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"In this play evil is larger, more fascinating, and more effective than the pallid representations of good." Discuss this view of Macbeth.

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Introduction

"In this play evil is larger, more fascinating, and more effective than the pallid representations of good." Discuss this view of Macbeth. Shakespeare's Macbeth is mainly about the interchanging of power and wealth between different people, although those who acquire the power and wealth often lose it. This play also has a dualist aspect to it as it seems to imply that there can be no good without evil. Also, the worse that evil is the better the good is. Shakespeare promotes the evil from very early on in the play, when in the first act everything that the audience sees as good and innocent dies when Macbeth murders Duncan in his sleep. Duncan is portrayed to the audience as very kind and good. Shakespeare portrays this by making him very complementary of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. He also talks of love a great deal and we associate love with good. But Duncan is not the only good or innocent thing that was murdered that night. "Macbeth does murther sleep, the innocent sleep," of course this line isn't literal, but it signals the beginning of Macbeth's descent into madness which could have been caused by many things including guilt or sleep deprivation as Macbeth is now afraid of sleep. ...read more.

Middle

These reasons are so similar because Macbeth and Macduff have very similar characters. For example, they are both easily led, Macbeth by his wife and Macduff by Malcolm; "Be this the whetstone of your sword: let grief Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it." In this quotation Malcolm is persuading Macduff to convert the grief he feels for the loss of his family to anger for Macbeth. "O, never Shall sun that morrow see!" In this quotation Lady Macbeth is persuading Macbeth to kill Duncan so that he will be king. "A tragic hero is a man not pre-eminently just, whose misfortune, however, is brought upon him not by vice or depravity but by some error of judgement." (Aristotle) Macbeth is a typical protagonist as he is not evil but has made mistakes due to a fatal flaw in his character which, in my opinion, is his dependence on his wife and her ambition. This is explained in the quote by Aristotle. After Lady Macbeth's persuasion of Macbeth to murder Duncan Lady Macbeth calls Macbeth weak "Infirm of purpose," she also compares him to a frightened child, "'tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil." ...read more.

Conclusion

This empathy is particularly evident towards the end of the play when Shakespeare uses evocative language and swift mood changes on the part of Macbeth as he has just heard the news that Burnham wood is moving towards Dunsinane. Then Shakespeare uses another swift mood change in act five, scene seven, when Macbeth hears that Macduff was born by a caesarean section, "Macduff was from his mother's womb untimely ripped." Overall I agree with this view of Macbeth as the evidence put forward for this far outweighs the evidence against it. The most basic Dualist view is that good and evil have to be equal and opposite for either to exist. However in this play good is overshadowed by evil which leads me to suspect that the dualist view applies only to people. Therefore the good and evil in every person in this play is equal and completely depends on how the particular character uses their strengths and weaknesses. As Macbeth himself says, "I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, and falls on th' other." ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Lizzie Begley Lambert ...read more.

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