Motifs And Motifs In Macbeth

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In literature, one might notice certain images, objects, or ideas recurring throughout the piece. These are called motifs, and unsurprisingly, many motifs are present in the works of William Shakespeare. There are many themes that Shakespeare conveys through motif in his play Macbeth. One of these is that breaking the Great Chain of Being results in misery and disorder, but the natural order tends to eventually recover. Another is that violence is morally ambiguous and can be good or evil depending only on who the violence affects. Finally, Shakespeare shows that what one perceives as reality is not necessarily reality, especially under the effects of guilt and or paranoia. From reading Macbeth, one can easily pick up on these messages:…show more content…
However, towards the end of the play, the natural order begins to return to normal. Hearing that Birnam wood was coming to Dunsinane Macbeth remarks I pull in resolution and begin
To doubt th' equivocation of the fiend
That lies like truth. “Fear not, till Birnam wood
Do come to Dunsinane”; and now a wood
Comes toward Dunsinane.—Arm, arm, and out!—
If this which he avouches does appear,
There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone.—
Ring the alarum-bell!—Blow, wind! Come, wrack!
At least we’ll die with harness on our back (V.v.47-58).
This quote draws parallels between Macbeth and a horse, first with the metaphor of him pulling in resolution. Through this metaphor, Macbeth suggests a fear that allowing the “horse” of his confidence to be free was a mistake. He mentions later that “at least [he’ll] die with harness on [his] back” (V.v.58), which shows that Macbeth is returning to the battlefield- where the natural order says he should be. Rather than rule, Macbeth’s nature is to obey commands, as both a soldier and a horse does. Shakespeare emphasizes the unnatural nature of Macbeth’s rule once again over here, as Birnam Wood moving to Dunsinane is an event that does not occur naturally. Shakespeare demonstrates through his use of these two nature motifs to enhance the idea that a disturbance to the natural order causes great

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