Macbeth Essays (Examples)

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Relevance Quote Plot Interpret Quote Mention Literary

Words: 964 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 55024402

relevance quote plot Interpret quote mention literary techniques devices This quote reflects theme ... (put a theme) CLEARLY STATE THE THEME Write occasions characters play embody theme Body 1: Topic Sentence connects thesis statement mention Occasion Character #1.

Being and seeming:

The contrast between surface appearances and true character in Shakespeare's Macbeth

When Lady Macbeth learns that the witches have predicted that her husband Macbeth will be king she gloats and greets her husband with the words "…look like the innocent flower, / But be the serpent under't" (I.5). The fact that the three 'weird sisters' have predicted Macbeth's kingship is interpreted by Lady Macbeth as license to commit the murder of Duncan. Lady Macbeth's words indicate a contrast between 'being' and 'seeming' that runs throughout the play. Lady Macbeth urges her husband to seem as though he is loyal even while he conspires with his wife to kill the king. Yet the play underlines the theme that it is not only Macbeth who merely makes a show of what he is not: the dangers of making assumptions based upon surface appearances run throughout the play. Both Duncan and Macbeth are guilty of this fatal flaw.

Of the thane of…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Shakespeare Homepage. 4 Jan 2013.
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Insanity Within the Plays of William Shakespeare

Words: 2735 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 39815326

Shakespeare and Insanity

An Analysis of Insanity in Four Plays by Shakespeare

Shakespeare lived at a time when the old medieval Catholic world was splitting apart and giving rise to the new modern Protestant world. In the midst of this real conflict, Shakespeare depicts on stage several different characters that go mad. Some feign madness, some truly lose their minds, and some are bewitched by the maddening charms of love potions. This paper will analyze the degrees of madness in four of Shakespeare's plays and show why each case is unique and different from all the others and yet in a way related to the transforming world in which the playwright found himself.

Hamlet is by no means representative of the kind of insanity that Shakespeare depicts in all his dramas. But there is in a Hamlet, a young man who has just returned home from college, a prototype for much of modern drama. Hamlet is an actor, and in Hamlet, the Prince feigns madness out of exasperation with the fakery he sees at Elsinore -- whether it his in his mother, or in the spying Polonius, or in the puppeteer-ed Ophelia. Yet, his fake madness (and his mad-seeming acts,…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Boswell, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson. NY: Modern Library, 1901. Print.

Corpe, A.W. "Macbeth." Catholic World, vol. 84. [Paulist Fathers, eds.], 1907. Print.

Dean, Paul. "Current Literature 2003: Literary Theory, History and Criticism." English

Studies, 85.6 (2004): 532-546. Print.
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Shakespeare's Notorious Villians William Shakespeare

Words: 1197 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 83179893

Shakespeare allows us to see Macbeth's good nature, which also illustrates how easily man can fall once he allows his passions to have free reign.

In Hamlet, Claudius is also driven by ambition and he ranks a close second to Iago as men whose hearts are tainted with evil. His ultimate desire is to be king and then to remain king and he will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. Of course, the wicked deed of killing his own brother becomes more grotesque than that of Iago or Macbeth because of the sheer lack of soul a man must have to commit such an act. Claudius admits that he will do what it takes to retain the throne and he resorts to all sorts of dubious behavior to accomplish this. He also asks Rozencrantz and Guildenstern to use their:


To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather

So much as from occasion you may glean,

Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus That, opened, lies within our remedy. (Hamlet II.ii.14-8)

Here the man is so obsessed with staying on the throne that he is willing to enlist others to help him. Once he decides to include…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Washington Square Press. 1992.

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. O'Connor, John, ed. London: New Longman Shakespeare. 1999.

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Kenneth Muir, ed. New York: Penguin Books. 1968.
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Text Stage and Screen

Words: 4297 Length: 16 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 68812347


Shakespeare's rhetoric has always astounded his contemporary audiences through his almost supernatural ability to perceive and present the universality of human nature on stage, regardless of the time his characters lived in.

The three different types of techniques used in rendering the play to the public are different, but related art forms: literature, theater and film. They reflect their author's or directors' vision of the story originally presented by Shakespeare on stage at the Globe, in London, at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

Kings of Scotland, England, and later Great Britain, had always been challenged in keeping their place on the throne and Shakespeare himself lived through times that were still full of intrigue and plotting against the sovereign. Mary Stuart, accused of plotting against the queen of England, Elisabeth I, had been executed in 1587, still a vivid memory for many who attended the shows put on stage at the Globe.

