How Is Evil Portrayed in Macbeth? Essay

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How is evil Portrayed in Macbeth?
In this essay I shall be looking at the way evil is portrayed in Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. I will be concentrating on the characters in the play that contribute to the evil themes of the play. It is clear from the start of the play that the witches are the main source of evil.

The witches have an enormous effect on the play, not only are they evil, but this is emphasised by the strong feelings against witches and witchcraft in Elizabethan times. Convicted witches were regularly tortured and even executed. Most people believed in witches and there was little opposition against this persecution. This was not helped by the fact that the king, James 1 was also interested in this superstition, often, he
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It is apparent from these words that Macbeth would feel invincible and that no man could harm him. However, Macbeth fails to see the contradiction between this and the first apparition. This is because Macbeth is unaware of Macduff's birth; he was born after his mother had died.

It is only at the end of the play that Macbeth finally discovers his fate. After being told that Macduff had been, "Untimely ripped from his mothers womb," describes the witches as "Juggling

Fiends." Macbeth is accusing the witches of deliberately juggling their words so that he could not understand them. This is a brilliant quote as Macbeth has just realised his life is in ruins, but the audience knew this earlier.

The witches have changed Macbeth from a brave warrior to an evil, murderous, traitor.

"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."

This quote is significant as it illustrates the change in Macbeth throughout the play, now even the witches consider Macbeth to be evil. However, when looking at the path of destruction that Macbeth has left behind him it isn't very surprising. Just one man driven by his ambition to be king has led to a chain reaction of murders

"Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and desires!

From this