Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Evil. It is a word that has been used for hundreds of years, yet the
meaning is ones interpretation of what is evil. The criteria for an
evil act have changed over the years also. My interpretation of evil
is a very bad or ill act against a person, animal or God. Macbeth,
'dead butcher' and evil man? This essay will discuss this question.

At the start of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a brave soldier, who
would do anything for his king and country. During the opening battle
a picture is built up in the mind of the audience. It is an image that
shows Macbeth as a brave, noble, loyal and strong man. This is achived
through the language Shakespeare uses.

"O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman"

This is just one line that is used to give one an image of 'brave
Macbeth'. The immediate reaction of the audience is that this man
could never be evil.

So a brave soldier, and a loyal man. How could this man become so evil
that it leads to his death? Ambition? Could Macbeth's ambition have
been his fatal flaw? Meeting the witches could have been the cause of
Macbeth's change in character. The three witches predictions that
suggested he would become king meant he had a goal to aim for. It as
this point in the play Macbeth's ambition starts to show through.

"Thou wouldst be great,

Art not without ambition."

Lady Macbeth speaks this line when she reads of the three predictions;
it implies that the ambition to become king is already there in
Macbeth. She is a very powerful influence on Macbeth. She encourages
him on to take the opportunity to become king. The audience has an
uncomfortable ...


... middle of paper ...


... him he feels he is invincible. This shows his change in consequences.
At the start of the play he was just a thane and soldier and now he is
king of Scotland.

Macbeth, although evil, is the 'hero' of the play, and Shakespeare
creates this feeling in the audience, by showing the audience that
Macbeth's still just human and like the people in the audience. He
does this by the fact Macbeth gets killed at the end of the play and
that Macbeth recognises his own flaws.

Macbeth killed his best friend, killed the family of an enemy, and
killed the king who is chosen by God. All evil acts, but is Macbeth
evil? All these acts could have been caused by the witches-it was
believed possession was within the reach of witches. So Macbeth was
either a very evil man or he was a pawn under the control of the women
in the play.

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