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I think that Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth' does satisfy those who believe that plays should teach a moral lesson by rewarding the good and punishing the bad.

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Introduction

Macbeth I think that Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth' does satisfy those who believe that plays should teach a moral lesson by rewarding the good and punishing the bad. Macbeth is an evil character during most of the play. Towards the end of the play Macduff, referring to Macbeth, says; "Here may you see the tyrant" (Act 5 / scene 6 / line 56) To deserve this epithet, Macbeth has carried out many evil deeds. He murders the king, Duncan, so that he could become king himself. He was punished for this by the fact that his conscience was constantly reminding him of what he had done. He couldn't sleep because, after he murdered Duncan, he heard voices that said; ".... Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep - the innocent sleep" (Act 2 / scene 2 / lines 35-36) This first act also made Macbeth seek more security by organising the murder of Banquo and later, out of fear of Macduff, the killings of Macduff's wife and children. ...read more.

Middle

This also yet again rewards the good man, Macduff, by providing him with revenge for the murder of his wife and children. Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, seems to be completely evil right from the start of the play. When we first meet her she is plotting to kill king Duncan so that she and her husband could be King and Queen. Lady Macbeth asks spirits to carry out the dreadful deed. She wanted them to take away her womanly weaknesses and her conscience. She said: "Come, you evil spirits That tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here, And fill me from The crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood Stop up the access and passage to remorse." (Act 1 / scene 5 / lines 39-44) She hopes that this will keep her free from her conscience but all it does is suppress her feelings, which later overcome her. Lady Macbeth was also the one who persuaded Macbeth to kill Duncan and also is the one who pushes him into the string of events that left many people, including Macbeth and herself, dead. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macduff was later rewarded for the good actions he carried out during the play by being the one who killed Macbeth at the end. This gave him the revenge he wanted for his family's murder. This all shows that evil is punished and good is rewarded. Even Macbeth was rewarded for a good deed he made at the very start of the play. At this point in the play Macbeth was a good character. Duncan called him 'noble Macbeth' and due to the fact that he had been instrumental in the winning of a battle and the death of the defecting thane of Cawdor, Duncan says to a servant "No more that thane of Cawdor shall decive Our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present Death, And with his name greet Macbeth." This rewards the goodness he had shown until that point. Therefore you see that 'Macbeth' does have a moral message that rewards the good and punishes the wicked. By Peter Banks ...read more.

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