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Examine the development and exploration of one of the themes in Macbeth which makes the play relevant to a modern audience.

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Macbeth Essay Examine the development and exploration of one of the themes in Macbeth which makes the play relevant to a modern audience. Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest and bloodiest tragedy. It tells the story of a brave Scottish general, Macbeth, who receives a prophecy from three witches that one day he will become king of Scotland. Consumed with ambitious thoughts and spurred to action by his wife, he murders King Duncan while he is asleep and seizes the throne for himself. A number of themes are conveyed in the play but perhaps the predominant theme is related to ambition and how raw ambition, if left unchecked, can have disastrous effects, which is most definitely relevant to modern audiences. This theme is explored through the utilization of characterization and plot. Macbeth is the main character of the play, hence the title. At the beginning of the play he is presented as a noble, brave yet ambitious person. The problem occurs soon after when Macbeth is approached by the three witches whom prophesy to him that he will be king of Scotland. ...read more.


We can see how before Macbeth killed Duncan, he was ambitious but everything was fine because Macbeth's morals and values overruled his ambition and kept it in check. But when Macbeth threw his morals and values out the door, his ambition was unchecked and this is when it became destructive. So ambition is not all bad, only when it is left unchecked. Lady Macbeth is a major character in the play, probably the second most important, and is vital to the play. Her ambition is just as strong as Macbeth's, if not stronger. When she first learns of the witches' prophecies in the letter Macbeth sends to her, she calls on the spirits of darkness and evil to replace all her nurturing, feminine qualities with remorseless cruelty: Lady Macbeth: ...Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect and it! ...read more.


This change is evident in the characters, setting/nature and overall mood/atmosphere. The arc goes from good to bad to, good again. The mood starts off good, then goes bad when Macbeth kills Duncan and becomes King up until Macbeth himself is killed, then it's good again with a sense of hope for Scotland now that the evil tyrannical Macbeth has been slain. This arc is reflected in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Their unchecked ambition leads them and their country into despair and chaos. But when they die, everything is fine again. When Duncan is killed nature begins to go haywire and nature stays this way until Macbeth and his wife are dead. In essence, when the unchecked ambition of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is present, everything else in the play is negative, but when the ambition is under control or destroyed altogether, everything else in the play is positive. In conclusion, if ambition is left unchecked it can have disastrous effects, as was explored in the play Macbeth through the utilization of characterization and plot. This theme is explored greatly in the play and, as with most of Macbeth's plays; this theme is still relevant to a modern audience. ?? ?? ?? ?? David Rose ...read more.

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