Evil In Macbeth: Good Vs. Evil, Several Sources

1983 words - 8 pages

Evil In MacbethOur own human nature is the root of all evil. Macbeth is the only play where the main character becomes an evil monster.In no other Shakespearean tragedy does the hero have so firm and correct grasp of self-knowledge, nor a well developed concept of the universe and his place in it. In Macbeth, the character of Macbeth has a perfect ability for moral judgment. He willfully disregards his own moral thoughts and institutions. According to Bernard McElroy, "more than any other Shakespearean hero, he [Macbeth] has a perfectly clear concept of who he is and where he stands --- and it is exactly this perception that torments and spiritually destroys him"(330). Macbeth is strongly impelled to evil but he also abhors evil. It is this that causes Macbeth to abhor himself. The play explores the tensions between Macbeth's proneness to evil and his abhorrence to evil. Macbeth is a tragic hero because he becomes caught in tensions between his criminal actions and the reaction of his conscience. Had Macbeth committed the deeds without any remorse, he would have been simply an evil monster, without any hope. !But it is his conscience about evil that makes him tragic. Through Macbeth's actions, Shakespeare is able to depict the nature of evil as being: lusftul, deceptive, tyrannical, and disruptive to family.To begin, Macbeth himself stands as a symbol for Satan's sin of ambition. Like Satan, Macbeth's insatiable lust for power and ambition drives him to commit evil. Although Macbeth's ambitiousness is not in itself evil: "His very strong social sense, worldly but valuable, together with that gift of imaginative expression whereby he far outshines all the others, makes him naturally and rightly desirous of winning `Golden Opinions from all sorts of people' [I.vii.33]" (Elliot, 288). However, Shakespeare asserts that Macbeth knows his place in nature, and is overly ambitious according to Calvinist doctrine of pre-determined fate: "temperamentally unfitted for sovereignty at its best. He is designed by God and nature to be a very excellent second in command under the better balanced personalities of Duncan and Malcolm" (Elliot, 288). Macbeth is blinded by his ambition and like Satan battling God in heaven, yearns for a position higher than he is fit to have. In the Renaissance, too !much lust and ambition was seen as a "rebellion against the will of God and the order of nature. . . Macbeth through love of self, sets his own will against that of God, chooses a lesser finite good --- kingship and power - rather than a greater infinite one"(Ribner, 290). According to Renaissance notions, an overly ambitious man will try to obtain a higher chain of being than the place God has ordained for him. Macbeth, like Satan who tried to vie for his power in heaven and forgot that he is not the creator but a servant created by and for God, strives to achieve power and ambition forgetting his place in society and his relationship to God. Macbeth must break the...

Find Another Essay On Evil in Macbeth: Good vs. Evil, several sources

Good vs. Evil Essay

1021 words - 5 pages Macbeth is a play, written by Shakespeare, about a soldier who is overtaken by ambition. The soldier, Macbeth, starts out as a loyal soldier who fights for Scotland. As the play progresses, Macbeth becomes more and more evil, killing whoever is a threat to him. Evil overtakes good for Macbeth. One of the themes from Macbeth is good versus evil. Macbeth is a good, honorable soldier in the beginning who is loyal to the king. Macbeth does not stay

Good vs. Evil Essay

1062 words - 4 pages Good vs. Evil So often we see a battle of good vs. evil in movies, books, society, and in this case, an epic poem. This motif is used so often because it pertains to so many facets of authentic life. The epic poem Beowulf is an example of this because the hero of the story has an ongoing conflict with the evil villain, Grendel. The same motif is true in the discussion of Christianity versus Non-Christianity. Good and Evil can be talked

Good Vs. Evil

1069 words - 5 pages A major theme in “Young Goodman Brown” is the battle of good vs. evil in man. Throughout the story, Goodman Brown struggles with the choice to either stay good or to follow the devil into the forest. People in real life also struggle with this choice every day. It’s always a lot easier to stray from the good path than it is to stay on it. Just like today, he is tempted by those around him; like his grandfather, his father, his wife, and mainly

Beowulf’s Good vs Evil

710 words - 3 pages man could acquire. Lastly, at times in the poem Beowulf came across as arrogant. To the reader, Wiglaf didn’t come across this way because he solely wanted Beowulf to succeed in killing the fire dragon. The epic Beowulf shone a light on several different characters and their embodiment of good and evil. Some of these characters were darker, more evil. Others showed that good can come in different ways. Nonetheless Beowulf contained many shades of both good and evil.

