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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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Introduction

Year 11 English Literature Assessment - Take Home Essay - Macbeth Examine the development and exploration of one of the themes in Macbeth which makes the play relevant to a modern audience "Nature of Evil" In this contemporary era, we often wonder why terrible deeds such as murders and crimes are on the rise and what exactly urges the soul to have the courage to do such an act. Are we all capable of committing horrendous acts under the circumstances or are some people just evil by nature. Does the urge begin within us or are there supernatural forces that lead us blindly. These questions are uppermost in the minds of people living in the modern world and have occupied the minds of writers for thousands of years. Shakespeare addresses these questions through the development and exploration o one of the most debated themes in 'Macbeth' - good versus evil. He ingeniously does this through various literary devices such as the use of imagery, symbolism, soliloquies, asides and his infamous use of metaphors, similes and personification to name a few within his characterization and plot development. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout the play, Shakespeare is at absolute pains to suggest that ultimate responsibility for what happens to Macbeth lies with Macbeth himself. Shakespeare wants us to see that Macbeth always has a choice. The witches do have great influence on Macbeth but it is Macbeth who wants to be king and the witches being aware of this ambitious trait, choose to meet him at a time when they think he will be most vulnerable. It is Macbeth who uses the word 'murder' first in the play: Macbeth: ..My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical'... (Act I, Sc. iii, 149) He uses the word as an image but reveals what unconsciously preoccupies him. He had not only thought of it but even discussed it with Lady Macbeth in a later scene. Macbeth is being cajoled by his wife when he refuses to do the deed, she asks: Lady Macbeth: What beast was't then that made you break this enterprise to me?.. (Act I, Sc. vii, 52-53) His failure to challenge Lady Macbeth led him to his doom. It is here where he had a choice whether to disregard such thoughts and get on with being Thane of Cawdor or murdering King Duncan and aiming for the greater title. ...read more.

Conclusion

Every single person is born with a good side and bad side, just like yin and yang and right and wrong. There are always opposites. Also in conclusion evil never seems to lead to happy endings. Macbeth might have gained his ambition to be king and Lady Macbeth to be queen but they were not happy for even one minute throughout their reign and in the end the evil took over their lives and they came to their ironically sad ends and peace and goodness was restored to Scotland when Malcolm rightfully got his throne back. This too can be related to modern times for example we see the influence of drugs on a widespread scale but those that stay fascinated with this intoxication suffer forever, while those that are shown the light at the end of a burning tunnel come out on top of the world and lead much better lives as normal people. One play can be interpreted in various many ways but every play written by Shakespeare contains numerous themes that can be related to modern living. Done By: Annika Mascarenhas Year 11 Tuesday 26.04.05 ...read more.

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