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‘By The Time Macbeth Murders Duncan He Has Already Lost The Battle For His Soul’

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'By The Time Macbeth Murders Duncan He Has Already Lost The Battle For His Soul' Essay Introduction 'By the time Macbeth murders Duncan he has already lost the battle for his soul'. In this essay I am going to discuss this statement and examine the factors that lead to his decision to kill the king. I shall divide the essay into 3 main parts, these are; 1. The battle for his soul 2. The factors which lead Macbeth to kill the king 3. Conclusion The Battle For His Soul This play was written for James 1 in 1606. Shakespeare's children were now deceased and this had put him into a mood where he would only write tragic plays instead of the usual comedies. Shakespeare included the theme of witches for James 1 as he was into witchcraft and had even wrote a book about it. The target audience of Macbeth would have been a very superstitious Christian crowd. The King was believed to have been put on the throne by God, and to kill the King would be a great sin. The belief in the existence and power of witches was widely believed in Shakespeare's day. The practice of witchcraft was seen to subvert the established order of religion and society, trying to corrupt people and making them sin against God. Witch hunting was a respectable, moral, and highly intellectual pursuit through much of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. If someone lost their soul, they would be lost to God and would be condemned to hell for eternity. ...read more.


They exist to tempt and torment people, to challenge their faith in themselves and their society. Act 1 scene 3 suggests that the witches have power but not enough to kill. This is shown when they are talking among themselves about a woman who would not give one of the witches a chestnut. The witch tells her sisters that she will make the winds blow strongly against her husbands ship. They work on Macbeth by equivocation, that is, by ambiguous promises of some future state. These promises come true, but not in the way that the victim originally believed. Macbeth takes his first step toward losing his soul when he is confronted with the knowledge that he will be king. The witches tell him; 'All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be King thereafter!' When they say this he makes the mistake of letting his ambition overrule his judgment. If his judgment had remained intact in the face of the witches' powerful prophecy, he certainly would have decided not to let his actions be dictated by a prophecy given to him by three strange witches who evade most of the questions he asks. The witches, appeal to what Macbeth wants to believe. They don't make him believe it and they do not tell him what to do in order to achieve what they prophesise. They say nothing about killing Duncan (or anyone else). In that sense, they cannot be the origin of the idea of the murder. ...read more.


This begins with her fainting spell as soon as the news of Duncan's death becomes public, continues in her anxious fussing before and after the banquet scene, reaches its clearest expression in her sleepwalking, and concludes in her suicide. This lack of inner will to confront the consequences of her and Macbeth's actions makes her story one without the tragic significance of her husband's. The phrase 'lack of inner will' in the last paragraph is not meant to indicate some limitation in Lady Macbeth. She had thought that she could unsex herself, push away any of her deepest feelings about the love of others, and become a pure agent of destruction. So long as the murders have not started, she plays that role with great rhetorical effectiveness (especially in her taunts about Macbeth's manhood). In a way her reference to Duncan looking like her father does take on an important resonance. What's particularly noticeable, too, is the way in which, following the murder of Duncan, their relationship becomes divided. We have every reason to believe that before Duncan's murder, they are very close. Certainly Macbeth shares all his thoughts and feelings with her, and she speaks to him about what her deepest thoughts are even if it is to defy Gods decision. They are at first a very close and loving couple but as more people are being killed by Macbeth (who mostly keeps them to himself and doesn't involve Lady Macbeth) Lady Macbeth is falling apart and being unable to cope with the guilt she commits suicide. Conclusion ?? ?? ?? ?? Graham Coomber ...read more.

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