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Main Themes and Questions for the Elizabethan Play, Macbeth

31 Jul 2017

Some of the most important questions and essay topics that come up within the matrix of the play “Macbeth” are as follows:

essay matrix

The question regarding the power of the supernatural elements and forces shaping human nature and destiny is one of the main aspects of studying several Elizabethan dramas, particularly tragedies.

In many plays of Shakespeare the predominant lines is that of the study of the metaphysical elements affecting and turning around human lives.

The relation between gender and power struggle is a valid one within the theme of the play. But further digging down of this question will lead to the answers about the darker mysteries which control and leverage several points that come as a mix of the gender and power struggles. The sexless identities of the witches present this dissolving borderline that holds the issue of the darker forces going against the seeming identifications of society.

There are also those other questions that deal with the political ambitions and driving forces of human characteristics, or the question of the healthy ruling and justice as opposed to the demonic ambitions, that have been one of the most important parts of this complex play structure. The idea of politics, legitimacy and the good ruler as opposed to the bad one has been the key elements of discussion in analyzing the play.

The other themes that need to studied and questioned are the idea of paganism as opposed to the Christian sense of justice and honor. Though not seen to be valid by many critics, the theme of justice and the balanced ruling is a poignant aspect of the tragedy. Also is critical the question towards ambition being a driving force to moral downfall versus the ambition that works in favor of the overall justice of a nation state. The ideas which make Duncan a better king as opposed to the tyranny of Macbeth will bring out the Renaissance ideas of kingly nature as expected through its sieves of ideals.

This also brings out the expectations of a good rule that keeps the prevailing order of balance and justice while keeping peace and the people happy.

The other question or theme that is of predominance in the play is the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Their relationship is a call for the male struggle to live up to the feminine expectation in an attempt to stoke false vanity.

This is an aspect present in the character of Shakespeare’s Cleopatra as well and some of the leading characters of historic female leaders. Though the underlying theme lies deeper within the tunnels of the interplay of human ego present in both male and female roles, the dance of the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth does reveal the weakness and struggle from Macbeth in his desperation to prove his worth to his lady as well as to himself.

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