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Theme Of Witchcraft In Macbeth

Satisfactory Essays
Macbeth is a Shakespearean tragedy play that was set up in a socio political context when people greatly believed in witches and witch craft. In essence, the audience’s perception of witches’ nature was seen to manipulate and deceive. This essay will attempt to highlight on major themes that influenced Macbeth’s choices within the events of the play that lead him to his demise. The points that will be covered in this essay is firstly; Ambition vs Moral constraints. Secondly, the role of gender in society and how it is depicted in the play and thirdly, versions of reality.
William Shakespeare uses the super natural in his plays for it was a very popular belief within his socio-political time, (The Burning Times). “The practice of witchcraft was seen to subvert the established order of religion and society” (Direct Cinema, 1990), thus suggesting that the witches had total influence over Macbeth, however, before the prophecies were said, the witches start off by saying “Fair is foul and foul is fair”, meaning that what is good to the common man, is bad to the witches and what’s bad to the common man, is good to the witches. This theme reflects in the events in the play when Macbeth has to do immoral acts over and over to cover the previous one for his benefit to reach victory, when in actual fact the power hunger-driven immoral doings, catch up to him and eventually lead him to his demise; what seemed to be good to Macbeth (which was actually bad), would have been bad to the witches (which was actually good). This proves that the witches were actually telling the truth in their prophecy telling and instead, it was Macbeth who deceived himself into thinking otherwise of the prophecy (Not interpreted them as riddles) and allowed his tr...

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...ety by disregarding gender (wishing she could be “unsexed” and taking the role of a man) and wishing that her heart would be cruel and distasteful. She is fully aware of her power and influence over Macbeth and aggressively uses manipulation and deception to push him into doing an immoral act (such as the witches) to achieve her ambition. Her strategy and will-power indirectly goes in line with the witches. William Shakespeare intentionally made the female characters analogous to one another to foreground the issue that woman in the Elizabethan society can also be ambitious, cruel and maleficent just as men. It displays the act of woman having influential power over men, yet again, mankind is given the free will to choose how to deal with certain causes. The definition of masculinity in the play reflects on political order which then escalates to violence and chaos.