The Londoners in Shakespeare's time were thus no strangers to the intrigues at the royal courts. The way kings feared for their lives, while princes or any of those who could raise a claim to the throne were wowing their nets, making allies in order to…… [Read More]

Steven M. Buhler considers the way Shakespearean plays have been adapted for the American stage in the second half of the twentieth century as a result of finding the correspondents for the politics of the Renaissance England in the U.S. politics. "What attracted the writers what not only the topical pertinence of the subject matter, although their plays do react to recent assassinations, but the writers were also drawn to the play's and Shakespeare's more general resonances in American political culture" (Buhler, edited by Moschovakis, 2008, p. 258). Shakespearean royal characters that plotted and killed against former sovereigns in order for them to become their usurpers were always punished in the end and Macbeth is no exception. In the American politics, the reality is much more nuanced and the punishment comes as a revenge on stage, a wishful thinking, a thirst for justice, rather than a reflection of the contemporary reality.

The staging of Macbeth, even in the modern time of the nineteenth century, was no stranger to violence outside the stage. "Rival performances of Macbeth in nineteenth -- century New York city would lead to the bloodshed and death in the context of establishing a national separate identity.[…] At least thrity-one people died and over one hundred were injured in the Astor Place riot on the night of May 10, 1849 (Shattuck, 1: 82-85)" (Buhler, edited by Moschovakis, 2008, p. 259).

Psychological explanation for people's inclination to witness violence in a context that is completely separate than their reality, on stage or on screen, lead to several interpretations for the respective character types and their need to see such manifestations of graphic image. The value of a drama resides in the development of its characters and the tension that gradually increases towards the end when it becomes almost impossible to bear. The public in the twentieth and twenty-first century needs the final scene where Macbeth' head is cut off in order to be able to regain its breath before coming back to reality. The bombardment of information in the twenty-first century made scenes of real horror available at the click of a button, but this is clearly not the explanation for the necessity to see violence at the end of the film or the play. It is not the actual image that the public needs because it lacks imagination or cannot conceive such an act, but it the punctuation of a long expected act of justice in a world that seemed governed by forces impossible to control and determine.
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Violence Exists for Its Own

Words: 350 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 11067819


However, unlike Lady Macbeth, Macbeth knows that once violence has been undertaken, there is no going back: "Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!" (II.2). After her initial resolve, Lady Macbeth becomes miserable and eventually insane with guilt: "Nought's had, all's spent, / Where our desire is got without content" (III.2). Once he has murdered Duncan, Macbeth knows he must defend his grip on power with more bloodshed, and he kills his old friend Banquo without remorse.

The contrast between the two figures during Duncan's murder shows the contrast between male and female views of power: Lady Macbeth, shielded from war and the real workings of power, has a romantic view of what being queen might be like. Macbeth is a soldier and despite his ambition has a more sober view of bloodshed, a sober view that is warranted, given the misery that results from his impulsive action to obey his wife…… [Read More]

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Diffusing Tension and Educating the

Words: 715 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 63958661

This is also true in another tragedy of murder, Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. One of the more humorous characters in the novel is the drunken Marmeladov. Marmeladov is an alcoholic, and his long, rambling monologues are a startling counterpoint to the seriousness with which Raskolnikov regards his life. Without characters like Marmeladov, the novel would be almost unbearably claustrophobic and ridden with tension, as Raskolnikov tormented himself with guilt over his double murder, and the police officer Porfiry tried to trick the law student into a confession. But like the porter, Marmeladov serves an important function in underlining the novel's theme. It shows the desperation to which the poor in Russia sink: Marmeladov's dissipation forces his daughter Sofia to become a prostitute.

Without knowing Sofia and the patience with which she bears her sacrifice and her misery, Raskolnikov would never have found his path to moral redemption. Even in comedic and ridiculous people like the porter and Marmeladov, there is significance: the porter sees how there is always a danger of a kingdom being overthrown, and Marmeladov's behavior, which might seem funny to a distanced observer, has consequences that destroy his family. It is also the sight of people…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Macbeth Navigator.
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Popular Movie Reviews Chinatown Chinatown

Words: 3077 Length: 11 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 28944011

Their methods, however -- regicide, then more murders to cover up the first one, and finally a desperate civil war in an attempt to kill the throne -- are not exactly worthy of nobility. All prophecies are eventually fulfilled; though Macbeth reigns as king, his line ends with him.

