Macbeth, an honoured hostess and a fiend-like Queen

...Interestingly, however, the audience see many times throughout this drama when Lady Macbeth is not so cold as she is made out to be. We know that she is not a 'fiend' as we see on numerous occasions her inability to carry out acts herself, act 2 Scene 2, line 13-4, "Had he not resembled my father as he slept. I had done't." She is unable to distance herself from the stunt and even helping to carry out the act she finds difficult as she needs help to bring the courage she needs: "That which hath ...

The changes in Macbeth's character

...Furthermore, Macbeth runs on the idea that (as mentioned in the opening act of the play),"fair is foul, foul is fair"- by this Shakespeare is trying to send a message to us that things that appear to be good are bad and vice versa. At the start of the play a character called Macdonwald is mentioned who was said to be a traitor and in the same act Macbeth was also praised about his so called loyalty and honesty. These two characters make a contrast and stick with the idea that good is bad and bad...

Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1 Analysis

...He calls on the stars to block out their own light as what he is about to do is bad, terrible, treacherous and evil that he does not want anyone, even himself, to see it being done. He does not want to relive the full horror of his deeds and hence rather not let his eyes see his hands at work. This also tells us that Macbeth recognizes the evil and wrong in his actions and yet he still proceeds to carry out the evil deeds. He coveys this to the audience with the use of soliloquy and hence we und...

Why is Banquo such an important character in Shakespeares play Macbeth?

...In Act 3 scene 1 we hear Banquo’s thoughts about Macbeth before we hear or see Macbeth himself. Banquo does not praise Macbeth’s character; on the contrary, he says ‘I fear /Thou play’dst most foully for’t’, showing his suspicion of Macbeth. He is the only person who links Duncan’s murder with Macbeth. In contrast, when Macbeth speaks of Banquo he talks of his ‘royalty of nature’, his ‘wisdom’ and his ‘valour’. These parallel private thoughts make the characters of both...

The way the theme of the supernatural is presented in Macbeth and The Withered Arm

...To conclude, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Withered Arm’ both use the supernatural as the driver behind their stories. Both stories are interested in the relationship between the supernatural and fate and the choices that characters make. Macbeth turns to the supernatural because the Witch’s flatter him and he is eager to be King. Macbeth turns from a noble soldier into an evil murderer and tyrannical King simply because he chose to act on the Witch’s prophecies. Rhoda is a pitiful character; l...

Responsibility for the murder of King Duncan?

...This essay clearly shows which character is most responsible for the demise of Duncan. Evidently Lady Macbeth is responsible in the way that she was determined at all times and only had one momentary doubt throughout the whole play. Looking at the consequences after the murder, Lady Macbeth does go on to kill herself. This illustrates that Lady Macbeth regrets the decision that she made and that she bears the guilt of the murder. In contrast to this Macbeth committed the crime without any doubt ...

How is the atmosphere of evil achieved in Macbeth?

...The other theatrical tool that Shakespeare employs is to use strange and vivid characters to show how the evil has been absorbed into every living thing. I've already mentioned the witches, but nearly every character (except for the 'non-evil' people like Duncan) are affected in some way. Lady Macbeth is seen reading a letter in Act I Scene 5, and also talking to the evil spirits which she believes to be at play. This could show how she is affected in the play as a whole. Macbeth is also dramati...

Reading in the English Literary Heritage-response to Shakespeare

...From this point onwards Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's relationship starts to change as they drift apart emotionally and physically. Their personas are dramatically reversed as Lady Macbeth who was once an iron willed, passionate, ambitious woman becomes extremely deranged and depressed. Her character develops and changes throughout the play as she is transformed from an ambitious, powerful woman to someone is full of regret and with a heart full of foreboding, which lies very heavily on her conscie...

William Shakespeare's use of dramatic techniques in the play Macbeth

...The play, Macbeth, then shows Shakespeare at his dramatic peak. He uses a range of devices and techniques to arouse and sustain the interest of his audience, an audience with whom he has more than familiar. In the first three scenes he displays this intimate knowledge of how his public thought in many ways. He manipulated his audience and to an extent teased them though the plot and the way that the main characters were presented. His depiction of Macbeth's thought processes are particularly str...

Letter to Shakespeare

...In conclusion as I have mentioned before, your play is very successful. My favourite character is Banquo. I like him as you have portrayed him as an innocent and a noble man. I feel that he is one of the few innocent people all the way through the play because the other characters are changed by evil around them. I loved the moment when Banquo's ghost came back to haunt Macbeth as it seemed very unnatural. In that moment people at the banquet, including his wife, see Macbeth as cowardly and insa...


FAQ about Macbeth


❓ Macbeth Where Events Are Shaped by Ambition and Madness

...Shakespeare’s highly regarded playwright, Macbeth, has not only explored the destructions of over ambition but also leads into the consequences of the characters emotional and mental state. Ambition in characters, in particular Macbeth and Lady Mac ...

❓ How does Shakespeare use language, structure and dramatic devices in Macbeth?

...From my analysis above I have come to the conclusion that Shakespeare effectively uses language, structure and dramatic devices to maintain the drama where necessary, in this instance the two scenes which are pivotal to the whole play and consequentl ...

❓ To what extent can Macbeth be considered a tragic hero?

...Most importantly, Macbeth does have the classic fatal flaw, but it is tenuously linked to his downfall by the murder of Duncan, which was arguably carried out under some duress. To be classically tragic, it should be the direct cause, and not the cat ...

❓ What use does Shakespeare make of contrast in 'Macbeth'?

...Shakespeare's use of contrast in 'Macbeth' is his pivotal way of exploring characters and themes. However 'Macbeth' is not only an exploration of these, it is very successful as an actual play on the stage. Although the play was written for a 17th ce ...

❓ How far does Macbeth deserve the title "Butcher"?

...Macbeth's evil and cruelty shows through the suffering throughout the country of Scotland. Lady Macbeth feels guilty as she feels she started Macbeth on his evil path to destruction but didn't know about any of her husband's actions after the murder ...

❓ How does Shakespeare make Lady Macbeth into such a Dramatic Character

...In conclusion the dramatic power of Lady Macbeth is at first influential and rewarding to her and her husband, but then spirals out of control. Shakespeare has created an iconic and revolutionary character and one who seems to have numerous personali ...

❓ How is conflict presented in Macbeth and Dulce et Decorum Est and make comparisons

...After reading all of the literature it is apparent that although all the text is written at different periods from the 16th century to the war periods conflict is key throughout. The literature gives different perspectives on conflict due to both the ...

❓ What impressions of Lady Macbeth do we get in Act 5 Scene 1?

...Lady Macbeth however can be shown as the victim as she didn't think through the 'plan' to its full extent as she didn't acknowledge all the aspects and outcomes. She is almost a victim of her own wrong doing. Lady Macbeth has given Macbeth so much- s ...

❓ How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 1 Scene 7?

...Throughout this tragedy Shakespeare builds up the character of Lady Macbeth from the first word she says to the last few words before her suicide. Shakespeare has created a domineering and intellectual character which is ready to face the prejudices ...

❓ Why is Banquo such an important character in Shakespeares play Macbeth?

...To sum up, Banquo represents honour and wisdom in the play. He serves as Macbeth’s conscience. This becomes apparent when he reappears as a ghost – a manifestation of Macbeth’s guilt. He is essential as the character who places Macbeth’s ‘b ...

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