preview

evilmac Variety of Evils in Macbeth

Powerful Essays
Variety of Evils in Macbeth

The tragedy Macbeth by William Shakespeare manifests a rich variety of evils, not only by the main characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, but also by the witches.

Clark and Wright in their Introduction to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare interpret the main theme of the play as intertwining with evil:

While in Hamlet and others of Shakespeare's plays we feel that Shakespeare refined upon and brooded over his thoughts, Macbeth seems as if struck out at a heat and imagined from first to last with rapidity and power, and a subtlety of workmanship which has become instructive. The theme of the drama is the gradual ruin through yielding to evil within and evil without, of a man, who, though from the first tainted by base and ambitious thoughts, yet possessed elements in his nature of possible honor and loyalty. (792)

Roger Warren states in Shakespeare Survey 30 , regarding Trervor Nunn's direction of Macbeth at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1974-75, how the witches represented the evil force of black magic:

Much of the approach and detail was carried over, particularly the clash between religious purity and black magic. Purity was embodied by Duncan, very infirm (in 1974 he was blind), dressed in white and accompanied by church organ music, set against the black magic of the witches, who even chanted 'Double, double to the Dies Irae. (283)

Fanny Kemble in "Lady Macbeth" asserts that Lady Macbeth died as a result of her evil acts:

Lady Macbeth, even in her sleep, has no qualms of conscience; her remorse takes none of the tenderer forms akin to repentance, nor the weaker ones allied to fear, from the pursuit of which the tortured soul, ...

... middle of paper ...

...nk. "Macbeth." The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972.

Knights, L.C. "Macbeth." Shakespeare: The Tragedies. A Collectiion of Critical Essays. Alfred Harbage, ed. Englewwod Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1964.

Lamb, Charles. On the Tragedies of Shakespeare. N.p.: n.p.. 1811. Rpt in Shakespearean Tragedy. Bratchell, D. F. New York, NY: Routledge, 1990.

Mack, Maynard. Everybody's Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.

Warren, Roger. Shakespeare Survey 30. N.p.: n.p., 1977. Pp. 177-78. Rpt. in Shakespeare in the Theatre: An Anthology of Criticism. Stanley Wells, ed. England: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Wilson, H. S. On the Design of Shakespearean Tragedy. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 1957.
Get Access