Macbeth

An analysis of the central conflict in Macbeth

The play Macbeth is renowned for the conflicts; not only between the characters themselves, but also between the forces of good and evil. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are antitheses of each other: Macbeth moves from being the good subject of King Duncan to his murderer, while Lady Macbeth has evil intentions, but becomes good at the end. The central conflict of the play Macbeth is about the struggle between good and evil.

Two main events happen in the play Macbeth. There are two parts to the play; a good side and a bad, which in the film the characters show incredibly well. This was clear when Lady Macbeth tried to convince Macbeth to commit the murder of Duncan “I am in blood, stepp’d in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go’er” (Act 3, Scene 4). In this quote Macbeth is speaking. Lady Macbeth is with him but I don’t think he is actually talking to her. Macbeth is very confused,frantic and paranoid. He just saw Banquo’s ghost and ruined his banquet by showing his insanity to his guests.  The good side is shown by the happy events where there is no killing or fighting. For example in the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Duncan were not against each other.  On the other hand, the bad side features lots of gruesome killing, death and signs of evil activity. For example, the bad sign are bats and the dark “Is this a dagger which I see before me” (Act 2, Scene 1, line 33). On the other hand, the good side has signs like love, peace, and sunlight. “The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan

Under my battlements. Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here.” (Act 1, Scene 5).

Macbeth is the evil person who learns to kill easily. Macbeth is a character in the play that quickly develops a hobby of killing people. He wants to kill Duncan who is the king so that Macbeth can become the monarch. Macbeth is very confident in killing Duncan but when gets nervous Lady Macbeth convinces him to kill. Half way through the play Macbeth kills Duncan in his castle and quickly kills the two guards who were guarding Duncan. He had no fear in killing Duncan and was not worried because Lady Macbeth encouraged him. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to not kill Duncan because then if he does there will be blood and everyone would be frightened and make a huge hassle about it.

“O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven,
It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t—
A brother’s murder. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will”. (Act 3, Scene 3, lines 36-39).

Lady Macbeth helps Macbeth by encouraging him to not give up and kill Banquo.

Duncan is the good king who rules fairly. There are other characters who are also good; Macduff, Malcolm, Donalbain and Banquo. Duncan is a character in the play that is not as certain as Macbeth is to killing. He is not a person who likes to kill people; he is a friendly type of person. Macbeth is Duncan’s cousin and wants to kill Duncan. He is the king of Scotland, who is sensitive, generous and insightful. “Better, be with the dead than on the torture of the mind to lie in restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave. After life’s fitful fever, he sleeps well. Treason has done his worst. Nor steel, nor poison, malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing can touch him further.”#.  In the play there are not a lot of good characters , most of the characters are evil and were murderers. In the play there were a lot of images of nature that represented a symbol. For example the positive kind is the sun that is a symbol of happiness, energy, and peace. Another example is the Forest which is a symbol of good.

There are two main areas of interest in this play; the conflict between the characters and the battle between good and evil. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are very different. At the beginning of the play, they are very close but after Banquo is murdered, their relationship falls apart.

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Bibliography (MLA citation)

  1. http://www.123helpme.com/search.asp?text=Macbeth “Macbeth’s Guilt.” 123HelpMe.com. 27 Nov 2012
  2. “Shakespeare’s Macbeth – Lady MacBeth.” 123HelpMe.com. 27 Nov 2012 <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=17209> (visited on November 22 2012)
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macbeth (visited on November 25 2012)
  4. http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/smells-heaven

Responsibility for the events in Macbeth

Introduction:
Macbeth is an infamous play written by William Shakespeare revolving around a person named “Macbeth” who is turned into a murdering dictator. But much attention has been brought on whether Macbeth was influenced by his wife to the point of committing and participating in critical events throughout the play. Macbeth’s curse is caused by three witches and many people say that in reality there are four including his wife, Lady Macbeth. Throughout the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have multiple conversations either agreeing or to the majority disagreeing with each other. During the play it gets very interesting to perceive on whether Macbeth is making his decisions on his own or whether he is being pressured and bullied into doing things he does not want to do by his own wife [example: He feels he will not want to kill a certain important someone in the play but after hearing how weak of a person he is and how he is not a real man from his wife he soon changes the tide towards Lady Macbeth’s favour.]. Throughout my written essay I will be discussing important scenes in which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth make dramatic decisions and I will help you understand why Lady Macbeth is the detonation code to Macbeth’s time ticking bomb.

