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Macbeth Essay

August 26th, 2009 No comments

Throughout the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth together demonstrate how ambition can turn a loyal soldier into a bloodthirsty murderer with his scheming and devious wife turning weak and disturbed as ambition slowly destroys her. Macbeth’s ambition to become king of Scotland turn’s him independent and ruthless. “The dead butcher and fiend-like queen”, is an accurate description as this is all they amount to.

At the start of the play Macbeth is a loyal soldier returning from the civil war. The witches tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. The witch’s prophecies make Macbeth ambitious and tap into pre-existing ambition. Macbeth believes these prophecies as the first of his prophecies has been fulfilled. Afterwards the second prophecy is carried out. Immediately Macbeth thinks of murdering King Duncan so the third of his prophecies will be fulfilled even though he is horrified by the idea.

Lady Macbeth’s greed makes her determined the third prophecy will come true. But believes Macbeth is not capable of murdering Duncan but will provoke him. When Lady Macbeth hears the news that that Duncan is coming to visit she believes it is the ideal opportunity to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth calls on the spirits of darkness and evil to replace her nurturing and feminine qualities with remorseless cruelty. Macbeth is appalled of the thought of killing his king and can think of many reasons for not going ahead with the murder. Read more…

Othello Essay

August 20th, 2009 No comments

Tragic dramas have been written and performed for many centuries and throughout this time, they have undergone an evolutionary process, with each successive era of tragic drama deriving directly or indirectly from its predecessors. Scholars believe that the play Othello by William Shakespeare was first published in 1603; approximately at the same time as Shakespeare’s other great tragedies Macbeth, Hamlet and King Lear. After careful analysis of each of these four great tragedies, we can conclude that Shakespeare has maintained a ‘template’ for tragedy throughout these works, more specifically a backbone plot to which he can add different characters and themes to create tragic dramas dealing with entirely different issues. By examining Shakespeare’s template for tragedy, we begin to notice similarities with past templates for tragedy, examples of which include the Aristotle, Seneca and Christian Morality templates. Each of which will be looked at in detail shortly to analyse how they have influenced the production of the play Othello. To relate Othello to the template for Shakespearean tragedy and other older forms of tragedy, firstly we must deconstruct Shakespeare’s template for tragedy and compare the characters and plot lines presented in Othello to those fitting the template. Subsequently we must decide to what extent its components are similar to those seen in other forms of tragedy and hence to what extent previous templates have influenced the creation of Shakespeare’s masterpieces. Read more…