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Power in Macbeth
Transcript of Power in Macbeth
Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way:" Act V, Scene 1, Lines 34-35 “What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account?” In conclusion, Shakespeare's play Macbeth is the story of a power hungry couple that, through blind ambition and witches prophecies, murder for power. The main focus idea around power in the play is that power earned in blood comes with consequences. The murder of Duncan turns the world Macbeth knows upside down, through unnatural happenings and supernatural events. Many underlying themes tie into power, such as the power of persuasion, the power of ambition, and the power of corruption. Shakespeare's play strongly follows a plot full of greed and corruption, that eventually tears a man down and brings him to delusional thoughts and death. Act I, Scene 3, Line 53 "And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp:" Act II, Scene 4, Line 8 "Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires." Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 57-58 "All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter." Who said it?
The third witch spoke it to Macbeth and Banquo, while tempting Macbeth with visions of kingship. What does it mean?
The witches are basically proposing their prophecies and visions of Macbeth as thane of Cawdor, thane of Glamis and king of Scotland, assuming that he agrees to murder Duncan. Importance to the play?
This is the scene that puts the idea of murder into the mind of Macbeth, where he had not even thought of doing so before. The witches are the frame for the use of unnatural and supernatural events in the play. Who said it?
Macbeth, talking to Lady Macbeth. What does it mean?
Macbeth is torn between the soft, strong-ruling character of Duncan and the demands of Lady Macbeth. He cannot decide whether he should follow through with the witches prophecies and kill Duncan. Importance to the play?
Macbeth is stuck in an inner battle for the majority of the first act, stuck between a moral code and ambition to become king of Scotland. While he wants to become king, he doesn't know if murdering a kinsman will be worth it. Who said it?
Ross, talking of the sun that has disappeared. What does it mean?
By "traveling lamp", one assumes that Ross is talking of the sun, that has been blocked out by the darkness. Importance to the play?
It is the day after Macbeth murdered Duncan, and the only people that know the truth are Macbeth himself and Lady Macbeth. They have upset the natural order of power and this is the point in the play where power begins to co-exist with supernatural events. Act I, Scene 5, Lines 14-17 Who said it?
Lady Macbeth, alone, reading from a letter. What does it mean?
Lady Macbeth has basically done summarized in this scene her thoughts for Macbeth as an individual. She feels that he would be a good leader, but lacks the power and conscience to kill Duncan. She also feels his kind heart is holding him back from being king. Importance to the play?
This quote gives the reader/audience an inside look at the internal workings and thought process behind the corrupting powers of Lady Macbeth. Who said it?
Lady Macbeth, in the presence of the Doctor and Gentlewoman. What does it mean?
Lady Macbeth, in her delusional sleepwalking state is feeling another underlying theme of the plot, which is the power of guilt. She is going insane, talking in her sleep of the murders and how nobody can question Macbeth and herself, since he is the king. Importance to the play?
This is where the truth begins to surface and others become aware of the dark deeds done by Macbeth. Who said it?
Macbeth [aside], in the presence of Duncan and Banquo. What does it mean?
Macbeth is describing his ambitions as black and deep. He is pretty much succumbing to the power of corruption at this point, as well as his immense greed and ambition for the throne. Importance to the play?
We see that Macbeth knows what he is planning is wrong, but he can't find the inner power to stop himself, even though he learns only good things about Duncan. He evens struggles with the decision to kill or not, but is again overcome by power of corruption from Lady Macbeth.