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THEMES OF MACBETH Ambition Macbeth once again shows his great desire for the throne.

After Malcolm is instated, Macbeth says, "The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires" --- Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 48 - 51 Revenge & Justice Macbeth is a play about revenge and justice. The theme of revenge is demonstrated by Macduffs killing of Macbeth in vengeance for the slaughter of his family. In the bigger picture however, this also an exploration of the theme of justice, where the usurper is overthrown from his dishonourably gained position and replaced with the rightful King thus restoring the divine order. Although Macduff murders Macbeth, it is not necessarily seen as evil as it is justified to bring balance back to the equilibrium. In other words, Macbeth is a play about good conquering over evil. This idea that good conquers over evil can be extended to the character of Lady Macbeth. Initially, Lady Macbeth is not an evil person but she represses her humanity in order to help her husband murder Duncan so he could take over the throne. However, the good or moral part of her psyche overthrows the evil suppressing her humanity and causes Lady Macbeth to feel great remorse shown in her sleepwalking and in the end compels her to commit suicide. "There's daggers in men's smiles: the neare in blood, The nearer bloody" Donalbain says this in act 2 scene 3 "It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood: Stones have been known to move and trees to speak; Augurs and understood relations have By magot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth The secret'st man of blood. What is the night?" Macbeth says this in act 3 scene 4

Guilt The play also explores the powerful force of guilt. This is demonstrated through the psychological demises of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as well as Macduffs sense of responsibility for his familys massacre. The mental unravelling of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is caused by their consciences reeling from the inhuman and terrible acts they have committed. Although both husband and wide feel great guilt, their remorse manifest in different ways. Macbeths guilt projects vivid images of horrid imaginings which haunt him during both his waking and sleeping hours. These horrid image(s) increase in intensity as the play moves forward and are so powerful against him that he says that they unfix my hair/And make my seated heart know at my ribs.... Lady Macbeth on the other hand suppresses her feelings of guilt and attempts to continue being strong. However her remorse for her part in the killing of Duncan causes her to re-enact the murder in her sleep. Macduff too is also swamped by guilt in the play. His familys slaughter by Macbeths order has caused him feel great remorse from fleeing Scotland, leaving his family behind. This guilt spurred

him to forget his fear of Macbeths persecution and avenge his family by duelling and killing Macbeth. This revenge by Macduffs further emphasises the power of guilt over people. The Nature of Evil Macbeth also examines whether people are inherently evil or whether evil is an outside entity which possesses humans. The witches in Macbeth are seen as evil by nature, able to see the future, conjure up storms, transform into animals and raise spirits. However their powers are limited and are unable to control human will. This shows that