What does the Audience Learn from "The Tragedy of Macbeth"?

Essay by k3v1n_p4rk June 2006

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Shakespeare's theme of temptation, conscience, evil and ambition in "Macbeth" are strongly developed right from the beginning. Shakespeare establishes the theme by imagery, language, and dramatic techniques. Shakespeare uses these techniques to show the flaws in Macbeth that leads to his tragic death. Macbeth was chosen to emphasize the drama and tragedy as he would have been one of the most courageous and honorable characters. From Macbeth's death we can learn not to let temptation, desire, ambition, equivocation, and evil influence our moral and better thinking.

Through the Start of the play, Shakespeare explores how a discreet suggestion to a person with ambition, corrupts their ability to follow their better judgment. The "brave, noble, thane' Macbeth is suggested by the "foul and fair" witches that "he shalt be Thane of Cawdor", and "shalt be the King". It is here that Macbeth's ambition and desire to be king is awakened.

Macbeth continuously shows interest in the 'evil' witches although Banquo quotes "the instruments of darkness tell us truths, to betray us in deepest consequence". This shows Macbeth's flaw of not being able to act with the better thinking provided by his best friend. Lady Macbeth teases and tempts Macbeth to kill the king, but Shakespeare at this point implements Macbeth's intelligence through his soliloquy. Macbeth understands the "deep damnation" bought upon the king's death, the "consequences' that will "trammel upon" him and also he realizes that it is just his "vaulting ambition" embarking on the "horrid deed". Although Macbeth swore to "proceed no further in this business", Lady Macbeth's judicious "you are not a man" makes Macbeth "dare do all". This is Macbeth's flaw repeated. Macbeth's first flaw that Shakespeare introduces the audience to is the inability to act according to his moral judgment. This flaw leads onto more...