Macbeth by Shakespeare: Themes and Motifs

Pages: 3 (983 words) Published: July 29, 2013
Macbeth is a play written by Shakespeare which incorporates many themes and motifs that can be related back to the current day society. The play revolves around the protagonist Macbeth, who upon hearing the prophecies of three witches, murders the king of Scotland to claim the crown for himself. This signifies the beginning of his moral downfall and reign of tyranny, which leads to his eventual death. Some themes present in Macbeth include the relationship between cruelty and masculinity and the recurring hallucinations perceived by both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. These themes are represented in a variety of different ways and are present in a range of modern day contemporary texts. An example of such text is the movie, Scotland PA, which is a modern representation of Macbeth. This essay will highlight the similarities and differences between these two texts, and compare the themes of recurring hallucinations and the difference between cruelty and masculinity. Theme 1 hallucinations

Recurring hallucinations and visions are evident throughout the novel, and are supernatural symbols of the guilt felt by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth about their murderous endeavours. Macbeth hallucinates a floating dagger when he is about to kill King Duncan, and he sees Banquo’s ghost sitting in his seat at a banquet he is hosting, while Lady Macbeth hallucinates a spot of blood on her hand, and starts to sleepwalk. The following quotes give evidence to this symbolism;

“Come out, damned spot! Out, I say! One, two.”
Act 5 scene 1

This quote is spoken by Lady Macbeth when she is hallucinating about the spot of blood which landed on her hand during the murder of King Duncan. Techniques evident in this quote include the repetition of ‘out’, which emphasises Lady Macbeth’s eagerness to be rid of the bloodstain. Blood is also used as a recurring symbol of the guilt the Macbeths carry, and the murders they have committed. Lady Macbeth is also talking directly to the...
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