Essay on Macbeth as a Tale of Evil vs. Good

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Macbeth as a Tale of Evil vs. Good

The tale of Macbeth deals with many themes - some universal, others applying only to the 17th century. Most of these themes are common, and are centre to the drama and intrigue of plays even today. These include love, hate, revenge and power. Shakespeare's plays, however, always had one theme which stood out above the rest. This play delves into one of the oldest literary theme, namely the balance, fight and (ultimately) triumph of Good versus Evil. In fact, this is the only theme which is directly or obliquely part of all the action in the play.

The presence of Good versus Evil as the main theme in Macbeth is not surprising. In fact, this very theme was
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He often finds himself purposefully contradicting his own thoughts and this is because he is dealing with the conflict of Good and Evil. One sides tells him to murder Duncan, but the other tells him to be patient. Slowly you notice a decline in Macbeth's conscience, as he decides to murder Duncan. Once he has completed this one transgressional act of evil, he no longer fears the forces of Good.

Subsequently, Macbeth is known as a tyrant and a coward by the end of the play. But for every 'evil' character there has to be an equal opposite. Macbeth's rival thus becomes Macduff, representing Good. Yet there are subplots which show the even deeper presence of Good and Evil. I believe that this is the role of Ross. Throughout the play he is never considered good or evil. But somehow he illustrates that the lines between Good and Evil can become blurred, or that either can be deceptive. Lady Macbeth is another example. On the surface, she gives of the impression of being devious and sinister. However, after the murder of Duncan, she breaks down, and you see the other side. This once again shows how close Good and Evil truly are.

Now that we have established the main role of Good versus Evil, we should consider the extent of its importance. The fact that this theme is always present, contributes to

Hannes Bernard Gr. 10 English


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