It is quite interesting to note that the words of the witches will have an echo in Macbeth’s “So foul and fair a day I have not seen”. Macbeth utters these words at the very first time he enters the stage. This shows the evil connection between Macbeth and the witches. This is suggestive of the psychological depravity of Macbeth who means that the day is foul because it is stormy and fair because he has won the battle against King of Norway and Thane of Cawdor. In the use of the language of witches, Shakespeare shows a great mastery.
Major Themes Hell on Earth The Duchess of Malfi is a play replete with darkness, both literal and figurative. There are good figures, and these characters are associated with light. On the other hand, the brothers, who exhibit unrelenting evil, are associated with motifs of darkness, fire, the devil, and sin. The idea that the brothers have unleashed hell on Earth is most apparent in the fourth act, which includes utter horrors like fake corpses, a severed hand, a plethora of madmen, and most centrally, the vicious murders of the Duchess and her children. The Duchess, a symbol of motherhood and light, is unfazed by these horrors because she believes her family already dead, but she does explain that “the earth” seems made “of flaming sulphur” (4.2.26).
He commits murder and puts his entire kingdom in danger. Still, many of his evil acts are committed while he is under the influence of the Weird Sisters and Lady Macbeth, who are often considered to be the true villains of the play. At the end of the play, Macbeth realizes the evil he has committed and seems to feel sorrow for such. Because of this realization Macbeth is often viewed as a tragic hero, for tragic heroes almost always recognize the errors they have committed by the end of their stories and seek, in some manner, to atone for them. Macbeth is indeed a bit too complex to be categorised as a villain or a hero.
Compare the ways in which Shakespeare and Stephenson presents the theme of evil through the characters of Macbeth and Jekyll and Hyde In ‘Macbeth’, to an Elizabethan audience the evil being explored is that of killing a king. Regicide to the Elizabethan’s was an act against God. In the Victorian novella ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, Stephenson is exploring the horror and evil of science used for personal gain. Shakespeare and Stephenson use these characters ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ as vehicles to explore the themes of violence, ambition, evil, power, desire to have a better life and guilt. Essentially, they are both great mean who have a position in society but each has a fatal flaw.
Shakespeare was a magician. You may think this is preposterous, however the way in which Shakespeare manages to bring his characters to life is simply stunning. He uses a vast range of techniques to bewilder, overwhelm and to encourage further study into the various connotations used. Some of his best literary pieces are his portrayals of disturbed characters; from solitary soliloquies to psychological torture, his use of the English language is phenomenal. Even the most esteemed of critics stand speechless when analysing his works of art.
An example would be; “So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel a winsome life, till one began to fashion evils, that fiend of hell” (I, 47-49). Grendel isn’t just Beowulf’s enemy, he personifies everything that is evil, and he is literally a demon from hell, a descendant of Cain. In our everyday life we face the same controversy of good against evil, we all get to the point where we have to decide what’s wrong and right, that’s why I personally feel Good vs. Evil, is a Universal theme. Beowulf follows the pattern of lots of stories where good always defeats evil, where the hero fights the bad guy and always comes victorious.
How does Golding explore “the darkness in man’s heart” In the wide known modern classic, “Lord of the Flies” William Golding has explored the concept of “the darkness in man’s heart.” The author describes his book as a fable “extended to novel length” as it investigates morals of life and the potential evil that we all possess. Golding’s approach, that savage instincts lurk within all human beings, is exhibited in multiple ways. His significant metaphor of “the Beast,” manifests the evil of the boy’s thinking and causes their innate wickedness to dominate their existence. Golding displays the savagery that the boys develop through their descent from civilisation and into their growing animalistic nature. His choices of characters were specific so that their behaviors and relationships easily exemplify his perceptions of human beings.
Banquo is juxtaposed to show how an honest man would react to fair-surrounding predictions. Macbeth’s “aside” clearly reveals him to be a man who is morally flawed and susceptible to temtation. Shakespeare’s use of imagery with the three witches makes us realise that the witches only want bad things for Macbeth. They test his character to see if they can corrupt him from his natural state of mind into their evil ways. As such Macbeth is morally vulnerable to them.
How far is Iago responsible for the downfall of Othello? “I am not what I am" the villainous Iago states, confirming his sly, deviant nature. Othello's downfall can be largely blamed on Iago as, for one, Iago plants the seed of doubt in Othello's mind about Desdemona's supposed affair with Cassio, something which Othello would never have considered otherwise. He uses a number of different techniques to do this which shows his character to be sly and manipulative. Indeed, Cox claims he is "satanic in his energy, intelligence and daring contempt for goodness."
The Tragedy of Macbeth was written around 1605 by William Shakespeare, and is a play about the downfall of man in his search for kingship. This play is brilliantly structured to show the dangers of temptation, ambition and greed, as well as showing the darker side of humanity. Shakespeare casts three witches who are shown as manifestations of evil and are described as “unnatural” to do this. They only appear 3 times in the play, however there presence has a huge impact as they are linked to every major event, and they move and per-pell the story and action on. They dramatically enhance the play with their ugliness and foulness adding curiosity and darkness and thus drawing Elizabethan crowds in and also the king, James 1st who was deeply interested in demonology.