ESSENTIALLY THE PLAY MACBETH IS ABOUT POWER, ITS USE AND ABUSE.
This was my actual LC essay title. The other essay title was on the evolving Macbeth-Lady Macbeth relationship which was a little tedious and not enough angles to look at it - I thought, so for a higher mark I went with the power one. In retrospect, it was a little risky, because I had never even considered the theme of power in Macbeth. Kingship - yes. Powerful language- yes. Strong characters- yes. But not power per se. So this emphasises that learning off essays is a bit of a waste. Definitely know the basics well, but it is probably better to think about different topics rather than to read and reread 5 good essays. Also I imagine most people answered the relationship question rather than this one as they felt that it is more familiar to them. That puts you in a bigger pool of people who are leaning on their knowledge rather than synthesis - and it is much harder to stand out that way. In short, if you want a good B - go for the essay you kind of wrote before, but if you are betting on an A - you have to make it up on the spot a little.
Feel free to agree or disagree or sit on the fence. It is usually easier not to disagree.
Before you write the introduction you should be thinking of what the crooks of the essay are going to be.
Use of power
- Macbeth’s physical power as applied on the battlefield
- Duncan’s use of political power, or lack thereof
- Lady Macbeth uses her influence to support her husband
- divine power “healing” the sick and curing “the Evil”
- Malcolm identifies the ideal of moral/political power
- nature's power to reflect Scotland's disarray
- powerful language and imagery
- the obsession with power dominates the story
Abuse of power
- the power of evil
- the witches’ prophetic power deceives their victims
- Lady Macbeth also uses her power of persuasion/blackmail to push him into committing to their plan
- Macbeth's reign over Scotland is powerful but damaging
Refer to the SEC marking scheme for a better understanding of what examiners reward.