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Is Macbeth a Political or Dramatic text? Shakespeare wrote "Macbeth" as a very political text which uses both dialogue and drama

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Introduction

Is Macbeth a Political or Dramatic text? Shakespeare wrote "Macbeth" as a very political text which uses both dialogue and drama in order to convey his views of the time in which he was writing. One has to remember that many plays were cancelled and the authors punished if they were deemed unsuitable - as a consequence much of the satire and irony based around the Tudor/Stuart government and monarchy would have to be well hidden by imagery and drama; it is for this reason that it is difficult to separate the politics from the drama as each one is part of the other. However "Macbeth" is a very dramatic play due to the fact that it is a tragedy therefore it cannot contain the more obvious humour found in his earlier comedies such as, "As You Like It". Tragedies were written to instruct as well as to entertain and take many of the political issues of the time and include them in the play. In "Macbeth" Shakespeare focuses on the themes of murder, power struggle and treason; many of the audience watching the play would instantly make the link between the gun powder plot and the way in which Macbeth plots against the King (Duncan). When looking at the dramatic side of "Macbeth" one has to look at the words they are saying not just at the stage directions or scenery. ...read more.

Middle

The atmosphere becomes more sinister and evil, their evil is then emphasized by what Macbeth and Banquo say about them "not like th'inhabitantso'th' earth" Shakespeare makes the witches stereotypical from what they look like to how the speak "fire burn, and cauldron bubble" he even goes as far to fit in with the stereotypical image they perform curses. Scotland used to be seen as where the first witches came from and they were blamed for all evil and malicious doings, it is therefore no wonder why Shakespeare chose to have them as his root of evil and them playing the part to influence Macbeth to do evil. Shakespeare's "Macbeth" contains many suggestions of the Divine Right; which is where God gives a man his status. Hence the strict class system. When Macbeth murders Duncan because of the witches - who represent the devil and evil - influence he is going against the divine right and therefore is going against God. "Macbeth does murder sleep'- the innocent sleep." Once Macbeth kills Duncan he is so obsessed with guilt that he can never sleep soundly again, this could be seen as God's punishment for going against him. I think this is a political issue as Shakespeare is condemning treason by showing nothing but tragedy can come of it. ...read more.

Conclusion

However we cannot think this solely the case as Duncan was an old man but if he was not up to fighting was he really up to leading the country? At a time when there was lots of wars and they really needed a king that could lead them in a war leading by example. As an audience you would certainly notice the political undertones within an extremely dramatic play. For example the language used in the banquet scene, "" this extract uses very vivid imagery such as the word "gory". This type of language when juxtaposed with the political themes and motifs make the tense and thrilling tragedy, which not only entertains but educates both a contemporary and an Elizabethan audience. It is for these reasons that "Macbeth" still has relevance today. In conclusion William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" is a typical tragedy written around the 17th century, it shows how men with or without some encouragement can and will take the sometimes more appealing path of evil and corruption. I think that the dramatic elements of "Macbeth" are more evident then the political ones, they do give "Macbeth" some of its story lines however with all the imagery and themes make the play exciting and eventful to read and watch. Without the dramatic techniques "Macbeth" would have not been such a remarkable play and would not still be read and analysed today. By Emily Carlyle 10P1 ...read more.

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