The Text in the Play Macbeth Is Influenced by the Understanding of Its Context.

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Date Submitted: 09/18/2012 04:46 AM

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Context is an important aspect of any text. The social, cultural and historical information that surrounds a text at the time it was written greatly influences it development. Shakespeare’s tragic play, Macbeth, written in 1606, is considered one of his darkest and most powerful tragedies. There are themes that are in the text to portray the context. To show the contrast of the characters the theme of good and evil is used. The idea of equivocation develops the theme of appearances and reality and lastly the theme of ambition shows the audience the tragic flaw of Macbeth.

There is a conflict between good and evil portrayed in the play. It suggests that Shakespeare's interest in the play is watching the obscure minds of the evil and the consequences they face for their immoral actions. In the play, the Three Witches represent darkness, chaos and conflict. In Shakespeare’s time people were extremely superstitious and believed in witches, including their ability to make prophecies and to affect the outcome of events. One of King James I passion was the study of witchcraft, which he even wrote a book stating that witchcraft was a reality and that witches must be punished. While the witches do not directly tell Macbeth to murder King Duncan, they prophecy that Macbeth is destined to be king and by placing this thought in his mind, they effectively tempt and guide him on the path to his own destruction.

The use of ambiguity and equivocation in pursuit of power it leads to chaos and self-destruction. Appearance and reality are in the play the reality is different from their appearances and the effects and consequences upon the individuals of trying to deceive and disguise leads to mental anguish and guilt. People had the need for order where everything is in place but in Macbeth people try to pretend what they are not and if there is no order then there would be chaos and confusion. Lady Macbeth is a great example of this theme as she quotes ‘Look like the innocent...