Contrasting Evil and Good in Macbeth Essay examples

1656 Words7 Pages
In this essay I will look at the ways that Shakespeare has contrasted evil with good in his play Macbeth. The play revolves around the bad and wicked qualities in human nature, but Shakespeare also contrasts this evil with the power of good. This contrast between good and evil is a recurring theme throughout Macbeth. These contradictions start in the very beginning of the play, with the witches. In Act one, Scene one, line 12, the witches say, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” This is interesting as they are suggesting good and evil as being one. The witches’ line reflects on human nature as there are fair and foul aspects to everyone. Shakespeare wanted to get this message across as the main character, Macbeth, is a prime example of the…show more content…
Our questions are not answered and we are left wondering at the end of this scene. This opening scene is one of the most important. It establishes the witches, who may be considered to be the root of all the evil in this play. This is the start of the battle between good and evil, right and wrong, and this creepy beginning makes the audience feel that things are only going to get worse. Scene Two, however, is a stark contrast to the previous scene. In this scene we first meet Duncan, the King of Scotland. In Elizabethan times, when Shakespeare was alive (1564-1616), the people believed in the “Divine Right of Kings”, which suggested that kings were chosen directly by God. This means that the audience would have a preconditioned view of Duncan. They would assume that he was good, gracious and holy, all traits that would definitely not apply to the witches. The mysterious Macbeth is also mentioned in this scene. However, we hear a different view of this character. Shakespeare uses the structure of his play as well as his characters to show the contrast between good and evil. This is done by the juxtaposition of a scene with evil characters in it before one with only good characters. In Scene two, line 16, the captain describes Macbeth as “brave.” He also goes on to tell the King of the horrific battle between Macbeth and Macdonald. Macdonald was fighting for the Scottish side but changed to

More about Contrasting Evil and Good in Macbeth Essay examples

Open Document