Loading

Module 1: Macbeth Themes

Notes
Study Reminders
Support
Text Version

The presence of evil

Set your study reminders

We will email you at these times to remind you to study.
  • Monday

    -

    7am

    +

    Tuesday

    -

    7am

    +

    Wednesday

    -

    7am

    +

    Thursday

    -

    7am

    +

    Friday

    -

    7am

    +

    Saturday

    -

    7am

    +

    Sunday

    -

    7am

    +

XSIQ
*

English - The presence of evil

The presence of evil

_ Macbeth is commonly considered to be a play about the nature of evil and
evil is represented in many forms throughout it_.

In dramatic terms, darkness, stormy weather and unnatural acts all
indicate the presence of evil in Scotland. Evil is represented by
treachery, dishonesty, cowardice and a lack of moral discipline among
others.

The play opens with thunder and lightning and the storm continues as the
evil acts begin to unfold. Macbeth and his wife both call on darkness to
hide their evil actions and the witches appear in fog and filthy air. Many
of the crimes are committed at night-time as indicated either by the
presence of torches on stage or through the dialogue. After the murder of
King Duncan many unnatural acts are reported to have occurred.

The witches themselves are agents of the Devil and Elizabethan audiences
would have immediately associated them with evil.

Lady Macbeth is considered to be evil and is called 'FIEND-LIKE' by
Malcolm at the end of the play. She is equated with the witches because she
greets Macbeth the same way they do and in her soliloquy she calls on the
spirits. However, Lady Macbeth does not commit any of the crimes herself
and it could be argued that rather than being evil she was simply
supporting her husband.

Previous | Next