“Gothic Literature is concerned with the breaking of normal moral and social codes” Discuss (40 marks). Plan:
The normal moral and social codes of the 13th century (10 commandments) The normal moral and social codes of the 17th century (10 commandments) The normal moral and social codes of the 21st century
1. Macbeth killing Macduff’s wife and children.
2. Lady Macbeth being very powerful and her killing herself (although no proof) (AO3! Lady Macbeth is doing it for her husband’s own good vs her doing it to become Queen) 3. Macbeth trusting the witches (AO4! fear of witches, witch trails as play was being written) (AO3! Macbeth actually questioned whether or not he should follow the witches predictions) 4. Macbeth killing Duncan (AO4! Plays were censored as criticism of the monarchy was not tolerated, which is why they are set in the past, therefore it is avoiding breaking moral and social codes) 5. Gothic literature is not concerned in breaking social and moral codes at all. For example, Banquo is extremely honourable. (AO3! Although he never tells the nobles that Macbeth ‘playedst most foully for’t’ (3:1) and he also never tells them about the Witches, indicating he is noble but not when it goes to wanting the best for his children) Conclusion-
Summary of points.
‘Macbeth’ was written in 1606 although it was set in the thirteenth century. The moral and social codes of these times were very similar and therefore Shakespeare’s audiences would have been able to understand that moral codes had been broken. The moral and social codes were mainly based on religious aspects, especially the Ten Commandments. Then they were added to, for example the divine right of Kings (where a King is chosen by God to represent him on earth) was created during the Middle Ages in Europe. Codes such as not coveting things of your neighbour and murder are broken in ‘Macbeth’. People in both the thirteen century and the seventeenth...
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