Evil In Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare

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Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland inspires the well-known playwright of the 16th and 17th centuries, William Shakespeare to construct the masterpiece, The Tragedy of Macbeth. He presents ideas and subjects pleasing to King James I of England at Hampton Court. Shakespeare uses blank verse in this play to tell the story of a tragic hero who suffers a great downfall after the three witches prophesy him to become king. The witch’s deception with their lines “fair is foul and foul is fair” introduces confusion to play goers from the beginning (I.1.12). Throughout the acts the distinction between façade and truth becomes less clear. Shakespeare uses symbols in The Tragedy of Macbeth to portray the relationship between…show more content…
The absence of light often makes an illusion of innocence to the wicked. Lady Macbeth yearns to be queen by way of her husband killing the king as she calls to the murdering ministers, “come, thick night, / … / That my keen knife see not the wound it makes” (I.5.53-55). Not even the thick night can cover up a murderous act, to Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s disappointment. Darkness exemplifies falseness, opposite of light, which typifies truthfulness. The murder of the king, affects the Great Chain of Being, so that even the “dark night strangles the travelling lamp” (II.4.6). The nature of darkness itself epitomizes wickedness and evil, and it tries to annihilate the light after the regicide, but even in the last scene, Macbeth could not extinguish the indissoluble small light of Malcolm, who grows to shine over the dark. Lady Macbeth secretes her malevolent ways with light, testifying her personality of covering reality. The gentlewoman explains to the Doctor the reason Lady Macbeth holds a candle throughout her sleepwalking: “why, it stood by her. She has light by her continually, ‘tis / her command” (V.1.20-21). This ironic statement means that even Lady Macbeth, master of evil, attempts to make others see her as a gentle lady and having verisimilitude, completely contradicting her true self. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth try to brighten their dark lives with a fake light…show more content…
Macbeth’s hallucination of a dagger signifies how Macbeth, not only misleads others around him, but he also deceives himself to take action and kill King Duncan. During Macbeth’s first soliloquy, he cries, “is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee” right before killing the sleeping king (II.1.33-34). Macbeth convinces himself that a regicide is lawful, by hallucinating a dagger ready for him to use, and by doing so he diminishes the dreadfulness of murder by making it seem necessary because he must fulfill the witches prophesy for him to be king. Macbeth envisions the ghost of Banquo, and that distorted appearance reveals the truth of Macbeth’s compunctious. During the banquet that takes place after Banquo’s murder, Macbeth yells to the ghost of the man he kills, “thou canst not say I did it; never shake / Thy gory locks at me!” (III.4.50-51). Macbeth’s reaction to Banquo’s ghost divulges his perturbed character, presenting the idea that the murderer hides his identity. Macbeth’s vision of the apparition of a crowned-child holding a branch indicates that an actual event can happen even through a seemingly impossible prophesy. During Macbeth’s second visit to the witches, they foretell that “Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until / Great Birnam Wood to high Duninsane Hill / Shall come against him” (IV.1.91-93). Macbeth believes the woods

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