Macbeth Sample Essay: Atmosphere of Evil


Essay titles referring to things such as the powerful vision of evil, the play having has many scenes of compelling drama can all be added to from this.

In "Macbeth" Shakespeare wished to create for his audience a dark and violent world inhabited by malevolent characters who perform dastardly deeds upon one another. The language of the play, to an enormous extent, assists in the creation of an evil and violent atmosphere which permeates the entire play.

Paragraph 1: Violence
There is a great deal of violent language in the play. The play is opened with a scene Witches, sinister by definition, and in Act 1 Scene 2 we observe a graphic discussion of battle by the Scottish King and his attendants. Here we see some gruesome descriptions of  brutal warfare, e.g.
"till he unseamed him from the nave to th' chops and fixed his head upon our battlements."

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Not only does this create a general atmosphere of evil but also assists the reader in explaining the personality of the main character, Macbeth, who is simply bound to be evil judging by these references.

Another striking character is presented in Act 1 Scene 5 - Lady Macbeth. The language she uses serves a similar purpose to that of the King's attendants, but it is even more horrifying coming from a woman. However, she rejects the softness usually attributable to women - "the milk of human kindness." Instead she wishes to be poisonous and cruel: "Unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe top full of direst cruelty. Come to my woman's breasts and take my milk for gall." Lady Macbeth wants to be more masculine but we soon find out that she is not that mellow to begin with: in her eyes Macbeth is cowardly and she feels she has to guide him in order go forward with their horrific plan. To emphasise her point she illustrates it with an action she would take on her own baby had she been stopped while being as determined to succeed as she is now: "I would, while it was smiling at my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out." This is only a metaphor, but the effect that the language has on the readers' perception is immense. When the cursed pair carry out their plan, the country descends into violent horror and disarray. Pathetic fallacy, a literary method used to illustrate deeper issues by the describing surroundings, is used here: "A falcon, towering in her pride of place, was by a mousing owl hawked and killed." Perhaps, this is the mousing Macbeth trying to be in place of a hawk by slaughtering the towering royalty and violating the divine right of kings? Macbeth's inner deterioration is emphasised by the numerous murders he plads after assuming power. The cold irony of the murderer's words regarding Banquo -"safe in the ditch he bides, with twenty trenched gashed on his head"- is a striking and very convincing of Macbeth's evil character.


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