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Macbeth Themes
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Whose words steer the direction of the play?
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Hi, I'm Becky Beth Benedict and I'm here for About.com. Today, we're going to talk about themes in Macbeth by William Shakespeare.Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth tells the story of Macbeth's rise and fall. There are many rich themes in this play, some of the major ones explored are ambition, manhood, and the supernatural.Ambition in MacbethOnce given a taste of increased power with the appointment to become Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth's appetite for power is whetted, and he becomes ambitious to ascend to the throne. Lady Macbeth's ambition ignites even faster than her husband's. The moment she hears of the witches' prediction that her husband will someday become king of Scotland, she begins to plot ways to make that promotion happen as soon as possible, and even literally takes matters into her own hands. Men are sent to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, by Macbeth, in case the two had any ideas of pursuing their own ambitions prophesied by the weird witches.When Macbeth and Banquo are confronted by the witches on their way home from battle, Banquo comments that they should be women but their beards (signs of manliness) leave him confused. Lady Macbeth asks the spirit to "unsex me here" to take away her womanly qualities and replace them with the courage of a man. Macbeth speaks to the assassins he hired to kill Banquo he chides them by saying "in the catalogue you go for men," which was quite an insult to their manhood.The Supernatural enters Macbeth's home at his dinner table as he sees Banquo's ghost sitting in his own chair. The supernatural conquers Lady Macbeth, who sleepwalks and has visions of the blood stain her hands lingering. In fact the first beings on the stage in the play are supernatural, the three witches, whose words steer the direction of the play.Thanks for watching! To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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