analytical Essay
1304 words
1304 words

History is made up of many time periods, many of these

periods had a certain norm, and a way of thinking that was

accepted and adopted by the majority of the people. In the

Elizabethan/Jacobean time period the notion accepted and in

place at the time was that of a great chain of being. This

notion in which God is at the top, then comes the planets,

the angels, human kind and finally the animal kingdom. In

fact, it was based on psalm 8 and placed God, the

all-powerful being, on the uppermost link of the chain and

gave him all the power. In order for any other being or thing

to possess power he/it could do so only with the permission

of God or in accordance to the will of God. In The Tragedy

of Macbeth, Shakespeare, pushes the concept of

primogeniture and also the fact that the king is put into

power by the will of God and anyone opposing the king

would not only cause a great disturbance in the great chain

of being but would likewise be going against the will of God.

In doing this, is Shakespeare convincing enough or is this

idea hype and without substance? To explore this notion we

must first look at the characters Shakespeare uses to

promote this notion. An obvious character to start with

would have to be the one who is king at the beginning of the

play. Duncan is a righteous king, one who is greatly

respected by many of his subjects. Even the man, who killed

him, did so, not because of Duncan's unjustly ruling but

rather out of personal greed. Before Macbeth's greed for

power consumed him, he praises Duncan during his struggle

with the decision of whether or not to usurp the throne and

in doing so, cause great chaos according to the great chain

of being. We see this when Macbeth says: "… This Duncan

hath born his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his

great office, that his virtues will plead like angels,

trumpet-tongued, against the deep damnation of his taking

off…." Yet in all his greatness and although chosen

supposedly by God, Duncan was only human and possessed

negative qualities as well. The king, Duncan, was not in

battle (along side his Generals), he is at a nearby camp (I: II,

p1). This suggests that the king is dependent of other for his

own protection. We see the naivete that Duncan possesses

when he says: "He was a gentleman on whom I built an

absolute trust." (I: IV; 15-16, p.11) In fact he complete trust

in a man who was in an enemy.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the elizabethan/jacobean time period had a certain norm, and accepted and adopted by the majority of the people.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare pushes the concept of primogeniture and the fact that the king is put intopower by the will of god.
  • Asks whether shakespeare is convincing enough or is thisidea hype and without substance to explore this notion.
  • Analyzes how duncan is a righteous king who is greatly respected by many of his subjects. macbeth praises duncan during his struggle to usurp the throne
  • Analyzes how the king, duncan, was only human and possessed negative qualities. he was not inbattle (with his generals), he is at a nearby camp.
  • Analyzes how duncan's naivete demonstrates his lack in character judgment. duncan, as all humans, has his weaknesses but to impartially judge him we must look at him on a broader spectrum.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare presents his notion of primogeniture when we see theusurped throne as the cause of this chaos.
  • Analyzes how malcolm, the elderson of duncan, is a noble man who is not dependent on others to protect him and may not be the greatest war hero.
  • Analyzes how malcolm reveals acleaver war maneuver that proves to be very successful.
  • Analyzes how the king shows he is a virtuous and noble man when at the end of the play.
  • Analyzes how malcolm, despite his cleverness and royalty ofnature, has his negative qualities. heflees to england because showing unfelt sorrow is anoffice which the false man does easy.
  • Analyzes how malcolm shows little to no emotions but manipulates macduff upon a situation of grief.
  • Analyzes how malcolm manipulates macduff and uses his misfortune toprime him for battle. malcolm is the first born son of duncan, the formerking of scotland.
  • Opines that malcolm starts his reign on a positive note, which leads us to macbeth.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare's notion of primogeniture, influenced by the great chain of being and in turn the elizabethan/jacobean times, is strongly suggested in this novel.
  • Analyzes how malcolm's words lead them to believe that god is punishing macbeth, in accordance with the great chain of being.
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