Diploma exam topic – January 2011
(Discuss the ideas developed by the text creator in your chosen text about the conflict between pursuing a personal desire and choosing to conform)
Macbeth is a dramatic play that displays a strong emphasis on the effects from personal desires and choices made by characters. The play does not solely focus on the judgement made by Macbeth, other characters within the play are also developed and exhibit new motives or personalities as a result of poor decision making. Ranging from the desire to murder a man or to follow witch’s prophecies in a quest for personal benefit, the characters will have to conform to the consequences of their decisions – William Shakespeare exemplary demonstrates the power of corruption in society. With that said, the characters in Macbeth did not thoroughly contemplate their actions, thus leading to their downfall. Whether characters had made harmful rulings due to their irrational thinking or because they were caught up in the moment – Shakespeare stresses the theme of conflict between pursuing a personal desire and choosing to conform vastly within the play.
The play’s protagonist goes under the name of Macbeth – a name that should be known by all as he effectively ended a war by personally slaying the traitor Macdonwald in battle. This act of bravery effectively earned him the foundation of his fame, becoming renowned throughout Scotland and to be praised as an idol, of sorts. However, when he meets a group of witches named the Weird Sisters “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man that function Is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is But what is not.” (1.3.9) Macbeth jumps into conclusions that he has to kill king Duncan in order to become king, but the witches didn’t say anything about murder he is overtaken taken by ambition and personal desire The fact that his first thought is about killing the king is mighty suspicious almost as though they've...
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