An Exploration of Evil and Its Development Within William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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An Exploration of Evil and Its Development Within William Shakespeare's Macbeth

'Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural events'

Macbeth, one of the most ingenious plays ever written that expresses the power of good against evil. It is a gloomy tale of a Scottish general's murderous ascension to the throne, aided by supernatural prophecies and a scheming wife whose lust for power eclipses his own, and has precious few good things to say about the human race. In this essay I will exemplify the exploration of evil and malevolence and its development within the Macbeth play.

In Elizabethan times, there used to be a natural order and a way of life. It was called the Elizabethan World Picture. This is a
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Elizabethan order in the 17th century was Monarch ruling by divine right, and the worst possible crime was to commit regicide. Shakespeare tries to show us the great disruption caused by the regicide. Owls kill falcons (where Macbeth is the owl and Duncan is the falcon), dark in daytime and horses eating each other. The natural order is the most important theme in the play.

'Tis unnatural, eve like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last, a falcon, towering in her pride of place, was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd' Act II scene IV

'And Duncan's horses, -a thing most strange and certain,-…Tis said they eat each other. They did so, to the amazements of mine eyes.' Act II scene IV

1603-1606 coincided with the accession to the English throne of James VI of Scotland who also became James I of England who was a protestant. James I showed a lot of interest in paranormal and supernatural things, he was also affectionate of people who penchant him and said pleasant things about him. James himself wrote a book on witchcraft and had fancied himself an expert, it is also claimed he persecuted witches and had them hung. So Shakespeare wrote the play on honour of James.

Shakespeare took this into account and expressed homage to James by constructing it as a supernatural play by supplement witches, apparitions, ghosts and the Kings

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