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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Published: 1606

Country: United Kingdom

Publisher: John Heminges and Henry Condell

The darkest of all Shakespeare’s great tragedies, Macbeth shows how ambition corrupts even those who have the potential to be noble. The murky atmosphere, orchestrated by the witches, the 'weird sisters', whose strange communion with Macbeth himself precipitates his descent into darkness, permeates a play steeped in blood and slaughter. With the help of 'his fiend-like queen', who is willing to deny her own morality to spur on her husband, Macbeth sets out on the bloody course to realise the ambition that the witches sensed in him. Even murdering the king is not enough. 'To be thus is nothing', he laments when planning the murder of Banquo. There is always one more obstacle to be overthrown if he is to retain power – a lesson tyrants have learnt throughout history- always one more person who is in the way. When Lady Macbeth is seen obsessively washing her hands – 'Here’s the smell of blood still', – we see the workings of guilt that has turned to madness. At the close, Macbeth is overthrown but the sense of his own futility, remains powerful and memorable.

Macbeth Essays

Discover more about the themes and characters in Macbeth with our dedicated study guide. Get help with writing your essay and coursework.

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'this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen'. Are these words by Malcolm an appropriate epitaph for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?

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'this dead butcher, and his fiend-like queen'. Are these words by Malcolm an appropriate epitaph for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? Malcolm says this epitaph...

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It is not only the heros character that feeds into the construction of a tragedy; external events also play a part. Does either...

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It is not only the hero's character that feeds into the construction of a tragedy; external events also play a part. Does either one of these components have, in your opinion, an overriding...

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Equivocation in Macbeth

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Equivocation in Macbeth In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the theme of equivocation to effectively illustrate the evil nature of the witches. Equivocation is the use of ambiguous...

To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only himself and other individuals, but also disrupts the divine unity of Scotland?

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Macbeth Anna 11W To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only himself and other individuals...

Peer reviewed

Macbeth Critical Response Essay

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Macbeth Critical Analytical Response If Hollywood ever dared to take a second attempt at making Macbeth into a movie, it would probably have to be...

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Throughout the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth together demonstrate how ambition can turn a loyal soldier into a bloodthirsty murderer

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Throughout the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth together demonstrate how ambition can turn a loyal soldier into a bloodthirsty murderer with his scheming and devious...