Are Shakespeare's witches symbolic or real?

Though tempting to interpret the witches as a sort of symbolic force, there can be little doubt that Shakespeare intended them to be real. There are hallucinations in the play, and they are reacted to quite differently. Macbeth and Banquo both converse with the witches early in the play, and their words motivate much of the action. Though there might be symbolism in their characters -- the inner whisperings of greed, etc. -- the figures themselves are very real.

What do we learn of Love, Greed, and Power?

All three, especially unchecked, will only lead to ruin.

The Maltese Falcon

Movie Details: Book Details:

The Maltese Facon, 1941, b/w, 1hr/41min the Maltese Falcon, 1930

Director: John Huston by: Dashiell Hammett

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre 224 pages (1989 Vintage edition)

The complex plot of the Maltese Falcon is something only a genius like…… [Read More]

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Wordsworth Blake Shelly and Other Greats of the Romantic Era

Words: 1186 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 19543527

Romantic Era

The years in which the Romantic Era had its great impact -- roughly 1789 through 1832 -- were years in which there were "intense political, social, and cultural upheavals," according to Professor Shannon Heath at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (Heath, 2009). The beginning of the Romantic Era actually is traced to the French Revolution, and though that tumultuous event was not in England, William Wordsworth and others sympathized with the French Revolution -- at least at the beginning of the Revolution.

The demands for democracy in the Era were manifested through poems that reflected solidarity with principles of "equality and individuality," Heath explains. The principles of fairness and equality were needed in England as well as in France, and Heath suggests that poets were not just responding to revolutions but rather were critiquing English government. According to Giovanni Pellegrino the struggles for democracy and the "political and social problems of the time" in England caused romantic poet to "withdraw into himself indulging in introspection and meditation" (Pellegrino, 2011). Moreover, the "egotism and individualism" of the poet in the romantic period led to a "…constant intrusion of the poet himself into his work," Pellegrino writes. For the…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Heath, S. (2009). The Culture of Rebellion in the Romantic Era. Romantic Politics. University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from .

Pellegrino, G. (2011). Romantic Period in England. Centro Studi La Runa. Retrieved April 24,

2014, from
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Crime and Punishment Crime and

Words: 487 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 95204284

From a good soldier, he turns into a bad king. He becomes a man who believes the transparent lies of the witches who, along with the urging of his ambitious wife, motivated him to commit the murder of King Duncan.

Hamlet: Hamlet's depressed and uncompromising nature resonates with anyone who has ever been an adolescent. Hamlet is intensely critical of aspects of his society others take for granted, such as King Claudius' right to marry his brother's widow and Old Hamlet's suspect death. Hamlet's criticism can be harsh, and misogynistic as well as misanthropic, but he is an inspiring example for young readers. He urges readers and playgoers today to continually question the morality of their elders and betters, and strike out against the 'smile' or lie that hides the real truth about power in society.

The Scarlet Letter: Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter shows that the appearance of religion without real action is a great societal evil. Hester Prynne is honest, and has committed only one 'crime' -- betraying her cold, elderly husband. However, the father of her illegitimate daughter seems like a pure man of the cloth but is too cowardly to honor his commitment to little Pearl. Until…… [Read More]

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Film Project Othello Modernized Shakespeare

Words: 2228 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 25205463

My story being done,

She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:

She swore, in faith, twas strange, 'twas passing strange,

Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:

She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd

That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me,

And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her, should but teach him how to tell my story.

And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:

She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,

And I loved her that she did pity them.

This only is the witchcraft I have used:

Here comes the lady; let her witness it.


Setting: The inside of the administrative building. Nighttime. Othello is wearing a suit, and is confronted by the school's president, 'Dr. B,' and several members of the administration in their pajamas.

John Othello: Look Dr. B, I know it's not easy when your little girl leaves you. Lord knows how I'd feel if I were in your shoes. Maybe I'd feel just the same way, as if I'd like to strangle the guy who took my only baby girl away. I've never been a father, or…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. "Othello." MIT Classics Page. [2 Nov 2006]