Body:
It all starts when Macbeth had just received a prestigious award and is followed on by a promotion to the thane of Cawdor. He returns to his beloved wife in which she brings up the topic related to murdering the king while he stays over for the night. This is the conversation that proceeds.

Macbeth: “We will proceed no further in this business: He hath honour me of late; and I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, Not cast aside so soon.”
Lady Macbeth: “Was the hope drunk Wherein you dress’d yourself? hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale At what it did so freely? From this time Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act and valor As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem; Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,” Like the poor cat i’ the adage? From viewing this conversation I was able to analyze it and shorten the wording for easier understanding.
Macbeth: “We are definitely not going to kill Duncan. I already have a great reputation and the last thing we need is for it to be lost so soon”.
Lady Macbeth: “Did you wake up strange this morning? Are you still the strong, proud, fearless man I used to know? Are you seriously going to give up the “A” class life simply because of your mindset of “I will never” overpowering your “I would”? Have you become useless?”

From viewing and analyzing this early conversation between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth I notice that Macbeth’s sanity surfaces and tells him not to kill Duncan. Then Lady Macbeth intervenes and explains that there is no point of thinking twice about it and how it is a opportunity.
She ends up manipulating Macbeth to the point in which he feels very guilty and pressured by his own wife. Macbeth eventually proceeds towards killing King Duncan and chaos is soon to be brought into the picture.

Following upon the murder of Duncan, the situation between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth escalates towards another tense, strange situation. When Macbeth returns blood covered, he is in the state of shock and cannot believe what he was done.[Note: during the play blood is shown as a theme of all the lives wasted. It is used many times to show how often people are being murdered. The ratio works easily: Lots of blood equals Lots of wasted lives] Macbeth follows on with speaking towards lady Macbeth in fear and guilt.

Macbeth: “I’ll go no more: I am afraid to think what i have done; Look on’t again i dare no”.
Lady Macbeth: “Inform of purpose! Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead Are but as pictures: ’tis the eye of childhood That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed, I’ll gild the faces of the faces of the grooms withal, For it must seem their guilt”.

In this situation you can clearly see that Macbeth is feeling guilty and shameful for murdering Duncan. He explains to Lady Macbeth that he will stop what he has done and right in the moment Lady Macbeth once again pounces to ensure that Macbeth does not deviate from his path of planned murder. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that she will go “finish the job” with the daggers in order to cover up the situation for which it blames the murder on the servants. Lady Macbeth makes a comment during this scene stating “the sleeping and the dead Are but as pictures” this is a very interesting comment because it reveals Lady Macbeth’s sociopathic tendencies which leads to another reason to how Lady Macbeth can easily be accountable for many of the deaths throughout the play.

After most of the main events, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have a one of many little calm and relaxed conversations. They act and give the impression that they earned their social class while trying to deceive each other that everything is fine.
Macbeth: “Ourself will mingle with society, And play the humble host. Our hostess keeps her state; but, in best time, We will require her welcome.”
Lady Macbeth: “Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends; For my heart speaks they are welcome.”

In this small conversation Macbeth and Lady Macbeth speak as if everything is fine and nothing ever happened. They explain to each other that they must befriend the politicians, people, society in general in order to permanently cover up their terrible secrets. When comparing this scene with the first scene (The murder of Duncan) Macbeth has been influenced by Lady Macbeth that he sounds completely like a new person. Going from Macbeth (After murdering king Duncan) “I’ll go no more: I am afraid to think what I have done” to Lady Macbeth (After all the events and constant influence from Lady Macbeth) “Ourself will mingle with society and play the humble host”, Macbeth seems to have completely forgotten what has happened and is trying to deal with accepting the situation and figuring out a way to live with the belief that everything is “okay”. Lady Macbeth had eventually succeeded in poisoning the mind of Macbeth. Changing the mindset of an individual to change for the worst was known as witchcraft, which once again leads to the discussion of lady Macbeth being the “fourth witch”.

