Essay on William Shakespaeare and the Duality

Essay on William Shakespaeare and the Duality

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Past cultures often showed the dualities of humanity in their stories, their scriptures, and their deities; they all expressed the good and the evil sides of humans. By reading and analyzing these literary works, one can start to understand the true intentions of humanity. William Shakespeare, an English playwright, understood these characteristics that all humans possess, and used his plays show this understanding to the audiences. Shakespeare used the characters of his plays, and their actions to represent the dual human nature of good and evil.
Naturally, human beings are very opportunistic. If humans are faced with a situation that will benefit them, then they will usually take advantage of that situation. In times like this, humans often put aside potential consequences, meaning that the intentional or unintentional destruction of lives, homes, and surroundings do not alter their intentions. This follows accordingly with the Incentive Theory of Motivation which suggests that humans are pulled into action by outside incentives. "Building on the base established by drive theories, incentive theories emerged in the 1940s and 1950s. Incentive theories proposed that behavior is motivated by the "pull" of external goals, such as rewards, money, or recognition." (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2003). In William Shakespeare’s plays, he exemplifies the Theory of Motivation in Macbeth’s rise to power, showing that even the most noble can succumb to the temptations of evil. Celebrated for his loyalty and accomplishments under King Duncan, Macbeth initially represented the noble, good nature of humanity. After learning of Macbeth’s victory over Macdonwald, a sergeant of the King’s army referred to him as “brave Macbeth”, and then said “he de...


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...ation." About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013. This website was used to gain further knowledge on how the incentive theory works, and how it affects people.

"The Lucifer Effect: Why Good People Turn Evil | The Vienna Review." The Vienna Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013. This website was used to determine what factors cause humans to start showing flawed qualities.

"TED Conversations." Is Humanity Inherently Good or Evil? N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013. This TED talk was used to see how others view the dual qualities of good and evil.

Rea, Cornelius, Don H. Hockenbury, and Sandra E. Hockenbury. Study Guide to Accompany Discovering Psychology, Fifth Edition, Don H. Hockenbury, Sandra E. Hockenbury. New York, NY: Worth, 2010. Print. This was used to further the understanding of how the human thought processes are affected by rewards and ego boosts.

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