The witches are associated with evil as Banquo is quick to realize and although

The witches are associated with evil as banquo is

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The witches are associated with evil, as Banquo is quick to realize, and although their promise to Macbeth appears to foretell good fortune, they actually bring him disaster. There is also a recurring conflict between appearance and reality; both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth try to appear good to hide their evil intentionsand deeds. Malcolm pretends to be evil to test Macduff’s loyalty. Although the play is about he power of evil, good triumphs in the end. Macbeth reflects on life’s futility. “Tomorrow; and tomorrow, and to-morrow; Creeps in this petty pace from day to day”. Nature: Order and DisorderThe struggle to maintain or destroy social and natural bonds; the destruction of morality and mutual trust (‘Uproar the universal peace, confound/All unity on earth’).Nature and the natural order are contrasted with the unnatural evil deeds and the supernatural elements of the play.Duncan is Macbeth’s relative and guest as well as king, so his murder breaks all natural bonds and was inspired by the supernatural witches. Unnatural events precede the murders and also follow them, showing them that nature has been thrown out of order. Lady Macbeth makes herself unnaturally evil in order to bring herself to conspire to murder. Macduff was not born in the natural way, which fulfills the prophecy of thewitches. ‘Hot seat’ the Old Man who speaks with Ross outside Macbeth’s castle in Act 2, Scene 4, 1 – 19. What are the strange of goings on and what does he think is going on? Gender and PowerMan: the violent cutthroat feudal society of hierarchical male power breeds bloody stereotypes of what it is to be a man. “I dare do all that may become a man’, says Macbeth, contemplating murder. However the play offers other visions of manhood: ‘But I must also feel it as a man’, cries Macduff, weeping at news of his family’s murder. Characters in Macbethfrequently dwell on issues of gender. Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband by questioning his manhood, wishes that she herself could be “unsexed,” and does not contradict Macbeth when he says that a woman like her should give birth only to boys. In the same manner that Lady Macbeth goads her husband on to murder, Macbeth provokes the murderers he hires to
kill Banquo by questioning their manhood. Such acts show that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth equate masculinity with naked aggression, and whenever theyconverse about manhood, violence soon follows. Their understanding of manhood allows the political order depicted in the play to descend into chaos.At the same time, however, the audience cannot help noticing that women are also sources of violence and evil. The witches’ prophecies spark Macbeth’s ambitions and then encourage his violent behavior; Lady Macbeth provides the brains and the will behind her husband’s plotting; and the only divine being to appear is Hecate, the goddessof witchcraft. Arguably, Macbethtraces the root of chaos and evil to women, which has led some critics to argue that this is Shakespeare’s most misogynistic play. While the male characters are just as

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