Promoting Family Values in Macbeth Essay

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Promoting Family Values in Macbeth

The play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, was first printed in 1623, and is a play that is confrontational and disturbing to the values of the audience. Values such as truth, masculinity, security and goodness are all implied in the play, as their opposites are shown to be destructive and life shattering.

Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth is the one most obsessively concerned with evil. It is dark, brooding and bloodthirsty; by way of illustration, the only function of the messenger to Lady MacDuff is to prepare the audience for bloodshed. Blood in itself is considered an evil image and it aids in character development, as seen in the description of Macbeth at the start. According to
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Eventually his repressed feelings strike back violently with the hallucination of the dagger and the uncontrollable self-accusations, due to which he completely disintegrates. He is totally alienated from himself – “To know my deed, ‘twere best not to know myself”. His moral feelings are no longer under control because he has expelled them from his consciousness, and they continue to haunt him in his dreams and with the ghost of Banquo that forces him to betray himself. However much he represses it, his self-condemnation is implanted deeply in his mind, as Merteith says:
“Who then shall blame
His pestered senses to recoil and start,
When all that is within him does condemn
Itself for being there?”
For most of the last half of the play Macbeth is in a neurotic state, alternating between black melancholy and outbursts of “valiant fury”.
“Some say he’s mad. Others, that lesser hate him,
Do call it valiant fury…”
These lead him to totally irrational actions, such as the massacre of MacDuff’s family and the suicidal act of abandoning the defenses of the castle.

Most of these impromptu actions are to keep him from thinking: “This deed I’ll do before this purpose cool”. But when he is trapped in the castle all his feverish activity cannot prevent him from sinking into periods of desolate reflection that show his awareness of his actual situation: he is evil. We realise that he is still haunted by the values that he

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