Shakespeare portrays the battle of good and evil as well as the fall of man through Macbeths actions.

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Macbeth Essay

In “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare a character is forced to make an important decision. The anti-hero of the play, Macbeth, makes an ill-fated decision to kill the king in order to gain the throne and a spiral of bad consequences take place after this and ultimately lead to the fall of man and the death of Macbeth. Shakespeare portrays ideas of the battle of good and evil as well as fall of man throughout the play and in particular through Macbeth’s actions.

In the opening of the play, Macbeth is introduced as a brave and valiant soldier who is trusted by the king. Macbeth is initially a very noble and good character but later on in the play we realise that his obsession with power turns him into an evil character. Macbeth is told by the witches that he will gain three titles:

        “All hail Macbeth… Thane of Glamis

        All hail Macbeth… Thane of Cawdor

        All hail Macbeth, that shalt be kind hereafter”

The witches’ three prophecies are central to the downfall of Macbeth. He has the first title from birth and has also gained the second title but he is not aware of this. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to convey this. Macbeth makes it clear that it is equally unlikely that he will gain Thane of Cawdor as it is that he will become king and therefor he associates the two titles. The idea of being king makes Macbeth very unsettled and he immediately thinks about usurpation and “yields” to it showing that the great amount of power tempts him. He is faced with the moral dilemma of what to do and this represents the battle of good and evil and Macbeth finds it very hard to make a decision.

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Macbeth is forced into making a decision by his wife, Lady Macbeth. She is very power crazed and the conflicting emotions between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth represent the battle of good and evil. She forces him to make a decision by questioning his masculinity:

        “And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

        ... Art thou afeard…live a coward”

Macbeth questions whether he really should go through with it and this gives us some hope as it looks as if good is winning over evil. We learn that his courage has vanished and Lady Macbeth manipulates him by emasculating ...

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