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Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the struggle between good and evil in Macbeth

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Pre 1900 Drama Shakespeare English Unit 3 and English Literature Coursework Task Title: "Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the struggle between good and evil in Macbeth." Consider the importance of: Characterisation, plot and theme Language and imagery The effect upon the reader and the audience You may focus your discussion on one or two scenes if you wish. Where it is relevant to your argument you should refer to the historical and social background to the play or to literary tradition. Throughout the play, Shakespeare presents the reader with a struggle between good and evil. He represents this evil through an atmosphere of menace and the presence of the supernatural. In the very first scene, short as it is, there is the storm, which the reader can infer as a sense of darkness and as evil. There is also the definite paradox, "Fair is foul, and foul is fair", which tells us right at the beginning that in Macbeth not everything is as it seems and that good can be evil and evil can be good. ...read more.


This gives the reader the impression that what the witches have told Macbeth has touched and something that he has thought about before. The witches tell Macbeth that he will become "Thane of Cawdor" and then "king". Banquo notices that Macbeth becomes startled by this information "Why do you start and seem to fear things that sound so fair?" "Speak then to me, whom neither beg nor fear" Banquo wants to know more but does not fear what he might fear. Unlike Macbeth who is afraid because he has thought about these things before. "Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. Not so happy, yet much happier. Thou shalt be kings, though thou be none. Banquo will be lesser than Macbeth because he won't be king, but he will be greater because he will be good and not evil. He will not be as happy as Macbeth because he is not king but he will be happier in the long run because he is good. "If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me without my stir." ...read more.


Macbeth wants Banquo and his son to attend the feats because he is planning to have them both killed. He says to Banquo "fail not our feast" implying that he would be dead by then. Macbeth is also drifting away from his wife, Lady Macbeth because is confidence is rising and he feels that he doesn't need her. Whereas in the earlier parts of the play Lady Macbeth would be the one to think up the plans and tell Macbeth what to do, the roles have been changed. Macbeth starts to keep things from her and won't tell her any of his plans. Not only does he cut himself off from his wife but he cuts himself off from everyone. Most people no that Macbeth killed Duncan so Macbeth thinks that Duncan's children will be telling people about him, so he tells people that they are spreading rumours. Banquo realises that because Macbeth could kill Duncan, a king, then he would have no problem killing him. Macbeth also realises that because he killed Duncan he is now dammed to eternal hell so he might as well make use of his killing spree, kill Banquo and become totally evil. ?? ?? ?? ?? Harrison Clarke 27th October 2001 ...read more.

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