Excessive Violence in Macbeth

Pages: 2 (997 words) Published: March 30, 2015
“The violence in Macbeth is so excessive that it ceases to have any effect on the audience”. To what extent do you think the violence in the play is excessive? Gothic literature possesses a variety of intriguing features, whether it’s bleak settings, or typical gothic characters such as tyrants. It is violence, however, which is a recurring feature within ‘Macbeth’ and to some this violence may be perceived as excessive. To others, however, the violence in Macbeth may not be portrayed as excessive, as it is this violence which is crucial to the progression of the plot. One could argue that ‘Macbeth’ is excessively violent as there are over a hundred references to blood throughout. This constant reference to blood, which arguably is a product of the violence that occurs, exhibits that violence is excessive as it is portrayed so frequently. The protagonist himself, Macbeth, is tarnished as a “butcher” by Malcolm due to his savagery and violence demonstrated throughout the course of the play. It is arguably therefore this violence that ultimately inflicts fear onto the audience, both contemporary and modern. Malcolm’s reference to Macbeth as a ‘butcher’ is indicating that the events of the play have been created and undertaken by a man with a driving blood lust and lack of respect for propriety. Additionally, the comparison between Macbeth and a “butcher” could arguably exhibit the violent nature of Macbeth, as similar to a butcher; he persistently takes the lives of others. Macbeth’s reference to a “butcher” therefore aligns with the view that the violence in ‘Macbeth’ is so excessive that it ceases to have an effect on the audience. On the other hand, it’s also debatable that it isn’t the violence in Macbeth which is excessive, but it is the nature of whom the violence is conducted upon. After the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth admits to his vicious crime as he admits “for them the gracious Duncan I have murdered”. In the Jacobean era, the King was regarded...
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