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Research paper topic: Macbeth - 1131 words
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Macbeth In Shakespeare's Macbeth, one of the reoccurring themes throughout the play was Fair is foul and foul is fair. This is used to explain that people and events may seem either good or bad, but after some inspection, turn out to be the opposite. In my opinion, Nothing is but what is not, is similar to Fair is foul and foul is fair, because it is declaring how things are, in fact, what people believe they are contrary to. First, throughout the play, many people end up being the opposite of how their peers actually perceive them. In the play's opening act, the Thane of Cawdor is discovered as being a leader of the rebel forces after Duncan had previously believed in his loyalty.
In act one, the same can also be said for Macbeth. As soon as the witches tell Macbeth of his new title and then foretell that he will be king, he too begins to turn his once loyal thoughts against the beloved king. In addition to Macbeth, his wife is also a good example. She is busily making her castle ready for Duncan's visit. When he arrives, he gives her gifts and thanks her for being his host, when she was actually planning his murder. It is a popular reoccurrence in a number of the Shakespearean plays for people to appear to be one thing, but on the inside, to be completely different.
Not only does this theme apply to people, but it also applies to different events during the play as well. There are comments made to how the day is Foul and fair. This simply relates someone's emotions to the weather. They could be personally having a terrible day, but the weather outside is simply gorgeous. The same was said for Macbeth's castle when Duncan and his followers arrived for their visit.
Duncan himself commented on how nice the castle appeared. Little did he know that it would be the shelter for his demise. Next, and possibly the greatest example of Nothing is but what is not, is Macbeth's will to become the king. He so badly wants to become the king that he finally takes a man's life for it, eternally condemning him in the eyes of God. What Macbeth was not aware of, was that even though he was the most important man in Scotland, the evil he had caused in Scotland was so great that it would cause the holy position to be looked at as a curse.
Just as people can be foul and fair, so too can be nonliving things. One of the reasons that Macbeth is still popular today is because of its universal themes such as Nothing is but what is not. This great theme still applies to life in the twenty-first century. There are many evil people who are looked up to, and many lonely or unpleasant jobs or positions that people desire because they do not see the real substance behind the attractive gold covering. Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare uses different forms of imagery to add to the effectiveness of the characters' actions in the play.
Specifically though, I feel that the supernatural usage of imagery is the most effective form that Shakespeare used. The supernatural imagery told us a great deal about the personal troubles that the characters were dealing with. The first example in the play comes when Macbeth is visited by the bloody knife in his soliloquy. The fact that the knife had blood on it and the was pointed toward Macbeth did a great deal in foreshadowing the upcoming events. This hallucination came at a time when Macbeth was having a rough time deciding whether or not he would in fact take the life and the throne of Duncan.
I feel that the bloody knife was Macbeth's will and desire for the throne of Scotland giving hem the last nudge he needed to push him to become a murderer. The blood on the knife was of course the soon to be slain Duncan, and the fact that the knife was right in front of him, easily accessible for him grab, perhaps convinced Macbeth that the murder conspiracy would, in fact, not be that difficult to perform. The first supernatural use of imagery served as a catalyst to the upcoming events that would shape the rest of the play. In addition to the bloody knife, Banquo's ghost appearing in the king's throne was another great use of imagery. It began to show us the great internal struggle going on inside of Macbeth.
He knew that Banquo was his friend and he would greatly benefit his cause, but he also felt that he was suspicious of Macbeth's involvement in Duncan's murder. He knew that if Banquo were to rival Macbeth, it would mean his definite demise. He also was worried about the witches prediction that Banquo's descendants would be kings. In order for Macbeth to stay in power he would have to kill both Banquo and Fleance. In my opinion, Macbeth felt so guilty for killing his friend that the hallucination of his ghost was his conscience's was of getting even with him. At this point in the play, imagery was used show the repercussions caused by Macbeth going more and more against the will of God and his own mind and beliefs.
Out of all the imagery in the Shakespearean plays we have read thus far, this supernatural imagery in Macbeth is by far the most effectively used. It is used to jump-start the events that will shape the characters' lives, as well as the path of the play itself. It is also used to show the consequences that can result by going against one's own conscience and morals, perhaps the most important part of who a person is. This style of imagery immensely adds to the greatness of this play. The Murder of King Duncan was perhaps the single most important event that took place in Macbeth.
The two perpetrators of the murder Macbeth, who actually did the killing, and his wife, who morally bashed him in order to make him kill both played equally important parts in the murder. Both of these characters, though, were affected in entirely different manners. First, Lady Macbeth's changes took place more subtly and slowly. Before the murder, Lady Macbeth was entirely behind it. If it would not have been for her role, Macbeth would not have killed Duncan at all. She kept egging Macbeth on because she felt he was too nice to murder.
After the fact though, I believe that she began to regret that they had killed Duncan. She quickly became quiet and did not communicate with her husband as much. It is as though she had a complete transformation. Slowly and subtl ...
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