William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of "Macbeth"

Topics: Macbeth, Good and evil, Evil Pages: 3 (1094 words) Published: March 11, 2012
In the play Macbeth we see that Shakespeare captures many elements of his society and reflects them in the play. Shakespeare highlights the good and evil traits that reside in people, the overthrow of natural order and subsequent guilt. The supernatural, the divine right of kings and the great chain of being are some of the major beliefs of Shakespeare’s society, of which he deeply explores in the play. These key issues and elements within the play Macbeth clearly reflect what society during the Jacobean Era experienced and believed.

Shakespeare explores the transition from good to evil in his play Macbeth and how associating with the supernatural can initiate this transition. Shakespeare primarily portrays this issue through the character Macbeth, displaying how power can quickly corrupt a man, changing his judgments from good to evil. During the Jacobean Era some values that were considered good were loyalty and courage, and evil was represented by traits such as treachery and dishonesty. Witches and the act of witchcraft are an example of what was considered evil during this era and were associated as the cause of darkness and death. So as we see the transition of Macbeth, a noble man to a tyrant, this is a reflection of the renaissance belief that the supernatural can lead great people to do terrible deeds. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is depicted as a good man by refusing to kill the king,”…his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself.” Through the symbolism of shutting the door to protect the king makes Macbeths later act that much more betraying. Later in the play we are shown that due to the tempting urge to fulfill his prophecy given by the supernatural beings, the evil overcomes Macbeth, “ I am settled, and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat.” At this point, in order for Macbeth to gain more power he decides he must kill the King. Ultimately Macbeth’s actions result in the unlawful...
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