An Exploration of Evil and Its Development Within William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Powerful Essays
An Exploration of Evil and Its Development Within William Shakespeare's Macbeth

'Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural events'

Macbeth, one of the most ingenious plays ever written that expresses

the power of good against evil. It is a gloomy tale of a Scottish

general's murderous ascension to the throne, aided by supernatural

prophecies and a scheming wife whose lust for power eclipses his own,

and has precious few good things to say about the human race. In this

essay I will exemplify the exploration of evil and malevolence and its

development within the Macbeth play.

In Elizabethan times, there used to be a natural order and a way of

life. It was called the Elizabethan World Picture. This is a chain of

command starting from the most divine beings at the apex and the most

to the earthly at the base of the chain; everyone had a place, and a

role to fulfil. All the creatures of the Universe were arranged in

their proper order. At the top was the initiator of all and sundry,

god. Below him was the divinely appointed King. The importance of the

King cannot be over-estimated: on him rest the fate of the state.

Below the King, and deriving their power from him in proper feudal

order, came Earls, Dukes, fundamentally the top Churchmen and all the

rest of the aristocracy, all the way down to the customary common folk

and the servants, below the servants were peasants and the beggars at

the foundation of the sequence. This was the hierarchical structure of

society and when this is broken in the play, so is the natural order

of the world and unnatural and evil things become to occur.

Shakespeare shows when the rightful place of things is u...

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...cribed using dark imagery.

Scotland it self was in shambles when Macbeth ruled, it all

represented the evil.

Scotland under the rule of Macbeth is described as, "shrouded in

darkness", by Malcolm..

'Sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rent the air'. Scotland All these

descriptions of Scotland portray Scotland as a place where the agents

of darkness have shrouded the land.

In conclusion, there is a big comparison between the beginning and the

end of the play. In the beginning, Macbeth was Valiant; Lady Macbeth

was pure and sweat-hearted, Scotland was in peace and natural order

was rightfully in place. At the end of the play, Macbeth had become a

tyrant, Lady Macbeth had died and was cruel and sadistic and Scotland

was described as 'shrouded in darkness.' In the end, the Evil reigns

supreme over the good.