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English Macbeth coursework-Is the supernatural wholly responsible for the tragedy that occurs or is Macbeth fatally flawed and responsible for his own heinous crimes?

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Introduction

English Macbeth coursework Is the supernatural wholly responsible for the tragedy that occurs or is Macbeth fatally flawed and responsible for his own heinous crimes? It is my contention that all of the central characters have some integral part to play in the tragedy that occurs. Each have some function in the heinous crimes, and hence one individual cannot be held completely responsible for the bloodshed that occurs. William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. His father was named John Shakespeare; he was originally a glove maker before eventually becoming a politician. His mother, Mary Arden, belonged to the ranks of high society, being from a wealthy family, she subsequently inherited a great deal of money and farmland. Shakespeare was the third child born to the couple, but was the first to survive. The Shakespeare's went on to have four children, Gilbert, Richard, Joan and Mary. Shakespeare's family was quite wealthy, and when Shakespeare was four, his father was established as High Bailiff of Stratford. Shakespeare's first school was Petty school and when he was seven, it is believed that he went to the local grammar school until at the age of twelve, when he left to help his father who had run into financial trouble. At the age of eighteen, Shakespeare met Anne Hathaway who was the daughter of a local farmer. She was twenty-six. They married in November 1582 and in May 1583 gave birth to their first child Susanna, she was followed two years later by twins Hamnet and Judith. Shortly after this, Shakespeare left Stratford, leaving his family behind. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, Shakespeare arrived in London and found a job in the theatre. He began to act and write a variety of plays and they were hugely popular, though many considered him to be intellectually insecure given that he was not university educated. In 1956, sadly young Hamnet died. ...read more.

Middle

She is already planning and plotting murder. One can now connect her with the supernatural and evil. In Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth starts to change his mind about the murder, "hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been, so clear in his great office" In contrast, Lady Macbeth shows optimum strength in this scene. She undermines Macbeth and challenges his manhood. "And live a coward in thine own esteem" Lady Macbeth plots and plans the murder of Duncan. All her actions are pre mediated, which implies that she is a cold heartless killer, "When Duncan is asleep whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey soundly invite him-his two chamberlains. Will I with wine and wassail so convince, that memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason a limbeck only; when in swinish sleep their drenched natures lie as in death" She is so cunning and conniving that she has thought everything through. "his spongy officers, who shall bear guilt" We are reminded of the earlier quotation, "fair is foul and foul is fair" It seems to be unfolding like a prophecy. There should be equilibrium in apportioning blame in this scene as Macbeth, though deciding against the murder, was convinced very quickly to go through with it. If he really hadn't wanted to go through with the murder he would have put up a bit more resistance. One can reason that Lady Macbeth has a very strong influence over him and she knows how to use it to her advantage, especially in this scene as she challenges his manhood and has a carefully thought out plan. One could question whether she is inherently evil or whether Macbeth really had any other choice. In Act 2 Scene 1, Banquo is unable to sleep, as he is uncomfortable in the presence of evil thoughts. "Merciful powers, restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature gives way to in repose" Macbeth denies his involvement with the unearthly creatures. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some critics insist that Macbeth was tricked, cajoled, tempted and guided by the supernatural forces and hence he is not to blame. However, it is my interpretation that the 'Weird Sisters' did tempt, taunt and tease him. They sparked his ambition, but that ambition already lay within Macbeth; the witches simply brought in to the surface. Had the unearthly creatures not have done this one could argue Macbeth would never have thought of killing Duncan. Yet this is only a presumption. 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 influence from anyone except the influence of his own greed and desire. Macbeth is insatiable, ruthless and domineering. Yet none of the guilty parties are blameless. All three caused the tragedy and only with all three present could the tragedy have been caused. All three parties are portrayed with blame, the tragedy is more satisfying. A seventeenth century audience would have believed, Macbeth was not fully responsible, because witches were prevalent within their society yet a modern day audience would blame Macbeth fully, as they would contemplate that he had no excuse. She believes that it is easier to surface some pity for Macbeth when he is not the only one to blame but part of a triangle of guilt. In my opinion, it is easier to muster sympathy for a person who is not entirely to blame for their actions; in the case of Macbeth, the tragedy is more successful if the popular seventeenth century mentality is adopted, and thereby the witches and Lady Macbeth are made partly to blame for his downfall. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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