Variety of Evils in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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Variety of Evils in Macbeth

The tragedy Macbeth by William Shakespeare manifests a rich variety of evils, not only by the main characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, but also by the witches.

Clark and Wright in their Introduction to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare interpret the main theme of the play as intertwining with evil:

The theme of the drama is the gradual ruin through yielding to evil within and evil without, of a man, who, though from the first tainted by base and ambitious thoughts, yet possessed elements in his nature of possible honor and loyalty. (792)

In "Macbeth as the Imitation of an Action" Francis Fergusson describes the evil course of action within the drama:
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Purity was embodied by Duncan, very infirm (in 1974 he was blind), dressed in white and accompanied by church organ music, set against the black magic of the witches, who even chanted 'Double, double to the Dies Irae. (283)

The Tragedy of Macbeth opens in a desert place with thunder and lightning and three Witches who are anticipating their evil-oriented meeting with Macbeth. They all say together the mysterious and contradictory "Fair is foul, and foul is fair." Macbeth is greeted by the witches with "hail to thee, thane of Glamis," "thane of Cawdor," and "thou shalt be king hereafter!" When Ross and Angus arrive with news of Duncan's reward ("He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor"), it is logical for Macbeth to assume that all of the weird sisters' prophecies will come true. Futilely, Banquo cautions him against an evil, selfish interpretation of the event.

After the king's announcement that "We will establish our estate upon / Our eldest, Malcolm," Macbeth says, "The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step / On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap," for his evil scheming is seriously underway. At Inverness in Macbeth's castle, his lady is likewise sinister in her planning: "The raven himself is hoarse / That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan / Under my battlements."

Duncan's visit to Inverness occasions quick plotting by the

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