The Struggle between Good and Evil in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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The Struggle between Good and Evil in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare was born in 1564. He became rich, famous and successful by

writing many plays such as comedies, romantic-love stories and also

tragic and bitter plays. Shakespeare also wrote poems and sonnets, he

then died in 1616. ‘Macbeth’ is a story of witchcraft, murder and

there is an element of evil that can be seen. Here Shakespeare has

written a tragedy.

In the beginning in Act 1 Scene 2, Macbeth has fought against King

Duncan’s enemies. Macbeth is portrayed with a brutal, strong and

courageous image. He is the good Macbeth, honoring his King and

performing a duty to his country.

‘For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name -’

However Shakespeare quickly changes the atmosphere with the three

witches (a sign of evil). In Elizabethan times, the audience would

believe in witchcraft and the prophecies of the witches. Their

prophecies make him believe he can become King Of Scotland, his mind

rapidly becomes corrupt and he starts to think about the power he will

have on the land. ‘If chance will have me king, why chance may crown

me without my stir.’

Later on in the play, Macbeth becomes distorted and he hesitates as he

does not have any children to carry on the name, so he is wondering is

there any point him actually becoming king.

‘Upon my head they plac’d a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter

in my gripe.’

He expresses his feelings in a soliloquy. Here Macbeth has mixed

emotions, as a murder is on his mind however he is extremely

frightened. Here is an example when Macbeth is struggling between good

and evil, he tries to reject the impulse of committing the murder, as

he believes he can leave everything to chance.

‘If chance will have me King, why chance may crown me without my

stir.’

Shakespeare’s language is strong to convey the image of intense

emotions here in Macbeth’s soliloquy. There are examples of

alliteration ‘supernatural soliciting’ and an example of a paradox

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