Conclusion:
Lady Macbeth was the real culprit for influencing Macbeth to do terrible deeds throughout the play. One could consider that Macbeth had a choice before committing the terrible crimes and, for that reason, he is the only one completely responsible for his actions. From early on in the play, it becomes clear that Macbeth is not completely convinced of his planned actions, although he is ambitious and wants to be king. Instead of convincing her husband about what is right, she spurs him on to evil actions. During the first conversation between this couple, Lady Macbeth gets Macbeth into the mindset that killing the king would lead to power and success. When Macbeth starts to doubt the decision, she manipulates him and influences him into eventually proceeding into murdering King Duncan. After Macbeth murdered Duncan, he is very afraid for his fate and expresses to Lady Macbeth that he cannot believe what he had done. In the heat of the moment, lady Macbeth practically tells him to grow up and explains that if he does not finish the job, then she will do it herself. In my opinion, from viewing the dialogue between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, I believe that during every moment of hesitation in which Macbeth had, whether it was doing simple task or deciding to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth was always there to give him that extra push; that extra jump of confidence to the point of making Macbeth himself believe that what he is doing is “okay” and there will be no major consequences.

Towards the end of the play, Lady Macbeth ends up committing suicide due to her insanity; not being able to withstand the memories of the moments in which blood had been spilled. One might make the argument that Macbeth influenced Lady Macbeth to commit suicide through decisions that lead to innocent lives being taken.  In my opinion, however, it is never how much the fire burned or how large it became, its all about how the fire was started.

Bibliography:
<>http://www.worldwatch.org/node/1060> (visited November 27, 2012)

‘Dramatic Irony’ in the play Macbeth

Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of a character in a piece of literature has a different meaning for the reader as opposed to the character. This stylistic device plays an important role in the play Macbeth through emphasizing deception, corruption and conspiracy.

This is apparent when the three haggard, old witches enter the scene and offer the protagonist, Macbeth, life-altering prophecies. Although he does not realize it yet, Macbeth’s ambition is fueled by the foretelling that he will become the Thane of Cawdor, and later, the King of Scotland.  Ultimately, this leads to his downfall.

It is not only Macbeth that is influenced by the dramatic irony.  Duncan’s fate is also influenced by his relationship with Macbeth. He is unknowingly making decisions which will lead to his own death. When Duncan decides to spend the night at Macbeth’s castle, he feels that there is a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. He drops his guard and is not on the lookout for danger; but is in actual fact providing them with the ideal opportunity to kill him.

Dramatic Irony creates tension, which allows us to sense the events unfolding before our eyes. In the opening scene of the play, the witches reveal the terrible events that are to follow (the battle, the deception and the murders). Meeting the witches and hearing their prophecies, Macbeth’s greed is revealed (which, ironically, will result in his downfall).

Macbeth is now set on a path of increasing greed, need and reliance on power; he is becoming a power hungry person. The changes are remarkable: in the beginning of the play, Macbeth served the king; yet, later he is the one that murders the king. The changes in Lady Macbeth’s character are also due to his influence on Lady Macbeth.  When we first meet her, Lady Macbeth is kind, but turns evil. It is also ironic that she is the one that mainly influenced Macbeth to go on a murderous rampage.  It is also ironic that the king arrives at her castle to stay for the night.  However, she ended up committing suicide because she could not bear the burden of all the bloodshed.

