MacBeth - 1183 History is made up of many time periods,...

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1183 History is made up of many time periods, many of these periods had a certain norm, and a way of thinking that was accepted and adopted by the majority of the people. In the Elizabethan/Jacobean time period the notion accepted and in place at the time was that of a great chain of being. This notion in which God is at the top, then comes the planets, the angels, human kind and finally the animal kingdom. In fact, it was based on psalm 8 and placed God, the all-powerful being, on the uppermost link of the chain and gave him all the power. In order for any other being or thing to possess power he/it could do so only with the permission of God or in accordance to the will of God. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare, pushes the concept of primogeniture and also the fact that the king is put into power by the will of God and anyone opposing the king would not only cause a great disturbance in the great chain of being but would likewise be going against the will of God. In doing this, is Shakespeare convincing enough or is this idea hype and without substance? To explore this notion we must first look at the characters Shakespeare uses to promote this notion. An obvious character to start with would have to be the one who is king at the beginning of the play. Duncan is a righteous king, one who is greatly respected by many of his subjects. Even the man, who killed him, did so, not because of Duncan's unjustly ruling but rather out of personal greed. Before Macbeth's greed for power consumed him, he praises Duncan during his struggle with the decision of whether or not to usurp the throne and in doing so, cause great chaos according to the great chain of being. We see this when Macbeth says: "… This Duncan hath born his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his great office, that his virtues will
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MacBeth - 1183 History is made up of many time periods,...

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