Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth


In this essay I shall look at ho evil is portrayed in Shakespeare's
Macbeth. I believe evil is the first step on Macbeth's road to
destruction and turns him into the bloody tyrant he becomes.

The main evil wrong doing in the play is the murder of the innocent
king Duncan. Evil is also presented in the form of the witches who
influence Macbeth to stray from all goodness. Macbeth becomes tricked
by their wicked ways, which cause him to act without values. Lady
Macbeth is also a key figure in the play. She renounces her femininity
and lets evil take over helping her drive Macbeth along with the
witches. Shakespeare also uses metaphorical language and imagery of
animals; birds in particular to represent evil. Shakespeare contrasts
wickedness with innocence to make the brutality of the play appear
worse.

It is clear from the start of the play that the witches are important,
in just the first scene before they say anything the atmosphere is
already set as evil. They meet on a moor in thunder and lightning,
which grabs the audience's attention. These surroundings portray evil;
the moor is lonely, barren and bleak, whilst thunder and lightning
assist in creating a supernatural image to place the witches.

The witches have short lines, which are written in rhyme making their
words seem like a chant.

The language of the witches displays their hatred of all things good,
their rhyming couplets contradict each other and emphasises the
witches evil:

Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.

This quotation is a warning and hint to the audience that things are
...


... middle of paper ...


...iscussed the most relevant points,
I have come to the conclusion that the most important portrayal of
evil has to be the three witches. I believe they create the first step
onto Macbeth's road of destruction. There is a strong contrast on
Macbeth's character before and after he meets the witches. They change
him from a hero to the traitor he is at the end of the play. They
plant the seed of evil inside him; Lady Macbeth nurtures that seed
until it can thrive on its own. We cannot however blame all of
Macbeth's actions on the witches and Lady Macbeth. He got caught up in
a craze for power and ambition and the witches simply drove his
desires. I do not think Macbeth was entirely to blame for his actions
because we can see that without prompting he would not have killed
Duncan and therefore taken no steps in his downfall.

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