Macbeth sentences

First impressions of Macbeth (it becomes clear that Macbeth…) It becomes clear that Macbeth is a popular, brave warrior with a reputation for loyalty – while to some extent, Shakespeare is playing around with proleptic irony (his ultimate transgression can be distilled to a form of betrayal), it is clear that Shakespeare is painting a picture of a decent man, at least by the standards of Renaissance society.
Macbeth’s moral compass (Even Macbeth’s soliloquy…) Even Macbeth’s soliloquy in Act 1 Scene 7, in which he ruminates on his plan to kill Duncan, centres around Macbeth’s ethical duty: he has a quasi-filial duty to respect Duncan on account of their closeness.
First impressions of the witches (The three witches who plan…) The three witches who plan to ‘meet with Macbeth’ are shown to embody malevolence through the gothic references such as ‘graymalkin’ and ‘paddock’. Macbeth is portrayed as a very passive figure, as if the witches have a monopoly over his destiny.
Context on witchcraft (For Shakespeare’s audience…) For Shakespeare’s audience – who perceived witchcraft as pure evil (a view popularised by King James I’s policies) – the blame for the tragic denouement of Macbeth lay with the witches.
Lady Macbeth’s first response (As soon as Lady…) As soon as Lady macbeth hears the news of the witches’ prophecy in Act 1 Scene 5, she immediately begins scheming: she professes concern that her husband is too ‘full of the milk of human kindness’ and thus resolves to corrupt him by ‘pouring her spirits in his ear.’
Lady Macbeth dissuades Macbeth (taking only fifty…) Taking only fifty lines to dissuade his resoluteness, it is clear that Macbeth is weak and unprincipled in response to his wife’s complaints. Lady Macbeth says far more than Macbeth in this section, show the balance of power in the relationship.
Macbeth’s first response to prophecy (Macbeth appears transfixed…) Macbeth appears transfixed by the witches’ prophecy in Act 1 Scene 3: Macbeth demands they ‘tell him more’, thus showing that he is fascinated by their prediction.
Macbeth’s closeted ambition (This also perhaps reveals…) This also perhaps reveals that the idea of Kingship has at least occurred to him on a subconscious level” while his ambitions may not be externally obvious, he has a closeted desire to achieve greatness.
Macbeth’s moral struggle (In the following soliloquy…) In his following soliloquy, he explores the ramifications of the prophecy: battling his conscience, it is shown that dark desires are matched against the inherent goodness within him.
Summary of Lady Macbeth’s role (Her active role…) Her active role in planning Duncan’s death and persistent persuasion of Macbeth shows her to be a potent force in promoting Macbeth’s wrongdoing.
Feminist perspective (this portrayal of a militaristic…) This portrayal of a militaristic man (whose machismo Macbeth epitomises) as being almost completely dependent on their female counterparts shows Shakespeare to be ahead of time in writing about Lady Macbeth” the balance of power in her relationship with Macbeth suggests she is just as powerful as Macbeth is supposed to be.
Summary of Lady Macbeth as not evil (While her control…) While her control over Macbeth was clear in catalysing his initial transgression – the regicide of Duncan – she is not overtly vilified because her husband surpasses her own capacity for dark ambition by becoming the despotic tyrant familiar to the latter acts of the play.
Good vs. Evil summary (as in many Gothic texts…) As in many Gothic texts, of which Macbeth can be seen as the precursor, the clash between Good and Evil is not straightforward: although Macbeth is defeated by the forces of Good, the forces of Evil can be seen as having won in their battle to corrupt the initially brave and loyal eponymous hero.
Lady Macbeth’s suicide (Lady Macbeth’s suicide…) Lady Macbeth’s suicide does not show Good to have triumphed: it presents the idea that Evil is self-destructive by nature – having initially consumed Lady Macbeth, it ultimately proves her own downfall because it eats away at her soul.
Macbeth the tyrant (Macbeth is regarded…) Macbeth is regarded by those around him as a tyrant: his murder of Banquo, his family and Macduff’s family serve as testament to his indiscriminate despotism.
Macbeth is good (The inner turmoil) The inner turmoil he experienced surround Duncan’s murder shows that there is at least a moral compass within him: the fact that he ignores it is incidental because his awareness of his own Evil shows that he at least has the capacity for Good.
Macbeth’s legacy (the high body count…) The high body count of innocents that Macbeth has left behind posits not only the Evil of Macbeth, but also shows that his actions will outlive his death in tormenting the lives of Macduff and Fleance.
Witches win (The witches’ retreat into…) The witches’ retreat into the background of the tale without any sense of comeuppance seems to suggest that Evil has not been defeated at all: it lives another day, and could strike again at any time, in the form of the witches.
Macbeth’s transformation (His transformation from..) His transformation from a brave and loyal man into the nihilistic and despotic dictator figure shows that Evil has managed to corrupt Macbeth internally.
Good vs. Evil conclusion (The play shows us that…) The play shows us that Evil is not binary, and can never be fully beaten, because it exists within everyone, just as in Macbeth on some level: while Good can have its moments of glory, Evil is both immeasurable and inevitable.

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