The Horrendous Evil Within Shakespeare's Macbeth

1953 Words Jun 22nd, 2018 8 Pages
The Horrendous Evil Within Macbeth

Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a recognized classic tragedy portraying the victory of good over evil. This paper will explore the various expressions of evil within the play.

In Everybody's Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies, Maynard Mack compares the fall of Macbeth to the fall of Satan:

In some ways Shakespeare's story resembles the story of the Fall of Satan. Macbeth has imperial longings, as Satan has; he is started on the road to revolt partly by the circumstance that another is placed above him; he attempts to bend the universe to his will, warring against all the bonds that relate men to each other - reverence, loyalty, obedience, truth, justice,
…show more content…
Come, let me clutch thee."

In Act 2, Scene 2, Lady Macbeth confesses to her husband that could not perform the murder because "Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done't." So Macbeth follows through with the killing. Immediately he is striken with guilt from the evil deed as he exclaims, looking on his hands, to his wife, "This is a sorry sight," and "I had most need of blessing."

The next morning Macduff exits the king's chamber with screams of horror. Macbeth kills the chamberlains, compounding the evil. Afterwards, the queen laments the state of "doubtful joy" in which the royal couple is living; the effect of their evil deeds weighs heavily.

Evil repeats in the murder of Banquo. At the banquet that evening, the ghost of Banquo frightens Macbeth: "Thou canst not say I did it: never shake / Thy gory locks at me." Macbeth seeks additional advice from the weird sisters. When the "midnight hags" utter their incantation,

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble (4.1)

Macbeth hears the warnings of the apparitions, and he resolves to kill Macduff's family. The evil increases.

Meanwhile in England, Macduff defends the moral integrity of Malcolm's lineage - a beacon of hope for the good people and a contrasting image to that of the Macbeths.

At Dunsinane, Lady Macbeth's doctor observes the queen sleepwalking, seemingly washing her
Open Document