Macbeth essay

Topics: Macbeth, James I of England, Kill Pages: 5 (2002 words) Published: October 15, 2014
The texts I have chosen to compare to Macbeth are; The Laboratory by Browning and Summer of 1969 by Seamus Heaney. The laboratory is about a woman who discovered that her partner was having an affair with another woman. She went to an apothecary and asked for a poison to be made to kill the woman who her partner had cheated with. This can be linked to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth because they wanted to kill people because of their own reasons which to a normal person may seem irrational or immoral. This dramatic monologue is set in the Victorian time. Summer of 1969 is about an Irish man in Spain, Madrid, around the time of the Irish civil war. It emphasizes his doubts and uncertainties about going back to fight for his country or staying in Madrid away from all the fighting. These two poems are linked to Macbeth and I will compare the doubts and uncertainties in both poems with Macbeth. At the time of Macbeth women were seen as lesser than men or that men were always in control and had power over what the women said and did. Whereas all throughout this play by Shakespeare, Macbeth is controlled by his wife, Lady Macbeth, and is constantly overruled and is seen to be the figure head of their relationship and can control Macbeth by manipulating him into doing things which he doesn’t want to do . This implies that she is mentally stronger and smarter than Macbeth because she has the power to be able to do this. In parts of the play Macbeth is unsure whether killing Duncan is the right thing to do, whether his selfish ambitions outweigh what is right, which links to the question, and when this happens Lady Macbeth can make him change his mind in an instance. Also in these times the current king was King James I. King James wrote a book called Demonology, this contained information about witches and all the things they will do to promote their evil, for example he considers how witches may force people to do things, punish people and put plagues upon them and predict things that could happen in the future. Shakespeare uses this to his advantage and wanted the king to love his Play, as the king wouldn’t fund him if he didn’t like it. So at the very start of the play the audience is directly introduced to witches that predict that Macbeth will be king and Banquo's sons will be king after, 'so all hail Macbeth and Banquo'. Jacobean's believed in the Divine right of kings which is where the ruler was appointed by God so cannot be questioned and this then links to the witches prophecies and fortifies the King's suspicions that he writes in his book.

Summer 1969 links quite well to Macbeth and the doubts and uncertainties he has. Straight away in the poem Seamus Heaney tries to make everything seem fine by saying he 'only worries about the sun' but there is an underlying theme that he doubts whether or not he should be in Spain when his fellow Irishmen are fighting in his home town. He is uncertain whether or not the action he is taking is morally right, just like Macbeth does throughout the whole play. He too, when asked, says everything is fine when in actual fact he is worried and is scared at what may happen. He is also uncertain about the actions that he takes are morally right, when he kills Duncan for his own selfish ambitions. He begins to doubt whether or not killing Duncan is worth it for the pain and battles that will come. At parts in the play Macbeth actually seriously doubts whether or not he can go through with some of the evil things he needs to do just like in the play when Heaney is told to 'go back and touch the people'. Both men are uncertain that their actions are right and doubt what may happen if they do or do not do something.

The moral of the poem 'Dulce et Decorum' is that there is no morality in war or killing. Just like in the poem all the boys think war will be amazing and a great adventure like Macbeth thinks that by killing Duncan all his dreams will come true when in actual fact it’s the complete...
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