There are 5 major themes in Macbeth :
the paradox ( we can think of ‘ fair is foul and foul is fair : which means bad is good and good is bad) •
Manhood (being a man , we see this theme clearly coming back on the night of the murder of the king, lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to just be a man and kill the king) •
masks ("Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, Your hand, your tongue: like th' innocent flower, But be the serpent under 't." --- lines 65 - 67. Or in other words, put on a poker face so no one will suspect us .Throughout the play, many characters put on metaphorical masks to hide their true nature, thoughts, or feelings. •
Light vs. dark clearly good against bad. The good Macbeth, who doesn’t want to kill the king and the bad Macbeth who does it. •
And the last theme which is one of the things we are going to talk about is Nature: The Weather
As in other Shakespearean tragedies, Macbeth’s grotesque murder spree is accompanied by a number of unnatural occurrences in the natural realm. From the thunder and lightning that accompany the witches’ appearances to the terrible storms that rage on the night of Duncan’s murder, these violations of the natural order reflect corruption in the moral and political orders. Nature
"Thunder and lightning." This is the description of the scene before Act I, Scene I, line 1. The thunder and lightning represent disturbances in nature. Most people do not think of a great day being filled with thunder and lightning. So the witches are surrounded by a shroud of thunder and lightning. Also, the first witch asks in line 2 about the meeting with Macbeth, "In thunder, lightning, or in rain?" The meeting will also be filled with these disturbances. The witches are also surrounded by more undesired parts of weather: "Hover through the fog and filthy air" (line 11). The weather might personify the witches, meaning that the witches themselves are disturbances, though not limited to nature. The bad weather also might mean that the witches are bad or foul ("filthy air") creatures.
In Act II, Scene I, it is a dark night. Fleance says "The moon is down" (line 2), and Banquo says, "[Heaven's] candles are all out [there are no stars in the sky]" (line 5). Darkness evokes feelings of evilness, of a disturbance in nature on this accursed night. It creates a perfect scene for the baneful murders.
Another disturbance in nature comes from Macbeth's mouth, "Now o'er the one half-world / Nature seems dead" (lines 49 - 50). This statement might mean that nowhere he looks, the world seems dead (there is no hope, as the existentialist philosophy supports). It might also give him conceited ideas that the murder he is about to commit will have repercussions spreading far. The doctor says in Act V, Scene i, line 10, "A great perturbation in nature," while talking about Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking. This is just another example of how nature is disturbed by human doings, placing emphases on mankind (following the Humanistic philosophy).
Macbeth and Atmosphere
Macbeth is a play where atmosphere and setting plays a very important part in the play.
The play starts with the Witches, which is at a desolate place with thunder and lightning. This is first of all a pathetic fallacy because of the weather being so bad and the hideous appearance of the witches. This scene also gives us the first sign of the supernatural. The witches are the man source of the evil and supernatural in the play and they also give an impression of fear, horror and mystery. It is important of them to start the play, as they are the catalysts for all Macbeth's decisions, so obviously they effect the play quite a lot. They can foretell the future, defy the laws of nature and change the weather.
But their powers are ambiguous; they have to answer to Hecate. They can turn into animals but when one of them turns into a rat it has no tail, showing their flawed power. They also can't make Macbeth kill Duncan; they just...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document