”Macbeth” by William Shakespeare Essay Sample

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Macbeth is a play about a courageous hero (Macbeth), who allows his greedy desires take the best of him. Macbeth had a good life and was thought of as a hero until he hears about his prophecy from witches, Macbeth kills the King of Scotland (Duncan) to become king and he becomes a corrupt leader killing anyone and everyone who stands in his way. Macbeth is a play with many supernatural characters and supernatural events, it brings supernatural conflicts and this supports the idea that “unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles.” Macbeth starts off with unnatural characters. The dictionary defines unnatural as “contrary to the laws of nature.” In act 1 scene 1, the play is presented with three witches, this is the first clue that this play will be about the unnatural. The witches are talking about the future, they prove they are reliable. The witches show they know when the battle will end. The witches also say “fair is foul and foul is fair,” (1.1.12) this gives readers the idea that everything is not going to be what it seems in the play. In act 3, there is a scene talking about the witches having beards, this is an unnatural characteristic for women and shows how things are not what they seem.

One critic, Schiffer says “the weird sisters’ beards point most directly to Lady Macbeth, especially her attempt to unsex herself, to destroy her feminine nature.” Both these things are unnatural. In Act 1, scene 5, Lady Macbeth is showing her unnatural wants. Lady Macbeth wanting to have her feminine traits taking away is supernatural like the witches having beards. Critic Francesco Aristide Ancona says Lady Macbeth expresses unnatural feminine traits, she isn’t like the typical woman, she is the powerful one in the relationship and he says she’s manipulative. He characterizes Macbeth as weak and says Lady Macbeth has a control over Macbeth. This is unnatural. There’s also an unnatural character of Banquo’s ghost. In act 3 scene 4, Banquo’s ghost appears as a conscience of Macbeth, him feeling guilty for killing Banquo. This is very unnatural Macbeth says, “the time has been that when the brains were out the man would die, and there an end. But now they rise again with twenty mortal murders…..more strange than such a murder is.”(3.4.94-100) This shows that seeing Banquo’s ghost is not a normal sight and very unnatural.

Macbeth has many supernatural events happening. One event, the King dying brings many unnatural events to Scotland. There are windstorms, earthquakes, Lennox says “some say the earth was feverous and did shake”(2.3.68-69) this shows that ever since the king was murdered, nature has been rebelling. Ross claimed an owl killed a falcon, this is unnatural of course because an owl Is much weaker than a falcon. This is showing how the weak can now kill the powerful, Macbeth was weak and could kill the powerful king now all weak is becoming powerful. Another supernatural event that happens is in Act 4, scene 1, is the appearance of apparitions. Apparitions tell Macbeth of his future, he performed unnatural deeds by killing the king and the apparitions are there to tell him of his unnatural troubles to come. Many of the conflicts in Macbeth are unnatural. One conflict, Macbeth killing Duncan is very unnatural because Macbeth is very weak at this point in the play and he is capable of killing the leader of Scotland.

This is a shock and very unnatural this breeds unnatural troubles because the entire land of Scotland is disrupted. Ross says, “by the clock this day, and yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp.” (2.4.9-10) This is proof its dark all the time as a result of the death of the king. Nature is upset that the king is killed. Banquo’s ghost is also a result of unnatural deeds breeding unnatural troubles because Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo after he kills him. Lady Macbeth wanting to kill Duncan is a very unnatural deed, later the readers find out Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and keeps washing her hands, this is an unnatural trouble. Because Lady Macbeth thought that she could meddle with the natural world (killing), she is faced with unnatural troubles. One critic, Thompson says, “Shakespeare seems to be indicating that a woman as unnatural as Lady Macbeth cannot be allowed to live or flourish.” He says this is why she ends up dead after the readers hear she is sleepwalking.

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