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Wynberg girls high-pat orpen-english-thematic concerns in macbeth

Wynberg girls high-pat orpen-english-thematic concerns in macbeth



thematic concerns in macbeth for english

thematic concerns in macbeth for english



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    Wynberg girls high-pat orpen-english-thematic concerns in macbeth Wynberg girls high-pat orpen-english-thematic concerns in macbeth Presentation Transcript

    • Thematic concerns in Macbeth Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work : they are the dominant thread in the material of a play
    • Thematic concerns of Macbeth
      • The Corrupting Power of Unchecked Ambition
      • if there are no moral constraints, destruction is wrought.
      • dreadful crime driven by ambition haunts Macbeth and his wife
      • le a d s to their downfall and eventual death
      • Macbeth re cognises the danger of his ambition (I. vii.), he outlines reasons he has for not killing Duncan
      • Lady Macbeth persuades him that failure to pursue ambition is cowardice and betrayal
    • Thematic concerns of Macbeth
      • Honour and Manliness
      • The notion that manliness precludes compassion is challenged: humane feeling is central to the notion of manliness
      • Lady Macbeth suggests that one should be able to do anything if one is a man
      • Macbeth KNOWS that a man protects his King, his country, his family.
      • Lady Macduff suggests that a man’s role is to protect those he loves
      • Macduff also challenges this: when he hears of his wife’s death he weeps
    • Thematic Concerns in Macbeth
      • Kingship vs Tyrrany
      • "The king-becoming graces [are] justice, verity, temp e rance, stableness, / Bounty, perseverance, mercy, [and] lowliness—" ( IV.i ii)
      • king, offers the kingdom an embodiment of order and justice, comfort and affection.
      • subjects are rewarded according to their merits, as when Duncan makes Macbeth thane of Cawdor after Macbeth's victory over the invaders.
      • Most important, the king must be loyal to Scotland above his own interests
    • Thematic concerns in Macbeth
      • Duncan is an icon of kingliness
      • Emphasis on his innocence, his holiness and his sanctity. Duncan is to be trusted
      • Reference to his holy virtues: so clear in his great office, a most sainted king.
      • He is a paternalist king – source of love and honour.
      • Duncan- king, figure head, the protective not the executive head of state.
      • Duncan is not viewed as negligent - t he source of lineage and honour.
      • When he is gone, ‘ the winde of life is drawn, and the mere lees is left this vault to beg of ’
    • Thematic concerns in Macbeth
      • Order/Disorder
      • Elizabethan Order very important; everybody had their place (see notes on Elizabethan Chain of Being)
      • monarch ruled by divine right and worst possible crime was to kill a king (called regicide)
      • Shakespeare shows when the rightful place of things is upset, then everything will be upset, until situation is returned to normal
      • Disorder revealed through nature (cosmos); in country (macrocosm); personal relationships (microcosm)
    • Thematic concerns in Macbeth
      • C ountry not at peace until rightful heir (Malcolm) was crowned
      • the great disruption caused by Macbeth's crime:
        • i) dark in daytime
        • ii) owl kills a falcon
        • iii) Duncan's horses go mad and eat each other
        • iv) fear and mistrust in the land
    • Thematic concerns in Macbeth
      • U nder Macbeth's rule, there can be no order
      • He offers no real justice, only a habit of capriciously murdering those he sees as a threat.
      • As the embodiment of tyranny, he must be overcome by Malcolm so that Scotland can have a true king once more.
      • W itches and evil ambition they encourage in Macbeth are the forces of disorder which are eventually defeated at the end of the play .
    • Thematic Concerns in Macbeth
      • Appearance vs Reality
      • constantly reminded that things are not what they seem in the play
      • Lady Macbeth advises Macbeth to “ look like a flower but be a serpent underneath ”
      • witches provide Macbeth with a stream of information which seems comforting but is also misleading
    • Thematic Concerns in Macbeth
      • Appearance vs Reality (continued)
      • Seems that Shakespeare is warning us not to be fooled be appearances
      • Malcolm pretends to be evil to test Macduff
      • Do not fear until t he forest comes to Dunsinane – but it does
      • No one of ‘woman born’ can harm Macbeth – believes that this is not possible
    • Thematic Concerns in Macbeth
      • Appearance vs Reality (continued)
      • witches predictions are an example of EQUIVOCATION i.e. intentionally vague or ambiguous or unclear by virtue of having more than one meaning
      • Equivocation is an idea that is central to the play
        • Fair is foul and foul is fair – paradox
        • Lesser than Macbeth and greater, not so happy, yet much happier, Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none (1.3.65- 67)
    • Thematic Concerns in Macbeth
        • Nothing is but what is not (1,3, 141-142)
        • The witches equivocate.
        • The Porter scene reveals that alchohol is an equivocater; stimulates sexual desire and impairs sexual performance.
        • Act 4 there are more equivocal prophecies. Macbeth is deceived. The spirits that know All mortal consequences (Act 5, 3, 4-5) At the end, Macbeth begins to doubt the equivocation of the fiend that lies like truth (5,5, 41-43)
        • News of Macduff’s birth (Act 5,8.18) Realised that he has dealt with juggling fiends/that palter with us in a double sense (5.8.19)
    • Thematic Concerns in Macbeth
      • Spiritual worlds of good and evil
      • witches, ghosts, and disturbances of nature – manifestations of evil afoot
      • Witches associated with the Devil and thought to be his agents
      • Could fly; could predict the future; vanish into thin air; would become your mortal enemy if you refused them food; could ruin crops; could bring rot onto sheep and other livestock; bringing disease to people; could control the weather
    • Thematic Concerns in Macbeth
      • Witches (continued)
      • They had power over the wind; could cast spells for many things such as ensuring victory in a battle; keep one safe and sound; they could never be trusted, no matter how pleasant they seemed; they could cause things to catch fire; they could sink ships; they were the enemies of mankind; they used animals like cats and toads to carry out tasks for them: they were called familiars.
    • Thematic Concerns in Macbeth
      • S upernatural powers need not be bad.
      • King Edward of England (good king) can perform "a most miraculous work..." healing sick subjects by touching them
      • C ontrast this to Macbeth whose touch seems only to bring misery to his people