Analysis Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare

1083 words - 5 pages

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

Critic A. Quiller-Couch states that ...view middle of the document...

They voice Macbeth’s secret desire to become king of

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 suffering. The play reflects the Elizabethan
concept of world or social order… that a strong and just ruler was
essential to keep social order. It explores the battle between good
and evil, order and disorder. Violated nature demands retribution and
order is only restored when Macbeth is slain. Both Macbeth and Lady
Macbeth suffer savage retribution proportional to the crimes they

J.M. Gregan describes the play as the “most concise and moving account
in our literature of a man’s decline into evil… Macbeth’s clear
sighted recognition of the stages of his moral decline, his capacity
to convey his situation with vigor and vividness and what have
sustained the play”. Macbeth states “I am in blood stepped in so far
that should I wade no more/ returning was as tedious as go o’er’.
Although Macbeth hesitates a brutal murderer in order to retain his
power and gain...

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