William Shakespeare 's Macbeth, And The Play Essay

1007 Words Sep 1st, 2015 5 Pages
Although Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in 1606, and the play was set during the 11th century, many of the concepts and themes within the play are still relevant in the modern world. Contemporary politics around the globe still resonate with the themes of ambition, corruption and often-vicious competition depicted in Macbeth. Another psychological element we see at work both in the play and in modern day life is the power of suggestion and the tension between free will and fate – essentially, if an authority figure gives approval for a practice or opinion, then many in the population will follow obediently. And despite many of the world’s countries functioning as democracies, unlike Macbeth’s Scotland, the morality of individuals within politics remains a common problem.

In Macbeth’s time most of Europe was governed by the feudal system, with Scotland being a realm of fractious clans, occasionally united under a king. Today’s range of political systems still includes dictatorships, plus fledgling democracies, and functioning democracies. A common theme throughout these political systems remains the influence of individual political ambition. At the start of the play Macbeth is Thane of Glamis, and as such is already in a low level of political power, who through treachery is able to rise to King of Scotland. His ambition is the driver of his devious actions: “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the…

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