“Macbeth” is one of the greatest literary works of William Shakespeare. This play proves why Shakespeare is still the most influential English author. Shakespeare has tried to portray mordant psychosomatic and political effects when people do not hesitate in taking help of evil for fulfilling their aspiration of power. The play is believed to be written in the beginning of the seventeenth century but it still pleases people who love English literature. This paper intends to discuss the “Macbeth” and presents a succinct analysis of the play along with discussing all other related aspects.
The play takes place in the Scotland and revolves around Macbeth, a Scottish general. Macbeth comes to hear a prophecy by three witches that he is destined to be the king of Scotland. After hearing this prophecy, Macbeth becomes overambitious and impatient for being a king. His wife further incites him for making the prophecy true and Macbeth murders the king Duncan. Macbeth transforms into a brutal ruler as he has to commit various murders in order to save his throne.
Macbeth, along with his wife plunges in the pool of a bloodbath once he enters into the dangerous game of power. This bloodbath causes a civil war and ultimately drags Macbeth and his wife into a sphere of insanity and death. Shakespeare portrays how Macbeth is wracked with remorse and suspicion. The author is marvelous in portraying his observations and imaginations. Shakespeare’s bloodiest and shortest tragedy, Macbeth is interpreted in many ways. Many people used to believe it as a cursed and even refused to take the name of this play.
“Macbeth” is one of the most acclaimed plays of William Shakespeare. The play is acclaimed for its realistic portrayal of various social traits. The play portrays human traits and also describes its relation to external powers that may influence human behavior in a substantial manner. William Shakespeare has portrayed contemporary political situation and also highlighted the role of women in the play. He also highlights on the women ambition which is rare in contemporary literature.
Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s only play that is set in the Scotland. A number of people find that the play was written in the times of James I and he is portrayed in the play. Shakespeare describes the political conspiracies and game of power that incited people to kill others. Shakespeare’s play describes contemporary society. Witchcraft was a hot topic in the beginning of seventeenth century and Shakespeare opens his play with the appearance of three witches.
In the period of Shakespeare, witches were considered as bad as rebels. Shakespeare describes them as the most dishonorable traitor. Three witches of “Macbeth” symbolize chaos, clash and darkness. Their presence itself indicates towards the treason and the doom that is going to take place in the future. Shakespeare portrays these witches as political, social, as well as spiritual traitor. Witches have been portrayed as manipulator who can misguide powerful and create chaos (Muir).
Through the play, the author shows how personality or nature of a person get influenced by his desires, external elements, and circumstances. Macbeth killed Duncan, but this action made him paranoid and developed a feeling of guilt. As the plays moves to the end Macbeth becomes a frantic and arrogant person.Lady Macbeth another leading character of the play also shown very determined towards achieving her goals. However, she is not as strong as Macbeth to resists the consequences of her criminal actions(Shakespeare).
Unchecked ambitions another them of the play compelled Lady Macbeth to convince her husband to be strong and kill Duncan. She supported Macbeth in committing all the murders or crimes, but finally she got distracted by the repeated murders. In the play, both characters are driven by the predictions of the witches and committed terrible killings.
Through the play, it is clearly visible how unchecked ambitions drive person to get involve in killing and one killing leads to another, and it is difficult to get stop. Desire of power is so strong that both characters forget the consequences of their actions. They killed people one by one in order to eliminate all the threats that can take throne away from them(Shakespeare).
Shakespeare tried to depict the relationship between masculinity and violence. Lady Macbeth provoked her husband for the murder of Duncan by raising questions on Macbeth manhood. Macbeth also supports the masculinity when he asked his lady to give birth only to boy and not girl. Macbeth hires murderers and motivates them by raising questions on their manhood. These actions show how Macbeth and his lady both follow masculinity and are driven by the aggression(Howell). In the play whenever discussion on manhood occurs, violence also follows(Charles).
In the play, women are main source of violence, aggression and evil. At starting of the play, Witches’ prediction produced desire of the throne in Macbeths’ mind which provoked violent behavior. Going further, Lady Macbeth also encouraged and supported her husband in making plot for the murder of Duncan. In the play women are shown responsible for violence and killing, but male are also equally involved in violence and inclined towards evil like women. The play is considered as misogynistic play by various critics(Gay).
Shakespeare shown women as ambitious, cruel and violent as men for authority and power. The author also tries to show the difference between a king and a tyrant. Duncan was always known as king in the play, but Macbeth becomes tyrant. This difference is shown in the play when Macduff was conversing with Malcolm in Act 4 and scene 3. Malcom said that he will be worse than Macbeth when he will test the loyalty of Macduff. Malcom said that “The king-becoming graces, As justice, verity, temperance, stableness, Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness, patience, courage, fortitude, I have no relish on them”(Shakespeare, p 86).
Macbeth is interpreted by different people in different ways. A number of people have criticized this play because of excessive portrayal of violence and negativity. Critics also suggest that Shakespeare endorses witchcraft and evils. Critics suggest that Shakespeare has portrayed and presented that violence and betrayal can achieve fruitful results which is not a good thing to portray before people. Such things may inspire them to indulge into a negative behavior and damage the society substantially (Walker).
Bravery, superstition, selfishness and betrayal are catered before the readers. They are free to interpret whether they consider this play in positive perspective or negative perspective. Shakespeare has portrayed the idea of confinement and liberty at the same time. He has portrayed superstition and modernism at the same time. Shakespeare indicates that people are free to realize their dreams through their bravery and audacity. This tragic play is a blend of many things and indeed it is meant for people who can think deeply and also with new perspectives (Toshack).
After analyzing the Shakespeare’s play, it can be concluded that William Shakespeare has presented a luminous piece of literary work in form of “Macbeth”. On one hand, Shakespeare portrays contemporary social and political issues while on the other hand, he portrays various characteristics of human behavior. Macbeth is a perfect blend of distorted human psychological and political ambitions. It has been describes that when people are blind due to their ambitions, they are driven by their selfishness. Such people can commit any wrong just to fulfill their dreams.
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