Themes in ‘Macbeth’.
* Disorder introduced with the arrival of the witches in horrible weather. * ‘In thunder, lightning, or in rain?’
* The Thane of Cawdor threatens established order, ironic as the new Thane of Cawdor also betrays the King. * ‘Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,/ The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict’ * The witches prophecies tempt Macbeth into disrupting natural order. * ‘If good, why do I yield to that suggestion,/ Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/ And make my seated heart knock at my ribs/Against the use of nature?’ * Malcolm is named Duncan’s successor, the succession which Macbeth disrupts. * ‘We will establish our estate upon/ Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter’ * A natural host, would be waiting to greet his guest, however, Macbeth is not present at Duncan’s arrival and Duncan questions: * ‘Where’s the Thane of Cawdor?’
* Macbeth has doubts about the murder of Duncan, he is fully aware that he will disrupt natural order if he were to commit the deed. * ‘He’s here in double trust:/ First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,/Strong both against the deed.’ * Lady Macbeth is the agent of change, she persuades Macbeth to go through with the murder, thus creating natural disorder. * When the deed is done, disorder is inevitable.
* ‘I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?’ * Ross and an old man speak of the unnatural occurrences that happened during the night of Duncan’s murder. * ‘By th’clock ‘tis day/ And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp.’ * ‘A falcon tow’ring in her pride of place/ Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and kill’d’ * The appearance of Banquo’s ghost would’ve appeared to audiences of the time as an omen of a world in chaos and disorder. * Macduff and Malcolm test each other’s loyalties. Macduff presents an agent of stability thus instilling natural order. * Macduff restores natural order by killing the...
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