Armin, Ali and Shant

‘Dramatic Irony’ in Macbeth

Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of a character in a piece of literature has a different meaning for the reader as opposed to the character. This stylistic device plays an important role in the play Macbeth through emphasizing deception, corruption and conspiracy.
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This is apparent when the three haggard old witches enter the scene and offer the protagonist, Macbeth, life-altering prophecies. Although he does not realize it yet, Macbeth’s ambition is fed by the foretelling that he will become the Thane of Cawdor, and later, the King of Scotland.  Ultimately, this leads to his downfall.
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Dramatic irony is not only reflected in the character of Macbeth. Duncan’s fate is also influenced by his relationship with Macbeth. He is unknowingly making decisions which will lead to his death. When Duncan decides to spend the night at Macbeth’s castle, he feels that there is a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. He drops his guard and is not on the lookout for danger but is in actual fact providing them with the ideal opportunity to kill him.
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Dramatic Irony creates tension, which allows us to sense the events unfolding before our eyes. The first scene of the play roughly depicts the motives of the witches. With each prophecy mentioned, it is evident that Macbeth is slowly becoming more greedy. When he meets with the witches for the first time, they reveal the horrible events that are to follow (the battle, the deception, and the murders). The earliest example of dramatic irony is when Macbeth is named the new Thane of Cawdor. When the message is delivered to Macbeth, we await the reaction he has to it. Thus, one can tell that part of the witches’ prophecy has been seen already.
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With each event that passes, the suspense builds up and the tensions tighten. Dramatic irony plays a key role towards what happens with every event. Due to Macbeth’s power-hungry attitude, it is clear to the audience that he is greatly influenced by dramatic irony. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth was faithful to the king. Yet, his faithfulness soon fades when he decides to murder the man who is before him; King Duncan. When all is said and done, it is easily noticed that dramatic irony is one of the main reasons leading to Macbeth’s actions.
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As well as Macbeth himself, dramatic irony can also be found in the actions of his wife, Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is a crucial influence on Macbeth because she manipulates events to bring about the plot to kill Duncan. Thereafter, she committed suicide because she could not handle all the bloodshed from her husband’s murderous rampage – dramatic irony as she brought about her own downfall through her actions.

My outline: ‘Dramatic Irony’ in Macbeth

Introduction:
Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of a character in a piece of literature has a different meaning for the reader as opposed to the character. This stylistic device plays an important role in the play Macbeth through emphasizing deception, corruption and conspiracy.
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This is apparent when the three haggard old witches enter the scene and offer the protagonist, Macbeth, life-altering prophecies. Although he does not realize it yet, Macbeth’s ambition is fed by the foretelling that he will become the Thane of Cawdor, and later, the King of Scotland. Ultimately, this leads to his downfall.
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It is not only Macbeth that is influenced by the dramatic irony. Duncan’s fate is also influenced by his relationship with Macbeth. He is unknowingly making decisions which will lead to his death. When Duncan decides to spend the night at Macbeth’s castle, he feels that there is a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. He drops his guard and is not on the lookout for danger but is in actual fact providing them with the ideal opportunity to kill him.
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Dramatic Irony creates tension, which allows us to sense the events unfolding before our eyes.Opening scene of the play on the beach is a perfect example of dramatic irony. The witches reveal the terrible events that are to follow (the battle, the deception and the murders)When Macbeth meets the witches and we see his greed for the first time. This is one of the first situations related to irony. Macbeth is known as the all great loyal soldier and ends up getting advice from witches who have always been known for sinister, evil related aspects.
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Dramatic irony encourages Macbeth on becoming a power hungry person. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth served the king. Yet, later he is the one that murders the king!

Lady Macbeth is kind at the beginning but turns evil. It is ironic that the king arrives at her castle to stay for the night thinking he’s in safety when in reality he’s in a lot of danger of Macbeth. She is the one that mainly influenced and convinced Macbeth to go on a murderous rampage. Though, she ended up committing suicide because she could not handle all the bloodshed. This is a perfect example of Dramatic Irony, it presents the the main plan of Lady Macbeth and ends up turning it against her.

Conclusion:
Dramatic Irony is a vital component in Macbeth. It had a large influence in changing the mindset of the audience and also of the characters within the play. At certain points it could easily switch the mood and presentation of a certain scene. Whether its making a Macbeth type character believe he is doing something to benefit himself only to find out its the road towards his death, Dramatic Irony will always have a role to play during famous plays such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth.When doing a recap on how when Duncan thought he was safe when he was not, when lady Macbeth was so enticed with the idea of murder only to end up committing suicide due to the mental impact of killing another, without Dramatic Irony the play of Macbeth would not have been so intriguing and interesting as it was developed to be. This is why Dramatic Irony was important in creating an intense conclusion to the play.

Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth

Why is it bad luck to say Macbeth in a theatre?

Shakespeare used real witches’ curses in his text and this is where the bad luck came from. Many things have happened to people who said the word; for example heart attacks, death, suicide and fainting. Some person in the audience was sitting and said the word and the actor’s sword slipped out of his hand and had killed the person watching.

If you want to break the curse there are two things you can do. The standard curse breaking methods are to recite a line from another Shakespearean play usually something with a reference to heavenly powers. Another way to break the curse is to spin around three times, say a curse word and spit over your shoulder. Or you can leave the theatre, turn around three times and wait until you’re invited back inside.