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How does Shakespeare create a sense of evil in MacBeth?

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English Course work How does Shakespeare create a sense of evil in MacBeth? In MacBeth I will be looking at how a sense of evil is created. I will look at how the characters in the play portray this evil, but also the other aspect that portray evil, such as the language used and the evil deeds that are committed. From the beginning of the play it is apparent that the Witches will be a main source of evil. The reason why the Witches create so much evil is that Witches where notoriously evil. But as well as being evil, the Elizabethans believed in Witches. Witches were interrogated and sometimes killed even by educated people. People believed that Witches were a genuine threat to them. So when a Witch was seen on the stage a great sense of evil would have been portrayed. In the first scene the Witches meet is on the moors in thunder and lightening. The moor is a very cold, harsh, lifeless place. Thunder and lightening are uncontrollable forces of evil. ...read more.


His wife Lady MacBeth could have driven him in to doing it. Or maybe his inner ambition got the better of him. From the play it seam apparent that Lady MacBeth, although she did not actually stick the daggers in was very much responsible for the Kings death. Maybe even more so than MacBeth. Lady MacBeth said "Such I account thy love" this basically is Lady MacBeth's way of persuading him to do it. She is saying that if he loved her he would do it. "Look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under't" This is a very important phrase as the flowers represent beauty, peace and heaven the snake represents evil and hell. The reason why the snake represents evil is because in the bible the Devil comes to earth as a snake. The Elizabethans were very religious and the snake would be a very powerful figure to them. The idea that MacBeth will appear to be like flower but really a snake suggest that he appear to be good but really be evil. ...read more.


"all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand." This tells us that there is nothing that can be done not even "all the perfumes of Arabia" can get rid of the smell of death. This is a very powerful quote as it represents the feeling of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth after they killed King Duncan and until the end of the play. Not only is there fear in MacBeth's castle but there is fear all other Scotland. This is shown in a conversation between Donalbain and Malcolm. "There's daggers in men's smiles." This means that they do not know whom to trust. People look kind and friendly on the outside but underneath they are evil and ready to stab you in the back. This represents a great sense of unease and chaos in the whole country. And again is an extension of "Fair is Foul". I conclude by saying that I do not doubt that the Witches were the main source of evil in MacBeth. But as well as being evil they spread it onto other people e.g. MacBeth. I'm sure that without the influence of the Witches MacBeth would not have killed King Duncan and the evil ball would not have started rolling. ...read more.

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