William Shakespeare 's Macbeth And The Three Witches Essay

1005 Words Sep 4th, 2016 null Page
Praised as the quintessential play of 17th century theatre, William Shakespeare’s 1606 contemporary masterpiece, The Tragedy of Macbeth, provides an insight into the hierarchal structure of 17th century England and the ramifications of any break in the Jacobean imposed, ‘great chain of being.’ Set in medieval Scotland, the play Macbeth draws upon both the true story of Mac Bethad and dogmas of the audience to portray “the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition in those who seek power.” The play often placing particular emphasis on the repercussions of any break in the great chain of being through the use of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth and the three witches. In Macbeth, Shakespeare subverts the typical gender roles of 17th century England, placing women in more than subsidiary roles throughout the play and as a result making them pivotal to setting the bloody events of the play into motion. Where it can be seen that Shakespeare was in particular agreeance with society’s typical dictation of natural order, and displays this through the spectacular demise of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the chaos which arises from the Three Witches being placed in positions of power. Shakespeare makes the audience aware that the external representations of the characters may not follow their true nature through the witch’s statement that “fair is foul and foul is fair.”

Initially the Macbeths are characterised as the typical husband and wife, with Macbeth seen as a fierce,…

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