Macbeth Essay Techniques and Power

In: English and Literature

Submitted By LegendDan70
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‘Shakespeare is interested in the essentials of human nature, holding a mirror up to our humanity’

Shakespeare understood humanity in a way that no other playwright before him had ever explored. Harold Bloom, a prominent Shakespeare authority and literary critic, contends that Shakespeare invented personality and human nature as we know it today.

Up until Shakespeare, there was a “villain”, a “hero”, a “fool” and an “innocent” and the audience knew right away which was which. Shakespeare didn’t write “heroes” and “villains.” He wrote real people with real flaws, who were all equally capable of committing good and evil.

One of the most important themes in Macbeth involves the witches' statement in Act 1, Scene1 that "fair is foul and foul is fair." (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 10) This phrase aptly describes the macabre status quo within the character Macbeth and without. When Macbeth and Banquo first see the weird sisters, Banquo is horrified by their hideous appearances. Conversely, Macbeth immediately began to converse with these universally known evil creatures. After hearing their prophecies, one can say that Macbeth considered the witches to be "fair" when in reality their intentions were quite "foul." Macbeth's possession of the titles of Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland came by foul means. Macbeth became the Thane of Glamis by his father Sinel's death; he became Thane of Cawdor when the former namesake was executed for treason; and he was ordained King of Scotland after murdering the venerable Duncan. Thus, Macbeth has a rather ghastly way of advancing in life.

This theme is further verified by King Duncan's statement "There's no art/ To find the mind's construction in the face." (Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 11-12) Although Macbeth has the semblance of the amicable and dutiful host, ("fair") he is secretly plotting Duncan's death…...

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