In many different types of novels and works of literature, the author uses an
abundance of literary devices to embellish their central themes. In William Shakespeare’s
tragedy Macbeth, the author uses themes such as supernatural and ambition to describe
the importance of three secondary characters in the play. This will be shown through an
analysis of the theme ambition for Lady Macbeth, the supernatural for the witches and
suspicion for Banquo.
Firstly, the ambition of Lady Macbeth contributes to one of the important themes
in the play. Lady Macbeth is a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for power and position.
Early in the play she seems to be the stronger and more ruthless of the two, as she urges
her husband to kill Duncan and seize the crown. Her ambitious nature gradually increases
and brings her close relationship with her husband Macbeth to nothing. Lady Macbeth’s
remarkable strength of will persists through the murder of the king—it is she who
steadies her husband’s nerves immediately after the crime has been perpetrated.
Afterward, however, she begins a slow slide into madness—just as ambition affects her
more strongly than Macbeth before the crime, so does guilt plague her more strongly
afterward. By the close of the play, she has been reduced to sleepwalking through the
castle, desperately trying to wash away an invisible bloodstain. Once the sense of guilt
comes home to roost, Lady Macbeth’s sensitivity becomes a weakness, and she is unable
to cope. Significantly, she (apparently) kills herself, signalling her total inability to deal
with the legacy of their crimes. All in all, Lady Macbeth’s ambition contributes to one of
the important themes in the play.
Secondly, the supernatural theme in the play describes the witches and is an
important theme in the play. The witches lurk like dark thoughts and unconscious temptations to evil. A quote from the play that...
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