Macbeth Essay

Topics: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, King Duncan Pages: 3 (912 words) Published: January 14, 2014
Essay topic: “ Disruption in the natural order in the play Macbeth leads to chaos”

Macbeth by William Shakespeare is set in a society where the idea of loyalty to the superior is absolute. William Shakespeare portrayed that there was a danger in disturbing ‘the great chain of being’ which ranked all creations including human society. It ranked humans above animals, nobles above the poor and at the top of the hierarchy was the king. When Macbeth murders King Duncan the chain was violated resulting in chaos. Disorder and chaos is symbolized by the presence of ongoing corruption and disharmony in the land. Stormy weather and natural disasters further enhance the presence of evil and chaos. It is also important to note that at the end of the play there is a restoration of order when the rightful king returns to the throne.

The first signs of disruption occur almost immediately after King Duncan’s death. Macbeth’s murder is accompanied by a number of unnatural occurrences in the weather and in the behavior of animals. In Act II scene IV, Ross, a thane, and an old man discuss the strange happenings of the few days after King Duncan’s Death.  It is daytime, but dark outside; “By th' clock ’tis day/And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp” (II,IV.6-7)the sun, as if the sky is “troubled with man’s act” (2.4.5). The land is shrouded in darkness, and is therefore barren, no longer fertile and healthy; nothing can grow without the light of the sun. A falcon was circling high in the sky, and it was caught and killed by an ordinary owl that usually goes after mice; “A falcon, tow'ring in her pride of place/ was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed” (II,IV,13-14). And lastly Duncan’s well-trained horses behaved wildly and ate one another; “Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race, /Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,/ Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would/ Make war with mankind” (II,IV,16-19).  When Macbeth fights against nature and...
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