Macbeth-Nature of Evil
Macbeth explores the nature of evil by the gradual change in the environment and the people within the play.Various factors of individuals, society and politics and supernatural themes contribute to the nature of evil.Individuals and Supernatural influences cause Macbeth to become king of Scotland and his reign affects social and political factors.
Macbeth was a Scottish general and Thane of Glamis, a loyal, brave man who turned into a murderer and traitor in order to become King of Scotland.
In Macbeth , dramatic irony is used to create suspense and tension; it keeps the audience anticipating the reaction of the people and consequences. It is used in Act 1 Scene 4, “There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust”, after Duncan had said this, talking about trusting the thane of Cawdor, coincidentally Macbeth appears, a man who ultimately kills King Duncan. Macbeth is a man whose evil is influenced by Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth and is the driving force behind Macbeths’ goals.
The metaphor of a container is used to describe Lady Macbeths desire to be filled with cruelty, the technique helps the audience gain a strong mental image and idea. It is shown in the quote, In act 1 scene 5 “Under my battlements. Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood, stop up th’access and passage to remorse”, she wants to get rid of her feminine nature and emotions so she is prepared for the murder.
Rhetorical questions are often used by Lady Macbeth in order to taunt, manipulate and persuade Macbeth into killing Duncan. Lady Macbeth can be seen as a very ruthless, ambitious woman who seeks power. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth go against their natures to commit evil deeds and how they handle it shows how evil they are. The technique used was symbolism of blood, which represents treachery, violence but also guilt as well, Lady Macbeth’s subconscious hand scrubbing is outward manifestation of her inner guilty. The quote in act 5 scene 1, “Out damned spot!
Out I say! One-Two-…….. Yet who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him? ” is from Lady Macbeth when she is being consumed by the guilt of Duncan’s’ murder. Different to Lady Macbeth, Macbeth seems to become imbalanced, and lose his sense of what is right and wrong, hence he orders the murder of more people. In political matters, Macbeth needed to get rid of any threat that could affect his status. The technique used was soliloquy which shows the audience the characters innermost thoughts and allows access to their emotions.
In act 3 scene 1, soliloquy is used in the quote, “Our fears in Banquo; stick deep, and in his royalty of nature, Reigns that which would be fear’d: ’tis much he dares…Whose being I do fear; and under him, My genius is rebuk’d, as it is said, Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. “, It shows how Macbeth fears that Banquo’s sons will become future kings. Macbeth needed to get rid of threats and so he arranges murderers to kill Banquo and Macduff’s family. Macbeth is killing, not out of guilt but of panic and rage since he only cares to secure his position as king. When Macbeth reigns over Scotland as King, society began to fall apart.
The technique of personification is used to make the situation more dramatic and to convey a certain mood. The quote from Malcolm in Act 4 scene 3, “ I think our country sinks beneath the yoke. It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash is added to her” shows the effect of Macbeth’s tyrannical rule over Scotland. People of society are living in fear since they can’t talk about Macbeth or they will be seen as a traitor and killed, this happens in some countries where you could get imprisoned or killed for badmouthing the government, people have a lack of freedom of speech.
Macbeth pursues the throne because of the powers associated with it and is so focused on retaining the throne that he ignores the responsibilities of a king. Macduff, along with other nobles prepares a rebellion, it shows the extent of political and social disruption in Scotland due to Macbeth’s evil. The technique used is symbolism of having correct social order restore with the removal of Macbeth. The quote in act 3 scene 6, “ we may again give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights, free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives do faithful homage and receive free honors all which we pine now. shows a conversation between Lord and Lennox and it refers to Macduffs’ visit to the English king to make a military campaign against Macbeth so that life returns to normal. Killing the king has a dramatic impact on social order of society, since without a king there must be a new one, but since Macbeth is evil, society is in a state of imbalance because he got that position by evil means. The three witches are pure evil, and their prophecies are the cause of treachery and murder in Macbeth’s mind. The technique of foreshadowing is used to make a reference to an earlier event, so the audience knows that the prophecies were true.
The quote ‘All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! ’ is from the witches in act 1 scene 3, it is the first prophecy which initiates Macbeth’s dark ambition after it becomes true. The witches’ prophecies tempt Macbeth’s dark desires for power; however they do not force or interfere with his evil acts. The witches’ ugly, androgynous appearance, bizarre potions and rhymed speech immediately denotes the supernatural. Banquo’s ghost makes an appearance at the banquet, capturing the attention of Macbeth. The technique of foreshadow of Macbeth’s downfall reveals his guilty to the people at the party.
The quote from Ross in Act 3 scene 4, “Gentlemen, rise, his highness is not well. ” is said after Macbeth sees Banquo and speaks nonsense, people thought something was wrong with him. Ghosts are generally linked with the supernatural, as they are spirits of the deceased person, they could possess and haunt people. It is not known whether Banquo was a ghost or hallucination due to Macbeth’s overwhelming guilt. The witches and Banquo’s ghost are both supernatural and manifestations of evil in different ways. Banquo’s ghost haunting Macbeth at the banquet was a reminder of the murder, resulting in his unrest soul.
The witches are dark agents who tell prophecies that provide temptation for Macbeth to commit evil deeds and come to them for help thus leading him to the dark side. Nature of evil in the play Macbeth is conveyed through political, social, supernatural contexts. Lady Macbeth and the witches have an influence on Macbeth, resulting in him committing evil deeds to become king. This however has a political and social effect on the people of Scotland, and supernatural events are often re-occurring throughout the play as an integral part to telling the story.