Macbeth's Modern Audience

Topics: Macbeth / Pages: 4 (758 words) / Published: Apr 1st, 2014
Macbeth’s Modern Audience
The Shakespearean classic Macbeth features many themes and issues that were around in the 1600’s, but are they still relevant modern audiences today? The main themes in Macbeth are mainly issues that we still encounter every day in modern society. The themes that are explored in Macbeth that would still have relevance today in modern society include guilt, power, bravery and violence.
Let’s begin with guilt. In the play, Macbeth’s guilt prevents him from enjoying what he has gained after the murder of King Duncan. For example, in Act 3, Scene 4 of the play, Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost at the banquet table. His guilty conscience is projecting visions of Banquo because he is responsible for his murder. But how is this relevant to modern audiences? Well I’m sure we’ve all felt guilty of doing something at one point, and that guilt can prevent you from enjoying what you’ve gained, like what it did to Macbeth. Now let’s take a look at Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth was the one who convinced Macbeth to kill King Duncan in the first place. However, even though Lady Macbeth was the one who convinced her husband to do so, she still feels guilty. However, unlike Macbeth’s conscious guilt, Lady Macbeth’s guilt is subconsciously expressed through her dreams. It’s very well possible for something to come back and ‘haunt’ you in your dreams, like with Lady Macbeth. In Act 5, Scene 5 of the play, Lady Macbeth dies, and her guilt is believed to be the cause of her death. In modern society, people do take their lives purely out of guilt. For example, the term ‘survivor’s guilt’ is one of the causes that leads a serviceman in the decision to take their own life.
Power is another theme explored in Macbeth, which is also an issue both in the play and in modern society today. A key factor that would have led to the decision of the murder of King Duncan would have definitely been Macbeth’s hunger for power. In the play, Macbeth says “I have no spur to prick the

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