Theme of Evil in Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Evil, Three Witches Pages: 3 (1011 words) Published: November 27, 2011
English – Macbeth – Evil – Homework Essay –
“In Macbeth, Shakespeare presents us with a powerful vision on evil”. Write your response to the above statement. Textual support may include reference to a particular performance of the play you have seen.

I believe the theme of this play to be the vision on evil. It is a very powerful theme; it makes the play both interesting and memorable. There is an evil presence throughout the play; this is evident from the very first scene where we encounter the three witches. Fundamentally, there are two types of evil visible in Shakespeare’s play of Macbeth. The evil which we see, the violent acts, the violent imagery, then there is a sense of evil within the characters themselves, and the three witches, as they are considered evil beings. All of these elements combine to establish an overall atmosphere of evil. Evil characters like Lady Macbeth I think the strongest vision of evil in this play is demonstrated by the witches. The witches themselves are a symbol of evil, never mind their actual doings. They are supernatural and automatically feared. They like to play cruel tricks, mislead people. Their cruel actions always cause a cruel and bleak outcome for their victim. We see examples of this in the very first scene, when they discuss how they tortured a sailor by depriving him of sleep and tossing his ship into a tempestuous storm. They enjoy barbaric acts like severing a man’s thumb and keeping it as a trophy. In my opinion it’s very meaningful that the witches are the first people we met, the set the tone of the play. The significance of this is huge; it shows the prevalence of the theme of evil. Early on, we realise that the witches have a great deal of power over events and propensity to convince a malleable mind. Their goal is not to help Macbeth gain all the glory and power which it is his ambition to achieve but to convince him that this is their aim but rather lead him to his death! They receive satisfaction in...
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