Macbeth: A Dark View of Humanity 12th Grade

As a story of appalling crime and retribution, Shakespeare's Macbeth is unique in ascribing greater attention to unscrupulous criminals than to their victims. As such, the overall mood of the play must be taken with respect to the context; the focus is deliberately placed on the darker side of humanity, and the play continually alludes to the presence of better men, despite assigning them fewer lines. This said, the question remains as to whether the dark side presented to the audience is simply too dark for interpretation as realistic thinking. Macbeth maps the progression of man from good to corrupt under supernatural temptation, yet does so parallel to the progression of a woman from cruel to repentant. In addition, though Macbeth is dark in emphasising the susceptibility of man to corruption, it does so while highlighting that this is not inevitable; good has the power to prevail. I will assess the overall viewpoint of Macbeth chronologically, on the basis of character, plot and theme development.

Macbeth is first presented as something of a hero, indelibly faithful to his King and valiant in his battles to protect his country. He is described by Ross as 'Bellona's bridegroom,' and praised by his virtuous ruler as a...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 724 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4176 literature essays, 1401 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in