Macbeth, By William Shakespeare Essay

1076 Words Apr 26th, 2016 5 Pages
Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a classical tragedy written in approximately 1606. One of Shakespeare’s most famous and beloved plays, Macbeth offers complex characters who reflect the overarching theme of “foul and fair.” Although the “scottish play” remains a classic for countless reasons, one of the most intriguing elements of the story is presented through the character studies of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. While Lady Macbeth begins the play as a fiendish, nefarious malefactor, Macbeth remains uncertain and distraught. These characteristics switch completely as the play progresses. Morals are questioned as ruthless ambition consumes both characters and determines their inexorable fates. The leading couple’s seamless role reversal adds a sense of moral ambiguity and complexity to the plot, creating dramatic tension.
In Act I of Macbeth, Macbeth is returning from the victorious war against Norway. On his journey home, he and Banquo are confronted by a group of Witches who prophesy that Macbeth will be named Thane of Cawdor and, eventually, King of Scotland (1.3.49-55). When the former of these predictions proves correct, Macbeth soon becomes enthralled by the glamour of the throne. He begins to plot against the current king, Duncan, but remains hesitant in his efforts. Lady Macbeth encourages him to slay Duncan. Even so, the couple’s encounter leaves Macbeth conflicted because of his previous loyalties to the King. The newly anointed Thane of Cawdor proclaims that he…

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