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Essay/Term paper: Discuss what you think the main theme of 'macbeth' is

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Macbeth

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William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" is a play in which a man by the name of
Macbeth, who is presented as a mature man with an uncertain character. At the beginning
of the story, Macbeth's character was a character with strong morals. As the play went on
though, Macbeth's morality lessened immensely. After killing Duncan he was very
paranoid and feared the consequences that would arise. He knew what he had done
wrong. In comparing Duncan's murder with his best friend, Banquo's murder, He was
much more relaxed after Banquo's death. His character shifted throughout the play.
Macbeth, at this point did anything to keep his crown, even so far as to getting killed for
it! I think that some sort of anatomy of evil was responsible for Macbeth's as well as other
characters' wrongdoings in the story. Each character in the story had to either fight it or
give into it. In Macbeth's case, he fought it and lost, and therefore, gave into it.
The play makes several points about the nature of evil. One point it makes is that
evil is not normal in human nature. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have to sort of "trick"
themselves into murdering Duncan. First, Lady Macbeth has to beg evil spirits to tear all
human feeling from her ("...spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts..." [Act I, Scene V,
Lines 41-42] "Stop up th' accessand passage to remorse / That no compunctious
visitings of nature / Shake my fell purpose..."[Act I, Scene V, Lines 45-47]) and then
she has to make Macbeth ignore his own conscience ("Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too
full o' th' milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way" [Act I, Scene V, Lines
17-19]) Once she has seen her husband's ambition has been inflamed, she is willing to risk
anything to help him get the crown. It was as if she were taking her heart out to make her
husband king. She has been very successful of emptying herself of human feeling. By the
end of the play, both characters have been destroyed from within. Fear and guilt drive
Lady Macbeth mad; Macbeth sees life as an empty, meaningless charade. (His famous
speech upon hearing of Lady Macbeth's suicide: "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and
tomorrow..."[Act V, Scene V, Lines 17-28]) This speech is less an expression of grief
than it is a speech about the meaningless of life.
The second point is that evil disrupted nature itself. In nature, there is a time and a
place for everything. For example, a flower blooms when the laws of nature says it should,
neither sooner, nor later. When Macbeth achieves the crown by murder, he upsets the
natural order of his life along with the order of Scotland. Without the rightful, God-given
king on the throne, all of society is disordered. Under Macbeth's rule, there can only be
chaos and evil. Even nature becomes disturbed: (the Old Man and Ross discuss all the
strange things that have been happening since Duncan's death in act II, Scene IV,
Lines 1-19: "...It is dark during the day; an owl killed a hawk. 'the opposite of what
really happens' ,Duncan's horses ate eachother!...") Nearly every scene contains
references to unnatural actions. When Macbeth is killed and Malcolm takes the throne,
natural order is restored.
The third point is that evil is like a disease. Like a disease, evil infects its victims
and makes them sicken until they eventually die. Once Macbeth kills Duncan, he is
committed to a course of lying and killing as I stated in the opening paragraph. His sense
of right and wrong is eaten away even before he is killed. Macbeth is dying of a diseased
spirit and he knows it. ("...And that which should accompany old age, As honor, love,
obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but, in their stead, Curses not
loud but deep." [Act V, Scene III, Lines 24-27]) In this soliloquy, he senses that his life
is over. Scotland is also infected, and Macbeth is its disease. The longer Macbeth remains
king, the worse things get. When Macbeth is finally is overthrown, the country is healed.
The forth and probably the most important point is that evil corrupts an individual
and their ways. This is extremely clear in "Macbeth". Macbeth being "sucked into" evil
changed drastically. At the beginning of the play, the thought of murder made him
miserable. He seems to have a conscience on what he is doing is wrong. Toward the end
when evil has entered Macbeth's soul and conquered him, his actions reflect the evil within
him through the murders that he plots and also his "lying ways" throughout the play. He is
willing to do whatever it took for his ambition, even go so far to kill his best friend and an
innocent family which gained him nothing! Lady Macbeth on the other hand, had some
sort of evil within her from the beginning of the story. The evil within her made her go
mad and caused her to die a tragic death of suicide.
Evil, unfortunately is a very powerful force once it gets a hold of you once, it's extremely
difficult to let go of. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth experienced a sort of evil that would
never let go until they died. Since at the beginning of the story, Macbeth gained his
position as king by killing the king, they thought that performing evil acts would get them
higher in life. It was sort of addicting to them. They did everything violently to get what
they wanted. It's unfortunate that many think that way. That you have to take drastic
actions as far as death to get what you want is really a sad case. But also, if they think that
they will get away with it, they are wrong. They will eventually pay the price, whether
instantly or with time as Lady Macbeth and Macbeth eventually did in the play of
"Macbeth".
 

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