Good And Evil In Macbeth Essay Prompt

Macbeth: Essay Topics

1) The supernatural plays an important role in Macbeth. To what extent does it motivate Macbeth's actions?

2) Discuss King Duncan and examine what contribution he makes to the play.

3) In constructing Macbeth, Shakespeare dramatically altered historical characters to enhance certain themes. Examine Shakespeare's sources and discuss why he made these radical changes.

4) Is Lady Macbeth more responsible than Macbeth for the murder of King Duncan? Is Lady Macbeth a more evil character than her husband and, if so, why?

5) The sleepwalking scene in Act V is one of the most memorable in all of drama. Relate this scene to the overall play and examine what makes Lady Macbeth's revelation so provoking.

6) Choose two of the minor characters in Macbeth and examine how they contribute to the play's action.

7) The witches tell Banquo that he will be the father of future kings. How does Banquo's reaction reveal his true character?

8) Examine Macbeth's mental deterioration throughout the play.

9) Discuss the speech Macbeth gives upon hearing that his wife is dead in Act V, Scene V. How do his words capture one of the major themes in the drama?


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More Resources

 Daily Life in Shakespeare's London
 Life in Stratford (structures and guilds)
 Life in Stratford (trades, laws, furniture, hygiene)
 Stratford School Days: What Did Shakespeare Read?

 Games in Shakespeare's England [A-L]
 Games in Shakespeare's England [M-Z]
 An Elizabethan Christmas
 Clothing in Elizabethan England

 Queen Elizabeth: Shakespeare's Patron
 King James I of England: Shakespeare's Patron
 The Earl of Southampton: Shakespeare's Patron
 Going to a Play in Elizabethan London

Research Your Topic

 Macbeth: The Complete Play with Annotations and Commentary
 The Metre of Macbeth: Blank Verse and Rhymed Lines
 Macbeth Character Introduction
 Metaphors in Macbeth (Biblical)

 Soliloquy Analysis: If it were done when 'tis done (1.7.1-29)
 Soliloquy Analysis: Is this a dagger (2.1.33-61)
 Soliloquy Analysis: To be thus is nothing (3.1.47-71)
 Soliloquy Analysis: She should have died hereafter (5.5.17-28)

 Explanatory Notes for Lady Macbeth's Soliloquy (1.5)
 The Psychoanalysis of Lady Macbeth (Sleepwalking Scene)
 Lady Macbeth's Suicide
 Is Lady Macbeth's Swoon Real?

 Explanatory Notes for the Witches' Chants (4.1)
 Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 1 and 2)
 Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 3, 4 and 5)

 A Comparison of Macbeth and Hamlet
 The Effect of Lady Macbeth's Death on Macbeth
 The Curse of Macbeth

 James I and Shakespeare's Sources for Macbeth
 Macbeth Q & A
 Aesthetic Examination Questions on Macbeth
 What is Tragic Irony?

 Macbeth Study Quiz (with detailed answers)
 Quotations from Macbeth (Full)
 Top 10 Quotations from Macbeth

 Characteristics of Elizabethan Tragedy
 Shakespeare's Workmanship: Crafting a Sympathetic Macbeth
 Temptation, Sin, Retribution: Lecture Notes on Macbeth
 Untie the winds: Exploring the Witches' Control Over Nature in Macbeth

 What is Tragic Irony?
 Seneca's Tragedies and the Elizabethan Drama
 Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama



The Struggle between Good and Evil; in Macbeth Essay

1022 Words5 Pages

Macbeth is without a doubt a play about evil. The play revolves around the bad and wicked qualities in human nature, but Shakespeare also contrasts this evil with the power of good. In this essay I will explore the ways in which Shakespeare contrasted good and evil in Macbeth.
These contradictions start in the very beginning of the play, with the witches. In line 12, the witches say, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” This is interesting as they are suggesting good and evil as being one. The witches’ line reflects on human nature as there are fair and foul parts to everyone. Shakespeare wanted to get this message across as the main character, Macbeth, is a prime example of the struggle between good and bad within one person.
This opening…show more content…

They would assume that he was good, gracious and holy, all traits that would definitely not apply to the witches.
The mysterious Macbeth is also mentioned in this scene. However, we hear a different view of Macbeth. In line 16, the captain described Macbeth as “brave.” He also goes on to tell the King of the horrific battle between Macbeth and Macdonald. McDonald was fighting for the Scottish but changed sides to fight for the enemy, the Norwegian king Sweno. When Macbeth hears of MacDonald’s deceit, he thinks it to be so appalling that Macdonald deserves a horrific death. In his anger at such disloyalty to his king, Macbeth fought his way to MacDonald and “unseam’d him for the nave to th’chaps”.
When the captain’s story is told, Duncan declares Macbeth to be “o valiant cousin, worthy gentleman.”
This is outstanding praise from the king, but it confuses the audience. We have heard of Macbeth twice now, but both views contradict each other. The mystery surrounding Macbeth intensifies and we are curious to find out more about his character.
However, in scene three, we finally meet this enigmatic character. In this scene, Macbeth and Banquo, Macbeth's closest friend, meet the witches for the first time. The men are both Scottish lords and are in a similar position in society.
However, their reactions to the witches’ prophecies differ. Banquo is sceptical and quickly dismisses the idea of the prophecies, saying it was just their

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