English Essay - Macbeth

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English essay: Macbeth and today’s society

Among Shakespeare’s highly successful oft quoted dramatic works is the tragedy themed play Macbeth. The themes illustrated in the play include ambition, good vs. evil, superstitions, deception and treachery. In brief, the play is about Macbeth’s encounter with three witches and how this meeting eventually brings him to killing the king of Scotland. General Macbeth is just returning from a victorious war between Scotland and Norway, when he and another General called Banquo happen upon three witches. The three witches predict that Macbeth will one day become king and Macbeth starts to think out a murder on the Scottish king, Duncan. Meanwhile, Duncan has heard of Macbeth’s brave fight in the war and Duncan decides for this reason to confer the title of traitorous Cawdor on Macbeth. Macbeth tells his wife, Lady Macbeth about his evil plans and Lady Macbeth, being very greedy herself, agrees to his plan. He then murders King Duncan assisted by his wife who smears the blood of Duncan on the daggers of the sleeping guards. Before long, the nobleman, Macduff discovers Duncan’s dead body but Macbeth is quick to blame the two guards for Duncan’s murder and he kills them on the spot. The crown is passed to Macbeth and, for a short while, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are living a happy life in affluence. More murders ensue, and from this moment things start to go downhill for the couple. Lady Macbeth’s conscience starts to torture her and she imagines that she can see her hands covered with blood. She commits suicide and the story ends, however, with Macduff killing Macbeth and becoming king.

Looking at the themes in Macbeth, we find that they can in so many ways be related to today’s society. As a matter of fact, the story of Macbeth still strikes a chord in modern audiences. Shakespeare was known to write stories that revealed universal truths about the human condition and this was done in a way we can all relate to:...
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