Character Juxtaposition: The Twoness of Macbeth

Character Juxtaposition: The Twoness of Macbeth

Shakespeare's Macbeth relays the tale of a Scottish general, at first presenting a seemingly brave and noble warrior. Macbeth is eventually prompted by ambition to seek the throne upon hearing a prophecy from a trio of supernatural forces, ultimately resulting in his kingship and consequent death. While the tragedy centers around the dualistic battle between good and evil, many two-folded conflicts exist within the play, resulting in the congruence of King James's monarchy with Macbeth's. By applying dualism to characters in the play, Shakespeare provides a comparative extension of the English crown, specifically through the juxtaposition of characteristics of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to those of other figures within the play, as well as to those of themselves.

The thematic development of the twoness throughout Macbeth can be linked to the dualism of politics during the time the play was written. Most likely composed in 1606 during the early reign of King James I, Shakespeare not only uses Macbeth to pay homage to his king's Scottish lineage, but crafts the play as a mirror-image of the duality faced by James during his rule. With his coronation as England's...

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