Macbeth - Conflict Essay
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"Conflict is central to the dramatic development of any play."
Prior to deciding whether or not conflict is central to the dramatic development of MACBETH, one must consider all the dramatic factors that contribute to the Shakespearean play. The gradual decline of the protagonist , the role portrayed by characters and the order in which the events occur, greatly influence the direction in which the development of the play takes place. After reading the text MACBETH, by Shakespeare and viewing the film version, directed by Roman Polanski, it is logical to see that ambition and the deceptive appearances of what really is, is central to the dramatic development of…show more content…
Take Lady Macbeth's first invocation to darkness in Act I, Scene V:
"Come, thick Night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of Hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry, 'Hold, hold!'"
This vividly illustrates the imagery used in MACBETH and is interpreted to mean that night equals evil, as does Hell, which is not necessarily correct. This also implies that darkness is necessary for the carrying out of Duncan's murder. Meaning the blanket that covers him affords no protection in the darkness against the evil deed and the cry envisions the imaginary voice which MACBETH hears as he 'murders Sleep'. This encompasses the central action of the play, murder.
On the night MACBETH brutally kills the King of Scotland, Banquo fearful of his own 'cursed thoughts' observes that:
"There's husbandry in heaven;
Their candles are all out." (Act II, Scene I)
The darkness itself, which is ironically equated with Heaven, but seemingly appropriate for the acts of Hell, provides the natural cover for the unnatural murder. MACBETH in the same scene, refers to the fact that 'Nature seems dead', symbolically representing what Duncan is soon to be.
Another continuance of imagery is the 'clothes' sequence, relating to deceptive appearances to gain MACBETH's ambition by hiding the truth. This begins with MACBETH's 'borrowed robes' and has its central
full title · The Tragedy of Macbeth
author · William Shakespeare
type of work · Play
genre · Tragedy
language · English
time and place written · 1606, England
date of first publication · First Folio edition, 1623
publisher · John Heminges and Henry Condell, two senior members of Shakespeare’s theatrical company
tone · Dark and ominous, suggestive of a world turned topsy-turvy by foul and unnatural crimes
tense · Not applicable (drama)
setting (time) · The Middle Ages, specifically the eleventh century
setting (place) · Various locations in Scotland; also England, briefly
protagonist · Macbeth
major conflicts · The struggle within Macbeth between his ambition and his sense of right and wrong; the struggle between the murderous evil represented by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and the best interests of the nation, represented by Malcolm and Macduff
rising action · Macbeth and Banquo’s encounter with the witches initiates both conflicts; Lady Macbeth’s speeches goad Macbeth into murdering Duncan and seizing the crown.
climax · Macbeth’s murder of Duncan in Act 2 represents the point of no return, after which Macbeth is forced to continue butchering his subjects to avoid the consequences of his crime.
falling action · Macbeth’s increasingly brutal murders (of Duncan’s servants, Banquo, Lady Macduff and her son); Macbeth’s second meeting with the witches; Macbeth’s final confrontation with Macduff and the opposing armies
themes · The corrupting nature of unchecked ambition; the relationship between cruelty and masculinity; the difference between kingship and tyranny
motifs · The supernatural, hallucinations, violence, prophecy
symbols · Blood; the dagger that Macbeth sees just before he kills Duncan in Act 2; the weather
foreshadowing · The bloody battle in Act 1 foreshadows the bloody murders later on; when Macbeth thinks he hears a voice while killing Duncan, it foreshadows the insomnia that plagues Macbeth and his wife; Macduff’s suspicions of Macbeth after Duncan’s murder foreshadow his later opposition to Macbeth; all of the witches’ prophecies foreshadow later events.