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How does Shakespeare use Characters and Language to Discuss evil in his Play "Macbeth"?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use Characters and Language to Discuss evil in his Play "Macbeth"? In the play "Macbeth" I think that Shakespeare is trying to say a number of things about evil. He uses through out the play the characters and language to show and represent ideas and concepts about evil. In the play Shakespeare shows that evil is something that you should try and avoid at all costs as it has so many negative sides. Evil is also shown to possess you and take control of you and everything you do. Shakespeare continues to show that evil is inescapable and it will never leave your conscience and also that everybody no matter who they are has the potential for evil. The only thing that has to happen for this evil to come out is that it has to be awaked in some way. In the play Shakespeare shows how the witches catalyst (speed up) Macbeth's path of evil and also how a representation of evil isn't always right. People expect the witches to be evil but in this play Macbeth shows that witches are not what everyone thinks they are or should be. Also Macbeth shows through the characters of the witches how they entice and persuade Macbeth and try and convince him of evil. Then through the characters of Macbeth and Banquo he shows the freewill of human beings. They have the choice to choose evil or not. Macbeth does and Banquo doesn't. It was there choice though. Temptation is also a point shown by Shakespeare as through out the play Macbeth is convinced, tempted and enticed by characters such as the witches and his wife. Shakespeare gives us the impression that the force of temptation is driven by evil. Overall though Shakespeare uses language and characters to gives us an overall impression that evil is driven by a number of things. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare uses the characters of Macduffs family to represent innocence. Shakespeare plays and uses the idea that women and children are defenseless. In using these characters he also shows how evil has over come Macbeth and is driving him to do this. The character of Lady Macbeth is also used by Shakespeare to discuss and show how evil has affected Lady Macbeth. How it has changed her. Also he shows through the character of Lady Macbeth that has an unnatural and strange side. He uses language and Lady Macbeth to give the reader this idea. "That tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here" In this quote Lady Macbeth is saying change me! Change me from everything womanly like being tender, loving and pityful and change me into a savage brutal being who has no limits of evil and unkindness and no thoughts of guilt. From this we can infer that Lady Macbeth is unnatural and inhumane as who would willing want to be savage and be a bad person. Evil has changed her and affected so much that she wants to be like that so that she can go ahead with these deeds. Overall in this quote Macbeth uses language and character to make it seem that evil changes people dramatically and also that Lady Macbeth has been changed from normal to bizarre. Another idea of evil that Shakespeare shows through Lady Macbeth is the idea that evil is persuasive and tempting. Through out the play evil is shown as being tempting. She does this in a very manipulating way. When Macbeth is having doubts about doing the murderous deed he is quickly convinced and tempted by Lady Macbeth. She uses reverse sociology. "Come to my woman's breasts, and my milk for gall, you murdering minister wherever in your sightless substances" Here Shakespeare has used language to give the reader the impression that she is willing to kill here own baby born of her. ...read more.

Conclusion

He describes a life as a 'tale'. I think that this word gives the audience the impression that his life is not real or at least doesn't seem real. It's just a tale which people can't believe because they are so unbelievable. Also I think that this language makes the readers have the intuition that his life is a tale that is being told by an idiot, somebody who is incapable of telling the story without ruining it. Overall in this play I think and feel that Shakespeare uses an assortment of language and variety of different characters and representations (e.g. the witches) to explore and explain many ideas and hypotheses about evil. In the play he shows that evil is powered and fueled by greed and determination. Also he shows that people underestimate evil greatly and that evil should be avoided as it has more negative sides than positive. He also shows all the bad and good sides that come with evil. Shakespeare shows that there are extremely few good things that come with evil and the good things that do come with evil are short lived (e.g. Macbeth becoming king). He also shows the immense list of bad things. Guilt is shown when Macbeth has hallucinations and Lady Macbeth talks to herself in her sleep. Conscience is shown when Lady Macbeth and Macbeth show their emotions and are continually tormented by ghosts and also by thoughts. Jealously is shown when Macbeth is jealous of the king. Death is shown greatly as many people die including the king, Banquo and even some of the guards who were wrongly accused. Other bad things, which are shown to be associated with evil, are self-preservation, manipulation, revenge, hate, control, insanity, vanity, selfishness, insecurity, tainted life's and betrayal through out the whole play he discuss' these ideas. In conclusion Shakespeare shows evil can never be estimated. It's something, which can't be defined or titled. I think that through many characters he suggests that evil is one, chooseable, two dangerous and three, deadly! ...read more.

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