Macbeth

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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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