• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How is the theme of evil dramatized in Macbeth and what do you think Shakespeare's message to his audience was?

Extracts from this document...


How is the theme of evil dramatized in Macbeth and what do you think Shakespeare's message to his audience was? In Elizabethan times everyone believed in the Natural Order which can also be referred to as The Chain of Being. The Chain of Being is a hierarchy, where God is at the top and the King is second, last are the elements; fire, air, water and earth. If something happened to the king everything under the king's rank would be affected. This stopped people overthrowing the king because they were told bad things would happen to them. We can tell that the Chain of Being was affected in Macbeth because of what some of the characters say in Act 2 Scene 4 after King Duncan has been murdered. "A falcon tow'ring in her pride of her place, Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed" This shows an image of a mouse hunting an owl and killing it which is the reverse of what happens under normal circumstances. Animals are under the king's rank. The horses also turn to cannibalism, "And Duncan's horses"... "'tis said they eat each other." Treason is the illegal act of overthrowing the government or king. Macbeth manages to overthrow King Duncan, which is treason, and at the end of the play Macbeth gets overthrown by Macduff. ...read more.


Although this also has the possibility of being interpreted as Macbeth seeing the witches as unnatural and evil for he does ask about what they are. Macbeth can be considered as being an evil character in that he kills King Duncan in cold blood by stabbing him. It is premeditated as indicated in the soliloquy of his inner thoughts. "We'd jump the life to come, but in these cases, we still have judgment here." It also shows selfishness, ambition and self gain for the King's position. In suspecting his close friend Banquo may want to turn Macbeth in for his crime, "Wisdom that doth guide his valor...to act in safety." Macbeth knows he must get rid of Banquo and his manipulating character by convincing the murderers and himself that killing him is right. "Both of you know Banquo was your enemy...so he is mine; and it such bloody distance that every minute of his being thrusts against my near'st of life." He portrays evil in that he is plotting a murder against his friend and influencing others in believing that they are doing the right act in killing him. Others may consider Macbeth to be more of a strong warrior than evil. He goes beyond the limits of a solider in battle for his king and country. ...read more.


In Macbeth's search for power, he ends up killing Duncan which leads to several more murders. He started off by being known as "Brave Macbeth" but once the king was murdered he was corrupted by power. He was defeated by his constant search for more authority and control. Macbeth was only meant to be Thane Of Cawdor and when he managed to become king, he abused his power. Shakespeare's sends us the message that some people were made to have more control because they could handle it and had the personality trait to control themselves with the amount of power they have. He also sends us the message that too much power corrupts. Many people would say that ambition in the key to success but in Macbeth it is a downfall. Macbeth has the three witches and Lady Macbeth constantly pushing his ambition. Shakespeare gives us that message that having ambition is good but you should go out of your own ability because it may lead to your death, like Macbeth. The relationship between good and evil is very clear to see. The main theme of the play is showing the audience how an honest, regular man can be changed into evil and be dehumanized. He is not evil but instead is surrounded by evil influences such as his wife and the witches. However, goodness does win as Macbeth is killed and the evil dies away with him. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work