True Horror in Macbeth

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True Horror and Macbeth Long before the modern thriller and horror movies, Shakespeare put pen to paper writing one of the most terrifying works of literature. Macbeth has terrified audiences for centuries as it still does today. Written in 1606, Macbeth was far beyond its time when it comes to deep psychological horror stories. The word horror appears in this play more than any other work of Shakespeare (Tambling). Shakespeare opens the door into the minds of two characters and lets us watch their lives as they undergo intense mental torture and slowly deteriorate. Shakespeare uses many techniques to create this picture of horror for the audience. Much of the action takes place at night creating a paranoid and shadowy setting. He also uses the mysterious witches to construct a feeling of the unknown. However, the biggest aspect of Macbeth that creates the true horror feeling is by giving the audience a window to view the mental torture caused by pure evil. Shakespeare creates an ominous story that gives the audience the feeling that evil is at work within the play. He has created a psychological thriller by showing us what that evil can do when it is allowed to take over the mind. Paired with the hopeless feeling guilt brings on the characters is enough to give any audience chills. Shakespeare also keeps the audience eerily close to the characters giving us a full view of their mental breakdown. “In no other Shakespearean play is the audience asked to identify to such extent with the evildoer himself” (Bevington 1255). “[Macbeth] offers its audience a crucial dual status: we are both participators and Witnesses - we are taken into the subjective experience so that we kill and we die, say, with Macbeth” (Bristow). By looking closely at how these characters are developed throughout the play it will show us the mental battle that plagues each character. Both
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