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I. “The Tragic Essence” by Margaret Webster
II. Source: Class Handout
III. “In MacBeth, the subtle power of darkness becomes all-pervading; it takes the form of “supernatural soliciting,” it employs “instruments of darkness,” it drenches the play in blackness and in blood, poisons the air with fear, preys on bloated and diseased imaginings, turns feasting to terror and the innocent sleep to nightmare, and employs a terrible irony of destruction in the accomplishment of its terrible irony of destruction in the accomplishment of its barren ends. Evil is alive of itself, a protagonist in its own right.”
IV. There is a tradition among actors that tie in with MacBeth. Saying the name can be very unlucky. No other play has held such a fatal influence to actors than this one. The characters in this play had evil traits as well. Lady MacBeth was stripped of her feminine qualities to give her the will power to carry on the deed of killing Duncan. To do this, she called for evil spirits to enter her. The death of Duncan is a sign to the both of them that evil has taken control of their lives. It has become an overpowering force that they cannot control. MacBeth’s life becomes a living nightmare. He cannot stop killing people; he has become the slave to evil. The only connection left between MacBeth and his wife is the blood of the murdered. The last part of Lady MacBeth is filled with echoes, regardless of the sleepless nights. Fear has set in around the whole play. Everyone fears his or her lives. As the play comes closer to its end the spread of evil accelerates rapidly. The root to all evil of this play is connected with the witches. Their disgusting bodily features and appearances, their spells and the belief in witchery of the time give them a strong power. As superstitions have changed, so did the figureheads of evil in MacBeth. When Orson Welles did his Negro MacBeth, he used voodoo, which was perfectly equivalent.
V. This thesis has a very true argument. MacBeth does hold a strong sense of superstition, evil, and blackness. Actors who have to act in MacBeth portray its superstition by never saying “MacBeth” unless it is necessary. Several times in her work she shows how evil slowly takes over the play. It becomes the force that is ever present and undefeatable. MacBeth is a dark play in two senses. The evil is a representation of darkness, and then a lot of the play occurs at night.
VI. Shakespeare was an amazing writer. His words say much more than to what are written on the paper. MacBeth is just one of his amazing works. His use of diction and syntax in MacBeth are very apropos. The character’s speech is expressed with not only words but with actions as well. Shakespeare’s work was appreciated then and is still very much appreciated
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