Analysis of Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

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Analysis of Macbeth by William Shakespeare At the conclusion of the play, Malcolm refers to Macbeth as “this dead butcher and his fiend like queen.” This is in direct contrast to the audience’s introduction to Macbeth where he is described as a brave courageous soldier, loyal to his king Duncan and devoted to his wife. Aristotle said that the only “proper subject of tragedy, is the spectacle of a man not absolutely or eminently good or wise that is brought to disaster not by sheer depravity but by some error or frailty.”

Critic A. Quiller-Couch states that “tragedy demands some sympathy with the
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She attacks his manliness while the witches reduce him with their prophecies. They voice Macbeth’s secret desire to become king of Scotland.

The witches use Macbeth as a tool to generate evil causing social disruption and catastrophe. He is only too ready to believe the witch’s oracles which speak of perpetual safety. Their prophecies harmonize with his own flights of imagination only to reveal that “nothing is/ but what is not”. He becomes their willing instrument; he sees and does not see; supernatural manifestations obscure his sense of reality.

Brother Michael William describes the play as “about failing to come to terms with ambiguity and being taken over by it”; “fair is foul and foul is fair” underlines the theme of appearances versus reality. “The witches breathe desire upon the seeds of evil that already exist within him.” By releasing this potential for evil, chaos and suffering ensue until order is restored. Brother Michael also suggests that what is “behind good and evil and what is more fundamental matters predispose men to blood, lust and ambition.”

L.V. Knights states that “Macbeth defines a particular kind of evil- this evil that results from a lust for power”. This lust for power “vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself/ and falls on th’ other” gives rise to the destruction of order by killing Duncan and forces of evil that cause extensive

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