Thematic concerns in  Macbeth Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work :  they are...
Thematic concerns of Macbeth <ul><li>The Corrupting Power of   Unchecked Ambition  </li></ul><ul><li>if there are no moral...
Thematic concerns of Macbeth <ul><li>Honour and Manliness </li></ul><ul><li>The notion that manliness precludes compassion...
Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Kingship vs Tyrrany </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The king-becoming graces [are] justice, v...
Thematic concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Duncan is an icon of kingliness </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on his innocence, his holi...
Thematic concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Order/Disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabethan Order very important; everybody had thei...
Thematic concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>C ountry not at peace until rightful heir (Malcolm) was crowned </li></ul><ul><li>the...
Thematic concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>U nder Macbeth's rule, there can be no order </li></ul><ul><li>He  offers no real jus...
Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Appearance vs Reality </li></ul><ul><li>constantly reminded that things are not what ...
Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Appearance vs Reality (continued) </li></ul><ul><li>Seems that Shakespeare is  warnin...
Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Appearance vs Reality (continued) </li></ul><ul><li>witches predictions are an exampl...
Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><ul><li>Nothing is but what is not (1,3, 141-142) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The witches ...
Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Spiritual worlds of good and evil </li></ul><ul><li>witches, ghosts, and disturbances...
Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Witches (continued) </li></ul><ul><li>They had power over the wind; could cast spells...
Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>S upernatural powers need not be bad.  </li></ul><ul><li>King Edward of England (good...
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Wynberg girls high-pat orpen-english-thematic concerns in macbeth

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

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. Thematic concerns of Macbeth <ul><li>The Corrupting Power of Unchecked Ambition </li></ul><ul><li>if there are no moral constraints, destruction is wrought. </li></ul><ul><li>dreadful crime driven by ambition haunts Macbeth and his wife </li></ul><ul><li>le a d s to their downfall and eventual death </li></ul><ul><li>Macbeth re cognises the danger of his ambition (I. vii.), he outlines reasons he has for not killing Duncan </li></ul><ul><li>Lady Macbeth persuades him that failure to pursue ambition is cowardice and betrayal </li></ul>
  3. 3. Thematic concerns of Macbeth <ul><li>Honour and Manliness </li></ul><ul><li>The notion that manliness precludes compassion is challenged: humane feeling is central to the notion of manliness </li></ul><ul><li>Lady Macbeth suggests that one should be able to do anything if one is a man </li></ul><ul><li>Macbeth KNOWS that a man protects his King, his country, his family. </li></ul><ul><li>Lady Macduff suggests that a man’s role is to protect those he loves </li></ul><ul><li>Macduff also challenges this: when he hears of his wife’s death he weeps </li></ul>
  4. 4. Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Kingship vs Tyrrany </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The king-becoming graces [are] justice, verity, temp e rance, stableness, / Bounty, perseverance, mercy, [and] lowliness—&quot; ( IV.i ii) </li></ul><ul><li>king, offers the kingdom an embodiment of order and justice, comfort and affection. </li></ul><ul><li>subjects are rewarded according to their merits, as when Duncan makes Macbeth thane of Cawdor after Macbeth's victory over the invaders. </li></ul><ul><li>Most important, the king must be loyal to Scotland above his own interests </li></ul>
  5. 5. Thematic concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Duncan is an icon of kingliness </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on his innocence, his holiness and his sanctity. Duncan is to be trusted </li></ul><ul><li>Reference to his holy virtues: so clear in his great office, a most sainted king. </li></ul><ul><li>He is a paternalist king – source of love and honour. </li></ul><ul><li>Duncan- king, figure head, the protective not the executive head of state. </li></ul><ul><li>Duncan is not viewed as negligent - t he source of lineage and honour. </li></ul><ul><li>When he is gone, ‘ the winde of life is drawn, and the mere lees is left this vault to beg of ’ </li></ul>
  6. 6. Thematic concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Order/Disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabethan Order very important; everybody had their place (see notes on Elizabethan Chain of Being) </li></ul><ul><li>monarch ruled by divine right and worst possible crime was to kill a king (called regicide) </li></ul><ul><li>Shakespeare shows when the rightful place of things is upset, then everything will be upset, until situation is returned to normal </li></ul><ul><li>Disorder revealed through nature (cosmos); in country (macrocosm); personal relationships (microcosm) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Thematic concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>C ountry not at peace until rightful heir (Malcolm) was crowned </li></ul><ul><li>the great disruption caused by Macbeth's crime: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i) dark in daytime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ii) owl kills a falcon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iii) Duncan's horses go mad and eat each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iv) fear and mistrust in the land </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Thematic concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>U nder Macbeth's rule, there can be no order </li></ul><ul><li>He offers no real justice, only a habit of capriciously murdering those he sees as a threat. </li></ul><ul><li>As the embodiment of tyranny, he must be overcome by Malcolm so that Scotland can have a true king once more. </li></ul><ul><li>W itches and evil ambition they encourage in Macbeth are the forces of disorder which are eventually defeated at the end of the play . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Appearance vs Reality </li></ul><ul><li>constantly reminded that things are not what they seem in the play </li></ul><ul><li>Lady Macbeth advises Macbeth to “ look like a flower but be a serpent underneath ” </li></ul><ul><li>witches provide Macbeth with a stream of information which seems comforting but is also misleading </li></ul>
  10. 10. Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Appearance vs Reality (continued) </li></ul><ul><li>Seems that Shakespeare is warning us not to be fooled be appearances </li></ul><ul><li>Malcolm pretends to be evil to test Macduff </li></ul><ul><li>Do not fear until t he forest comes to Dunsinane – but it does </li></ul><ul><li>No one of ‘woman born’ can harm Macbeth – believes that this is not possible </li></ul>
  11. 11. Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Appearance vs Reality (continued) </li></ul><ul><li>witches predictions are an example of EQUIVOCATION i.e. intentionally vague or ambiguous or unclear by virtue of having more than one meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Equivocation is an idea that is central to the play </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fair is foul and foul is fair – paradox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesser than Macbeth and greater, not so happy, yet much happier, Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none (1.3.65- 67) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><ul><li>Nothing is but what is not (1,3, 141-142) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The witches equivocate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Porter scene reveals that alchohol is an equivocater; stimulates sexual desire and impairs sexual performance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Spiritual worlds of good and evil </li></ul><ul><li>witches, ghosts, and disturbances of nature – manifestations of evil afoot </li></ul><ul><li>Witches associated with the Devil and thought to be his agents </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>Witches (continued) </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Thematic Concerns in Macbeth <ul><li>S upernatural powers need not be bad. </li></ul><ul><li>King Edward of England (good king) can perform &quot;a most miraculous work...&quot; healing sick subjects by touching them </li></ul><ul><li>C ontrast this to Macbeth whose touch seems only to bring misery to his people </li></ul>

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