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An exploration of evil and its development within the Macbeth play 'Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural events'

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Introduction

An exploration of evil and its development within the Macbeth play 'Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural events' Macbeth, one of the most ingenious plays ever written that expresses the power of good against evil. It is a gloomy tale of a Scottish general's murderous ascension to the throne, aided by supernatural prophecies and a scheming wife whose lust for power eclipses his own, and has precious few good things to say about the human race. In this essay I will exemplify the exploration of evil and malevolence and its development within the Macbeth play. In Elizabethan times, there used to be a natural order and a way of life. It was called the Elizabethan World Picture. This is a chain of command starting from the most divine beings at the apex and the most to the earthly at the base of the chain; everyone had a place, and a role to fulfil. All the creatures of the Universe were arranged in their proper order. At the top was the initiator of all and sundry, god. Below him was the divinely appointed King. The importance of the King cannot be over-estimated: on him rest the fate of the state. Below the King, and deriving their power from him in proper feudal order, came Earls, Dukes, fundamentally the top Churchmen and all the rest of the aristocracy, all the way down to the customary common folk and the servants, below the servants were peasants and the beggars at the foundation of the sequence. This was the hierarchical structure of society and when this is broken in the play, so is the natural order of the world and unnatural and evil things become to occur. Shakespeare shows when the rightful place of things is upset, then everything will be upset, until state of affairs is returned to customary. When Macbeth slays King Duncan, then nature went chaotic. ...read more.

Middle

Also, the witches only warned him of things to come; they did not tell him how to transaction with them... At the commencement of the play, Macbeth is regarded as the most honoured men in Scotland. He had just won a victorious battle and was referred to as a dignified and courageous man. 'For brave Macbeth, he well deserves that name' Act I scene II At first, Macbeth felt he had no reason to kill King Duncan; he deeply cared and esteemed Duncan and the witches' prophecies which stated that in the future, he will become king. 'If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir.' But as the play grew on, with Lady Macbeth pushing Macbeth and testing his manly hood, Macbeth soon becomes a cerebral, sadistic and merciless king. The witch's were only partially to blame for Macbeth's downfall; Macbeth himself did the dirty deeds. Macbeth is not naturally inclined to perform malicious and spiteful deeds, but he deeply desires supremacy and power. Macbeth's character is physically strong and mentally weak, and it is this weakness that instigates the downfall and change of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth forces him to make the wrong choices, which puts his leadership at steak. She is mostly responsible for the evil doings of Macbeth. This line shows that she considers Macbeth as a 'wimp', and a feeble human. 'Is too full o' the milk of human kindness' Macbeth's manliness is always being tested so he has no choice but to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth transforms Macbeth into a greedy, cold-hearted human being; by saying things such as "Are you a man?" She undermines his masculinity, to make him feel at fault, and have it her way. 'When you durst do it, then you were a man' Act I scene VII 'Thou esteem'st the ornament of life and live a coward in thine own esteem' Although not a "secret, black, and midnight hag", as an evil female, Lady Macbeth could be contemplated as a witch according to the standards of Shakespeare's day. ...read more.

Conclusion

'I am in blood yet stepped in so far that I should wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er' Act III scene IV The weather set in the play is also dark, gloomy and moody. On every occasion the witches are brought into milieu, the weather changes to dark and dreary. Always comes thunder before the lightning, which comes before the witches. And before every apparition, the thunder strikes again. I believe that Shakespeare uses thunder and lightening because they represent the power of the witches and the turbulence of Scotland. 'In thunder lightning, or in rain' Act I scene I Darkness, in our society, represents and is an indicative of Evil. For instance, a dark night, a dark place or even a black cat all symbolises horror and evil. Shakespeare knew this and used the witches, Macbeth and the in orderly Scotland as prime examples. Even in appearance the witches are 'Secret, black, and midnight hags' because they represent the agents of chaos. Macbeth is an agent of disorder, he murders and he consults witches, because of this he is described using dark imagery. Scotland it self was in shambles when Macbeth ruled, it all represented the evil. Scotland under the rule of Macbeth is described as, "shrouded in darkness", by Malcolm.. 'Sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rent the air'. Scotland All these descriptions of Scotland portray Scotland as a place where the agents of darkness have shrouded the land. In conclusion, there is a big comparison between the beginning and the end of the play. In the beginning, Macbeth was Valiant; Lady Macbeth was pure and sweat-hearted, Scotland was in peace and natural order was rightfully in place. At the end of the play, Macbeth had become a tyrant, Lady Macbeth had died and was cruel and sadistic and Scotland was described as 'shrouded in darkness.' In the end, the Evil reigns supreme over the good. Pavandeep Purewal ...read more.

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