Macbeth; Loyal Or Not
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NOTE: Each word listed in bold is things i could include in SAC and relavant stuff. Impoaratnt stuff basically.
Paradoxes/Things in Twos/Oxymorons. Throughout Macbeth, there are many situations and characters internal conflicts which are paradoxical. There are also many things which come in twos; these are similar, but not always identical. From almost the beginning of the play (“when the battles lost and won”), paradoxes/doubles appear regularly. Examples include:

“when the battles lost and won” (1.1.4)
“fair is foul and foul is fair” (1.1.12), (said by the witches)
“Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.” (1.3.65)
“Not so happy, and yet much happier” (1.3.66)
“So foul and fair a day I have not seen” (1.3.38) (Macbeths first line)
“they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.” (1.2.42)
“the service and the loyalty I owe in doing it pays itself.” (1.4.25-6)
“I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.” (2.1.46)
“double, double, toil and trouble” (4.1.10)
Ambition and Betrayal. Macbeths tragic flaw is likely his own ambition, which leads him to betray King Duncan and, later, murder his friend Banquo. He becomes Thane of Cawdor only after the previous thane rebels against the king; Macbeth thus continues a tradition of betrayal among those in power. The play dwells on ambitions ability to be a morally corrupting agent. It has the same effect on Lady Macbeth, whose sins drive her to madness and suicide.

Visions. There are several hallucinations in the play. In Act 2 Scene 1, Macbeth sees a bloody dagger floating in the air, pointing to King Duncans resting chamber, perhaps encouraging his upcoming deed. In Act 5 Scene 1 Lady Macbeth hallucinates that her hands are covered in blood, despite her obsessive washing. Macbeth also sees the ghost of Banquo at the royal banquet. The precise meaning and origins of these visions is ambiguous(open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations). They could possibly be conjured by the three witches, who are actively involved in the plays events. Or they could be simple products of madness, reinforcing the plays thesis that betrayal is corrupting in the mind. (The ghost, at least, would not be unusual to see in a Shakespeare play that already involves the supernatural.)

Blood and bloodshed. Macbeth is one of the bloodiest of Shakespeares plays (see also Titus Andronicus, another of Shakespeares more bloody works.) As the play opens, Macbeth has just defeated Norwegian invaders in a gruesome battle. As a gravely-wounded captain arrives, Duncan remarks: “What bloody man is that? He can report, as seemeth by his plight” (1.2). In this and other examples, blood might signify the advent of a messenger, the admonitions(Mild, kind, yet earnest reproof) of God, or a warning for the future. The witches cauldron too is filled with blood. Macbeth of course serves a bloody term in office, ordering the murder of opponents and potential rivals. Lady Macbeths hallucination of blood on her hands seems to represent her feeling of guilt. At the plays end, Macduff presents the new king (and the audience) with Macbeths severed head, clearly a gruesome spectacle, illustrating the price of treason and murder. Shakespeare uses the word blood 42 times throughout the play.

Infants and children. Children are frequently referenced, though hardly seen, in the play. Their innocence is frequently contrasted with the guilty meditations of Macbeth and other characters. Lady Macbeth provides the most graphic example, making an analogy to her level of commitment: “I have given suck, and know / How tender tis to love the babe that milks me: / I would, while it was smiling in my face, / Have pluckd my nipple from his boneless gums, / And dashd the brains out, had I so sworn as you / Have done to this” (1.7).

Natural Order/Great Chain of Being. The unnatural replacement of Duncan by Macbeth disturbs the natural order of the royal lineage. Those in Shakespeares time valued the divinity of the king, i.e. the kings preordained selection by God. Thus, by unnatural replacement of the king, Macbeth has invoked the wrath of greater beings. Nature is disturbed and thrown into turmoil: horses cannibalise each other, and a small owl kills a regal falcon.

Insomnia. Sleep is referenced several times through out the play; Duncan is murdered in his sleep, while his guards sleep. Following the murder, Macbeth states, “Sleep no more!/Macbeth doth murder sleep, that innocent sleep,/Sleep that knits up the ravelld sleeve of care… (2.2). Indeed, following the crime, both Macbeth and his wife are cursed with insomnia and sleepwalking. These seem to be tangible expressions of each characters guilt. Fear of sleep might also represent Macbeths fear of his inevitable

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Beginning Of The Play And Lady Macbeth. (June 14, 2021). Retrieved from