In 1605, Shakespeare was being hounded for another work ofgenius. Hamlet and King Lear had just been completed and the people of Englandbegged for more. He knew not of what to write and like many playwrights did someresearch. He found two stories from Hollinsheds Chronicles of England,Scotland and Ireland.
Shakespeare had already taken some ideas from there forhis plays like Henry IV and Henry V. William decided to combine the reign ofMacbeth and the murder of King Duff by Donwald and his wife, altering both tosuit his needs. Macbeth is by far the shortest play that William Shakespearewrote. The main reason why this is so is not because Shakespeare did not havemuch to say, but because King James was so impatient. Macbeth was writtenbasically for the king. In fact, the emphasis on witchery was because King Jamesso heavily believed in sorcery.
Shakespeare worried very much about the evilpowers insulting the king. After all was said and done, Macbeth was anotherbarrier to be broken in the great scheme of performances. It was an instantsuccess. King James and the court loved it along with England. No offenses weremade from Malcolm needing help from England. Shakespeare feared that James wouldbe offended by that.
From that moment on Macbeth would be known by all. Yet thepeople begged for more and hoped Macbeth would be out done by another astoundingplay. Shakespeare wondered how such a task could be accomplished. What was itabout Macbeth that made it loved by everyone? Shakespeares style has beenanalyzed by many and some still can not figure it out. His poetry has influencedhis plays immensely. Apart from the fascinating characters of the two leadingroles, the plays chief attraction is it wonderful poetry.
Scarcely a word iswasted, and vivid images tumble after each other in a stream of color and ideas(Ross 43). Shakespeare put great thought into what he wanted to write and hisfeelings expressed themselves through the stylistic devices of tone,characterization, and symbolism. Shakespeares characterization of Macbethexonerates the impact he had on the play. The tone in Macbeth remains sinisterand depressing throughout the play. Symbolism, on the other hand, kept thetragedy in tact, and if understood, revealed the whole play in the verybeginning of her pages. The character of Macbeth profoundly effects the play, bymeans of transpiring his actions to hurt others.
If looking at thecharacteristics of good and evil, it makes the reader wonder what makes a persongood or evil. Evil is not born into people, but it is the only option they haveleft. Three features we have seen stand out clear in the general conception ofMacbeth. There is his eminently practical nature, which is the key to the whole.
And the absence in him of the inner life adds two special features: one is hishelplessness under suspense, the other is the activity of his imagination withits susceptibility to supernatural terrors. . . His practical power develops ascapacity for crime. .
. his mind is as scorpions; it is tortured in restlessecstasy. Suspense has undermined his judgment and brought on him the gamblersfever. .
. The third feature in Macbeth is the quickening of his sensitiveness tothe supernatural side by side with the deadening of his conscience. . . In thereaction from the murder of Banquo the supernatural appearance-which no eye seesbut his own-appears more real to him than the real life around him. And fromthis point he seeks the supernatural, forces it to disclose its terrors, andthrusts himself into an agonized vision of generations that are to witness thetriumph of his foes.
(Moulton 335-337) Moulton knows what he is talking about. Macbeth was heavily influenced by supernatural forces. In fact, were it not forthem he might be living a happy and content life. The witches had a profoundaffect on him. He soon found himself in a world where he wanted to know more andmore and the weird women were the only ones who could satisfy his hunger.
Macbeth went from a man who served everyone but himself to a man who served onlyhimself. The one thing that Macbeth had that meant the most to him was his wife. Lady Macbeth is his world. For a man who shows so much hate, gives a lot oflove. They are one of the greatest pairs of lovers that ever existed.
There is aspot where the reader can obviously pick up the dramatic change Macbeth wentthrough. “Seyton: The queen, my lord, is dead. Macbeth: She should have diedhereafter; There would have been a time for such a word “(Shakespeare, Act V,Scene V). His wife, his love, his world had died and he did not even care. Theway he just disregarded her lets the readers know that he is a changed man, andnot for the better. His desire to be unstoppable and all powerful was whatkilled him.
His ambition clouded his once clever mind to where he could not lookpast the apparitions prophecies. From the very first words, the tone revealsitself as drab and murky. It is thundering and lightning in the very beginningand rainstorms automatically give the readers an eerie feeling. A.
C. Bradleystates Darkness, we may even say blackness, broods over this tragedy. It isremarkable that almost all the scenes which at once recur to memory take placeeither at night or in some dark spot. The vision of the dagger, the murder ofDuncan, the murder of Banquo, the sleep-walking of Lady Macbeth, all come innight scenes (Bradley 266). Bradley is merely stating that the atmosphereremains uniform. There are a few places where the dreary mood is blanketed bythings that appear to be happy.
When Macbeth arrives home, Lady Macbeth seems soenthusiastic to see him. She really is excited to see him, but beneath herhappiness is a plot of deceit and murder. Lady Macbeth: Your face, my thane, isas a book, where men may read strange matters:-To beguile the time, look likethe time; bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue: look like theinnocent flower, but be the serpent under it (Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene III). She is telling him that his face can easily be read and that he needs to actlike normal, but underneath to be cunning. This passage takes an almost cheerymoment and takes it back to a world full of betrayal. Another place where gaietyis almost achieved is toward the very end of the book.
“Malcolm: We willperform in measure, time, and place: So thanks to all at once, and to each one,Whom we invite to see us crownd at Scone” (Shakespeare, Act V, Scene VII). All seems merry, but if thought about it, the reader can easily see that troubleawaits. Malcolm has just defeated Macbeth. However, he did not do this all onhis own. .
He had help from England in defeating. England would not send troopsin to help fight a war all for nothing. They will soon try to recaptureScotland. Therefore, the “happy ending” is not really going to end”happily ever after.”