Good Vs Evil

2092 words - 9 pages disfigured murder when these two characters are made to battle for control and existence in the body they are forced to life in it is what is considered a matter of good Vs evil (Cresser N.P). Works Cited Borinskikh L. I. The Problem of character in literature. Tchelyabinsk State University. Pp. 31–32. 1990c. Print Cresser R. Where Jekyll parties with Hyde Edinburgh. 1998 N.P, retrieved on28 Feb. 2013 from

Good vs Evil

1193 words - 5 pages there are two sayings of the human nature: good versus evil. Mencius, an ancient Chinese humanitarian philosopher, claims that human are born with a good heart, while another ancient Chinese philosopher, Xunzi, argues that evil is inherent in human nature. The representative Chinese philosopher for the goodness of human nature is Menius, or 孟子 in Chinese. Menius was born in the fourth century B.C.E. during the Zhou dynasty and the Warring State

Good Vs. Evil

952 words - 4 pages What is a book without good and evil? Good and evil can come in all different shapes and sizes. Sometimes the author's attitude towards good and evil can make and break a good book. The author of The Crucible (Arthur Miller) shows distinct differences between the good characters and the evil characters: these forces of good and evil interact with each other and make this book highly enjoyable. Arthur Miller's attitude clearly states what

Good Vs. Evil

782 words - 3 pages Williams 1Good vs. EvilHuman beings are highly social creatures, because we are so interested in what others are doing. We are able to avoid the bad and keep on the path of good by our virtues, but we are distracted vice when we see it prodding selfish acts. A moral philosopher Adam Smith argued in his 1759 book that our virtue derives from our social nature that we can not help but share in the joy and the pain around us. When humans cause pain

Freemasonry: Good Vs. Evil

2024 words - 9 pages Freemasonry: Good Vs. Evil Freemasonry is a secret organization that appears in communities, and is for men of any ethnicity or nationality. Many masonic bodies appear to believe in a higher being known as God, but in closer detail of this organization the higher your degree the more your belief in supreme beings expands(TheForbiddenKnowledge.come A lot of philosophers think that this organization has to worship both, God, and Satan. This whole

Good vs. Evil

1789 words - 7 pages of British schoolboys who crash land onto an uninhabited island while trying to get to safety, away from the war. There, the battle of Ralph vs. Jack, or otherwise known as Good vs. Evil, begins. After being pressured into choosing sides, the group of boys start to engage in ugly, aggressive, and violent behaviors. Some of the reasons for the boys’ acts of aggression and violent behavior may be attributed to their “deindividuation,” “delinquent

Hamlet - Good vs Evil

1650 words - 7 pages Hamlet one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, where the young prince of Denmark must uncover the truth about his father's death. Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, marries his mother, the queen, and takes the throne. As the play unravels, Hamlet finds out his father was murdered by the recently crowned king. A question that is constantly looked upon throughout the play is a character's actions and whether they are good or evil. Actions and speech within

Similar Essays

Good Vs Evil In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1105 words - 4 pages then good finally defeating evil when Macbeth is slain. In fact, in the very opening scene we see signs of supernatural happenings and evil - the witches: "Fair is foul and foul is fair; Hover through the fog and filthy air"Here we see that, to the witches, what is evil is good ("foul is fair") and what is good they find repulsive ("fair is foul"). This seems to be their attitude to life, but it could also be a warning to the audience that things to

Evil In Macbeth: With Cited Sources

1119 words - 4 pages , and although Macbeth will take an opportunity, he wants to earn his honours honestly. He also knows the murder would be wrong and he would end up paying for it. This is a moral problem for Macbeth, who is a decisive man and it makes him hesitate. Macbeth's conscience persuades him not to kill Duncan because of Duncan's kindness and goodness, and Macbeth would be condemned to 'deep damnation if he kills the king.(Loadstone. Good vs evil in

Good Vs Evil In Beowulf Essay

1579 words - 6 pages In Beowulf, the clash between good and evil is the poem's main and most significant focal point. Although the epic poem Beowulf utilizes many characteristics of Christian themes, the violence in the poem relates to paganism. By exploring the characteristics of “good vs. evil” such as Cain, Grendel and Beowulf, this paper will explore the elements of Beowulf in such a light. The Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, was originally told orally then later

Good Vs. Evil In "Beowulf" Essay

960 words - 4 pages In the epic poem Beowulf, the struggle between good and evil reveals its omnipresence in even the oldest of tales. The many allusions and symbols throughout the story relate to Christianity and other Pagan beliefs. By looking at them, it becomes apparent that the author of Beowulf believed that the constant war between good and evil is not only fought by the common man but also in the ranks of their highest esteemed rulers and warriors, and even