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

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

Length: 2259 words (6.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Contrasting Evil and Good in Macbeth

- In this essay I will look at the ways that Shakespeare has contrasted evil with good in his play Macbeth. The play revolves around the bad and wicked qualities in human nature, but Shakespeare also contrasts this evil with the power of good. This contrast between good and evil is a recurring theme throughout Macbeth. These contradictions start in the very beginning of the play, with the witches. In Act one, Scene one, line 12, the witches say, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” This is interesting as they are suggesting good and evil as being one....   [tags: evil, good, macbeth, shakespeare,]

Powerful Essays
1653 words (4.7 pages)

Macbeth: The Evil Within Essay

- It is evident from the beginning of the play that Macbeth is sheltering something sinister within him. At that moment, it can only be guessed as to what it is, but as the play moves along this terrible feeling grows and feeds on Macbeth’s paranoia and his disappointment with life as a whole. Macbeth gradually goes on both a literal and figurative life journey, with its disappointments and joys. Strangely, though, Macbeth is not pleased by these accomplishments, and only seeks more. There are multiple characters that either lit the fuse of Macbeth’s ambition, or cut the fuse to make it shorter, thus leading him along the path to evil....   [tags: Macbeth, evil , shakespeare,]

Powerful Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Struggle between Good and Evil; in Macbeth

- Macbeth is without a doubt a play about evil. The play revolves around the bad and wicked qualities in human nature, but Shakespeare also contrasts this evil with the power of good. In this essay I will explore the ways in which Shakespeare contrasted good and evil in Macbeth. These contradictions start in the very beginning of the play, with the witches. In line 12, the witches say, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” This is interesting as they are suggesting good and evil as being one. The witches’ line reflects on human nature as there are fair and foul parts to everyone....   [tags: macbeth, shakespeare, ]

Powerful Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

Gender Stereotypes and Evil in Macbeth Essay example

- In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is often seen as a demonic figure whose evil manipulation causes the murder of Duncan. Indeed, gender is a prominent theme in the play. In this essay, I will argue that Macbeth reflects strict gender expectations and that the protagonists are in turn governed and constrained by these stereotypes. Macbeth also reflects a deep mistrust of women in Shakespeare’s society. With the Renaissance came a rise in education levels in the 16th century among upper and middle class women....   [tags: macbeth, shakespeare, evil, gender, ]

Powerful Essays
1853 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on The Role of Good and Evil in Macbeth

- Good and evil are symbolized by light and darkness in the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare. When there is peace and good, Shakespeare mentions light; whether if it is the sun shining brightly or merely a candle giving light. On the other hand, when there is evil and disorder, he mentions darkness; a shadow or a horrible thunderstorm. Witches are known for evil, chaos, and conflict. Since Witches are known to be evil, whenever they appear, the weather is usually horrible. Shakespeare utilizes light and darkness in order to portray when good or evil will take place....   [tags: Shakespeare, English Literature]

Powerful Essays
745 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Shakespeare 's Macbeth - Macbeth Good And Bad

- Macbeth good and bad Intro: Shakespeare highlights the theme of ambition/violence/guilt/order and disorder through good and bad. In the time era (Jacobean era, 17th century) the regicide of a king or queen is seen as sacrilegious as they are believed to be embodiments of God. Paragraph 1 – the witches: Point: Shakespeare presents the witches as a form of evil in act 1 scene 1; pathetic fallacy sets the scene of darkness and devilish feel in the atmosphere. As of the time ere, witches are seen as very bad, a decent from the devil as well as foretelling the future of Macbeth which makes him think of sacrilegious event of killing king Duncan....   [tags: Macbeth, Murder, Three Witches, Good and evil]

Powerful Essays
725 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Good vs. Evil in Macbeth

- Good vs. Evil in Macbeth The good characters in Macbeth are less interesting than the evil ones. Everybody has an 'evil seed' planted in them. Only the really evil person acts on them and commits something morally wrong. Like Macbeth. When Macbeth first received the prophecies, he actually considered them. " Two truths are told,...but what is not" (line 137-152, Pg 27-29). We see him arguing with himself and feeling disgusted that he even thought that. That was interesting because we get the feeling that something out of the ordinary is coming up and our anticipation gets into the story straightaway....   [tags: Macbeth essays]

Free Essays
912 words (2.6 pages)

Macbeth, By William Shakespeare Essay

- Fate is that one thing you are destined to do that has been designed just for you. Someone of a higher power designed a specific line of events to happen to you. It is all beyond your control, you did not pick your life, someone else gave you that life. Since the beginning, you were named, and everyone around you starts planning what you will become when you get older. You never really pick something for yourself because things “magically” fall into place; an opportunity presents itself and you take it....   [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Macbeth]

Powerful Essays
1211 words (3.5 pages)

Macbeth as a Tale of Evil vs. Good Essay example

- Macbeth as a Tale of Evil vs. Good The tale of Macbeth deals with many themes - some universal, others applying only to the 17th century. Most of these themes are common, and are centre to the drama and intrigue of plays even today. These include love, hate, revenge and power. Shakespeare's plays, however, always had one theme which stood out above the rest. This play delves into one of the oldest literary theme, namely the balance, fight and (ultimately) triumph of Good versus Evil....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
557 words (1.6 pages)

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are Not Evil Essay

- Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are Not Evil Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are good people with poor judgment. It is unfair for Malcolm to describe them as "this dead butcher and his fiend - like queen". In the beginning they are a respected couple sharing a loving relationship. Their downfall is not due to evil, but caused by their ambition for Macbeth, sparked by the witches' prophecy. Macbeth's indecision on whether or not to kill Duncan, and Lady Macbeth's begging of the spirits to take away her feminine qualities, demonstrate that ruthlessness does not come easily to them....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Macbeth Essays]

Powerful Essays
2099 words (6 pages)