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| Words: 1302 | Submitted: 28-Jun-2011
98.2% | Number of pages: 3 | Filetype: Word .doc
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Shakespeare was a fine dramatist and story teller, but he was not a historian. He realized however that a historical event could provide him with superb material to be transformed into plays. For Macbeth he looked to the historian Holinshed who wrote the chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1587.
In act 1, Macbeth appears to the reader, audience and other characters as a successful general, described as a brave and respected soldier by his king and his fellow soldiers. He has one significant flaw in his character and that is ambition. It is the ambition that leads him to kill the rightful king of Scotland and the evil of this murder has powerful effects on him and the whole country. Macbeth knows what he has done is evil and initially he is thrown into a moral quandary, but eventually the temptation is too strong.
The witches play upon Macbeth's weakness and so does his equally ambitious wife; Lady Macbeth he allows them to undermine his integrity. Macbeth thinks that the supernatural powers of the witches will help him, but instead they led him to ruin. Macbeth's down fall is really his own fault because he makes a deliberate choice to take the road to evil. He is responsible for all the murders that he has committed.
At the end of the play Macbeth has changed from the "Noble Macbeth" to a "butcher" and a "bloody tyrant" hated by everyone.
Macbeth is a strong character and he is fully aware of the good he has rejected. He is a fascinating character because he is much more than just a horrible monster. It is possible to feel repelled by the evil in Macbeth but at the same time the reader can also feel sorry for the waste of all the good things in his character.
The play has a tight and compact structure and all the action centers on Macbeth. The reader and audience are granted access to Macbeth's thoughts through a series of illuminating soliloquies in which he shares his dilemma and future plans with the audience. As a result we feel very close to this protagonist.
Macbeth and Banqou are both worthy thanes, both great warriors, both loyal to the king. Most importantly they both encounter the witches and their prophecies. It is the reaction to and subsequent development of, these prophecies which provides the starkest contrast between Macbeth and Banqou. And which is thematically essential to the exploration of the whole idea of evil, temptation, corruption and free will.
Banqou notes Macbeth reaction to the prophecies spotting ‘fear’. He orders the witches to address him. Importantly, he see precisely how dangerous such prophecies might be: how they might “win ...
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