Engl 221: Macbeth

MacBeth William Shakespeare
the Renaissance a period in Europe, from the 14th to the 17th century, considered the bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history. scholars and thinkers of the day, however, it was primarily a time of the revival of classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation.
Elizabethan Drama 1. Tragedy must end in some tremendous catastrophe involving in Elizabethan practice the death of the principal character. 2. The catastrophe must not be the result of mere accident, but must be brought about by some essential trait in the character of the hero acting either directly or through its effect on other persons. 3. The hero must nevertheless have in him something which outweighs his defects and interests us in him so that we care for his fate more than for anything else in the play. The problem then is, why should a picture of the misfortunes of some one in whom we are thus interested afford us any satisfaction? No final answer has yet been found. Aristotle said that the spectacle by rousing in us pity and fear purges us of these emotions, and this remains the best explanation. Just as a great calamity sweeps from our minds the petty irritations of our common life, so the flood of esthetic emotion lifts us above them.
Elizabeth I http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/elizabeth/summary.html
James I of England http://www.historyinanhour.com/2012/06/19/james-i-summary/
the weird sisters http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/macbeth/canalysis.html
Duncan Duncan is the King of Scotlandhttp://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/m/macbeth/character-analysis/duncan
Macbeth http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/macbeth/canalysis.html
Lady Macbeth http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/macbeth/canalysis.html
Banquo http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/m/macbeth/character-analysis/banquo
Macduff http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/m/macbeth/character-analysis/macduff
“I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none.” During the beginning of the play Macbeth’s sense of self and opinion of himself is high enough that he still views having masculinity as having a sense of honour and righteousness. He argues that doing what Lady Macbeth describes as manly and courageous would not be manly at all. The theme of gender and gender roles in Macbeth is used as a tool to show Lady Macbeth as the dominant figure in their relationship, power-hungry and possessing ‘masculine’ qualities of ruthlessness, courage and psychological strength. Macbeth is referencing this, acknowledging that she believes she is more masculine than him and that his idea of a man is in-congruent with this.
“Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” Occurrs after the suicide of Macbeth’s wife.”Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” have a resigned, almost wistful tone to them, occasioned not only by the death of his wife but also by Macbeth’s entire loss of purpose. Although there is perhaps an underlying bitterness at lost opportunity in the words “petty,” “fools,” “frets” and “idiot,” for a man who has received such desperate news, this is not a desperate speech. In fact, compared with some of Macbeth’s earlier “set pieces,” its rhetoric is controlled, its metaphors precise: Time is like a path to “dusty death,” and our lives are as “brief” as a candle. We are like shadows, or actors, on the stage of life.

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