Macbeth Macbeth question

Themes in Macbeth
Melissa Caster Melissa Nov 14, 2012 09:29AM
Have you noticed any major themes so far in Macbeth?

The theme of Macbeth is greed I agree with Esseffsee because Macbeth is so greedy for power! I did go on a school trip to Berkshire to watch it and I found that Macbeth is greedy and Lady Macbeth is just a total weirdo

Order versus Chaos. While the actions Macbeth makes...influenced by Lady Macbeth... are evil, I think he makes them for maintaining the order in his universe. After the prophecy, he realizes that he needs to make some decisions to become the king of Scotland.

I think that these the most important themes:
- Manhood
- Betrayal
- Supernatural (witchcraft, apparitions etc)
- Equivocation
- Kingship

Things like clothing imagery, animal imagery, references to gunpowder plot, references to James I, literary devices etc are very closely related to the themes in the book.

William (last edited Mar 31, 2013 04:41AM ) Mar 28, 2013 04:17AM   0 votes
The banality of evil, as Hannah Arendt called it when referring to Eichmann. As the rift between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth deepens and widens, they are subsumed by their actions. Neither has a councilor, a vent, someone to confide in; they are both out of control if they ever were in control: "life's but a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." I suppose most of you know this already, but the "weird sisters" also known as the witches were referred to as "weird" not just because their appearance was strange but also because "weird" is a reference to the ancient Celtic concept of the Wyrd or Fate. Macbeth has no more choice than Oedipus did, only Macbeth, with considerable prodding from Lady Macbeth, attempts to fulfill his fate, whereas Oedipus attempts to thwart his destiny because of his cultural taboo against incest. Good discussion.

Zak (last edited Mar 31, 2013 04:44AM ) Mar 31, 2013 04:43AM   0 votes
I was always under the impression that Lady Macbeth could be absolved from responsibility as she gave herself to the devil and subsequently became an animal or merely a primal influence.

M 25x33
Zak Yep, she was an absolute bitch but in terms of responsibility I feel like she was only slighlty more accountable than the witches.
Mar 31, 2013 04:54AM
William The witches did nothing except inform Macbeth of his destiny. There was nothing he could do about it. And the idea of taking the throne was already in ...more
Mar 31, 2013 04:59AM

Guilt, betrayal, and ownership. Think about how it all started. You have to think in and outside of the box with this book. Conversations between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are the most important. You have to really think about them to get the gist of them, and what their intentions are.

Don't forget you have the price of power over the price of peace of mind.

To me, one of the most major themes in Macbeth is that of watching yourself slowly slip away and be subsumed by the dark forces that presumably live inside all of us. Those forces take over Lady Macbeth and eventually destroy her, and Macbeth wrestles with them throughout the play. The witches are actually playing with them and calling them so they are there for symbolism, but really, everyone in that play is haunted.

deleted member Mar 31, 2013 04:49AM   0 votes
Surely the main theme of Macbeth is greed. Greed for power, greed for control and greed for immortality. Possibly a reflection of the authors thoughts on politics and monarchy at the time. A satire on succession ?

I think the main theme of Macbeth is guilt. Macbeth knows what he does is wrong yet he continues to brush it aside. Lady Macbeth commits suicide as consequence to her own guilt which she only feels when in it's worse. In the end the 'innocent' ones are restored to power... notice how much Duncan is described as innocent, just, etc.?

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