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Eloise Bissonnette Ms.

Ricchetti Shakespeares Macbeth Young Siward: A Vital Character

May 27th 2013 ELA406-02

Shakespeare was never one to write useless characters for his plays. However, it is undeniable that some play lesser roles than others. In the tragedy Macbeth, there are more than twenty-seven characters. Young Siward is one of the individuals with a minor role in the dramatic piece. However, I am convinced that, were he removed from the script, the outcome of the play would be much different. First of all, overconfidence is a major theme in Macbeth, mostly seen in the main character Macbeth. As mentioned, implicitly, by Hecate, it will cause his downfall (pg 28). However, Young Siward was the one whom greatly inflamed Macbeth ego in his final battle. Due to the fact that Macbeth was able to kill him easily, he believes that he could win against Macduff and that the witches predictions would not come to pass (pg 45). Had Young Siward not been a part of the play, Macbeths ego wouldnt have been kindled to such large proportions, making him wearier in his final battle against Macduff. Second, Young Siward is indispensable in the tragedy Macbeth because he gives the audience another glimpse of Macbeths cruelness. Since the character is imagined to be younger that the rest of the lords, hence the Young before his name, his murder adds another name to the list of children killed by Macbeth. This would greatly anger and appall the spectators, because none truly wish to believe that a man is cold-blooded enough to kill one child after the other to stay on the throne he stole. Thus, Young Siward and his killing play a large role in mounting the audience against Macbeth, which is why

he is a vital character in this play. To finish, Young Siward plays a minor role in the play Macbeth. He only has one appearance and three lines. However, a characters worth and importance isnt determined by how many times his actions are witnessed but by the importance of those actions. Young Siwards final line in the play is the following, Ill prove with my sword that Im not scared of you (pg 45). Before his life came to a heroic end, Young Siward proved to the audience one of the most important things in the dark play. He gave us hope; hope that there are people still brave enough out there to stand up to evil tyrants, like Macbeth, to try reestablishing the good in the world. Young Siward didnt succeed in killing Macbeth. Yet he gives the audience hope that younger characters, like Fleance for example, will have the opportunity to rise against their enemies when the time comes, and reign in their rightful place. This is why Young Siward, although minor as a character, is infinitely grand in the eyes of the spectators and indispensable in the tragedy that is Macbeth.