Macbeth as a Play About the Conflict Between Good and Evil Essay

Macbeth as a Play About the Conflict Between Good and Evil Essay

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Macbeth as a Play About the Conflict Between Good and Evil

Macbeth is a tragedy, which addresses the inner conflict of people's
morality. Furthermore, it appears Shakespeare's intention was to
portray the modern day attitudes towards religion and the supernatural
of his time. Indeed, the Elizabethan audience the play was written for
would have been devout Christians, and would have had strict beliefs
towards good and evil. The audience was genuinely afraid of evil, and
it was about this time that the Salem witch trials took place, where
witches were executed. Watchers would have regarded the witches with
suspicion and fear, just as Macbeth and Banquo do in the opening
scenes. There is suggestion that this play was written for King James
I, as he had a keen interest in the supernatural and occult ideas.

Evil is shown in two ways throughout this play. We see the fight
between virtue and immorality within characters; through struggles
with their conscience, but they are also shown as forces in the
outside world, which arose from religion, and ideas of Heaven, Hell,
God and the Devil. The theme of evil is shown through unnatural
occurrences, the witches, and within characters. However, the intended
interpretation of whether these occurrences are literal or
metaphorical is ambiguous. For example, the dagger seen by Macbeth
just before his murder of King Duncan might be a vision of his own
mind, or an illusion created by the witches, to spur Macbeth on to
carry out the vicious deed. Whether these things are interpreted
metaphorically or literally depend on whether you think Shakespeare
meant to promote the supernatural aspect of the ...

... middle of paper ...

...ernity of damnation. For this reason he shows remorse, but this
remorse is subdued, and eventually disappears for good. Macbeth
relinquishes any hope of successful repentance, accepting his evil
nature. Praying is also common images used to portray the reliance on
religion. For instance, Banquo says "Cousins, a word, I pray you".

The struggle between good and evil is present throughout 'Macbeth'. In
the end we see good overcoming evil; in the death of main character,
who by the end was an evil figure. We see virtue restored, taking its
place as saviour and leader of humanity. Evil is completely
diminished, and the remaining characters seem pure and valiant, all
embodiments of complete goodness. It must also be said that although
this play was written many years ago, the themes it includes are still
valid in this day.

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