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Macbeth Analyse Inspiration

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Macbeth analysis

“Macbeth” is a tragedy and was written by William Shakespeare. It was originally written as a play; believed to have been written between 1599 and 1606. Macbeth is the easiest of all of Shakespeare’s plays to follow because the play only has one plot and is constructed in a way that almost everything that happens, refers to the main story.
The play takes place mostly in a castle in medieval Scotland. In the tragedy we follow King Duncan’s army-general, Macbeth’s rise to power and his downfall after this, and the wife, Lady Macbeth, when she taunts him to do the things she wants him to do in order to kill King Duncan. But how much guilt can one take before going insane? When will one be too crazy for their subjects to obey? And how does acting against your morals affect one in the long run?

The most important characters in the play are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth but the three witches, “The Weird Sisters”, plays a big part too.
Macbeth is the main character. The first impression we get of him is, that he is a brave and capable warrior. We get this impression because of the first place in the play, that we meet Macbeth is in the captain’s account of the battlefield. However, this impression changes when he meets the 3 witches, and they tell him, that he is to be king. At this point, we realise that he is a lot more than just brave. His courage is combined with his ambition and tendency to doubt himself.
When he is told, that he is to kill the king, he experiences a lot of joy, but the news also gives him inner turmoil. Macbeth is a person consisting of three attributes; bravery, self-doubt and ambition. These attributes all tries to overtake Macbeth and that becomes a big struggle for him throughout the whole play. This also ends up showing us the effects that a person with such ambition and guilt can have, especially when that person has a lack of character strength. You can say that Macbeth is irrevocably evil but the weak character, compared to some of the other great villains of Shakespeare, makes him even more open to the psychic consequences of his crimes, which he clearly is not strong enough to conquer. We meet his weak side the minutes before he kills Duncan, where he is overwhelmed by worry and almost chooses not to kill the king. After this is done, Macbeth goes absolutely crazy with guilt, but as time passes he gets better.

The next very important person in the play is Lady Macbeth. She is one of the strongest and most frightening female characters that Shakespeare has made. Lady Macbeth is, when we first meet her, already plotting the murder on King Duncan. She is a lot more ambitious, ruthless and strong as a character than her husband is. She also knows this, and knows that she is going to have to push Macbeth, if he is going to actually commit the murder.
In act 1, scene 5, lines 36-52, she even wishes that she could commit the murder herself. The long paragraph “The raven himself is hoarse ...” Shows us, that she is willing to do whatever it takes to get the throne. The language here uses a lot of masculinity “unsex mere here”, “come to mu woman’s breasts […] take my milk for gall”. She here wants her womanhood to be taken away, as you cannot do any cruel or violent acts with these symbols of nurture, because the cruelty and violence back then was associated with manliness.
Lady Macbeth pushes Macbeth by taunting and manipulating him; both on his masculinity and sexually. She tells him, when he backs down with the murder, that he has got to do what it takes to be a man and just kill the king. For this reason, she uses female methods to achieve what she wants.
She is the one calming Macbeth’s nerves right after the killing, but with time guilt starts to sneaks up on her, strongly. Just as strongly as the ambition she had before the killing. This ends with her sleepwalking, desperately trying to wash the blood of her hands, until she by the end kills herself, because she could not deal with the guilt anymore.

The three witches, with their potions and bizarre rhymed speeches make them seem ridiculous to us. But all in all, they lurk like the dark thoughts and temptations of evil, that we see our other characters performing. They have a kind of understanding for weaknesses that make them perfect to cause a lot of mischief.

One of the themes of the play is the relationship between cruelty and masculinity. The characters dwell on the issue of gender all the time. Lady Macbeth taunts her husband, constantly questioning his manhood and wanting to be unsexed herself so she could have done some of the violent acts herself, but since she is a woman, she can not. Macbeth does the same to the men he hires to kill Banquo; questions their manhood.
So, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth compare masculinity with aggression and each time this is mentioned, acts of violence quickly follows.
As audience we also notice that women can be the sources of evil. The prophesy from the witches sparks Macbeth’s ambition and encourage his, later on, violent behaviour.

Because Lady Macbeth and the three witches has some cruel and ambitious thought and acts, the play implies that women can be just as cruel and ambitious as men.
The male characters are almost as evil and violent as the female characters, but the aggression in the female characters are more striking to us, because it goes against the picture and expectations of how women should behave.

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