The Theme of Macbeth From Macbeth. It is true that it lacks the careful elaboration which characterizes the most of his other plays, and is devoid of those finer touches of sentiment and playful humor of which he was so eminently the master. But here his purpose is too serious, and the motive of the play is too stern and insistent to permit of any digression. From beginning to end it is a profound and philosophical study of the effect of sin upon human life and its resulting degradation and suffering.
There was, however, a need to provide a dramatic contrast to Macbeth; a role that many scholars argue is filled by Banquo. Maskell describes him as " Malcolm, as Prince of Cumberland, is the rightful heir to the throne and Macbeth a usurper. Daniel Amneus argued that Macbeth as it survives is a revision of an earlier play, in which Duncan granted Macbeth not only the title of Thane of Cawdor, but the "greater honor"  of Prince of Cumberland i.
As significant as he is to the plot, he has fewer lines than the relatively insignificant Ross, a Scottish nobleman who survives the play. In the next scene, Banquo and Macbeth, returning from the battle together, encounter the Three Witcheswho predict that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, and then king.
Banquo, sceptical of the witches, challenges them to predict his own future, and they foretell that Banquo will never himself take the throne, but will beget a line of kings.
Banquo remains sceptical after the encounter, wondering aloud if evil can ever speak the truth. He warns Macbeth that evil will offer men a small, hopeful truth only to catch them in a deadly trap.
During the melee, Banquo holds off the assailants so that Fleance can escape, but is himself killed. A terrified Macbeth sees him, while the apparition is invisible to his guests. He appears again to Macbeth in a vision granted by the Three Witches, wherein Macbeth sees a long line of kings descended from Banquo.
Banquo, on the other hand, doubts the prophecies and the intentions of these seemingly evil creatures. Whereas Macbeth places his hope in the prediction that he will be king, Banquo argues that evil only offers gifts that lead to destruction. Banquo steadily resists the temptations of evil within the play, praying to heaven for help, while Macbeth seeks darkness, and prays that evil powers will aid him.
This is visible in act two; after Banquo sees Duncan to bed, he says: In act two, scene one, Banquo meets his son Fleance and asks him to take both his sword and his dagger "Hold, take my sword Take thee that too" .
They argue that Banquo is merely setting aside his sword for the night.
Thus he has him murdered. His spirit lives on in Fleance, his son, and in his ghostly presence at the banquet.
The scene carries deep significance: King James, on the throne when Macbeth was written, was believed to be separated from Banquo by nine generations. Shocked, Macbeth uses words appropriate to the metaphor of usurpation, describing Banquo as "crowned" with wounds. Critics have questioned whether not one, but perhaps two ghosts appear in this scene: To add to the confusion, some lines Macbeth directs to the ghost, such as "Thy bones are marrowless",  cannot rightly be said of Banquo, who has only recently died.
Macbeth had already seen a hallucination before murdering Duncan: Several performances of the play have even ignored the stage direction to have the Ghost of Banquo enter at all, heightening the sense that Macbeth is growing mad, since the audience cannot see what he claims to see.
Special effects and camera tricks also allow producers to make the ghost disappear and reappear, highlighting the fact that only Macbeth can see it. In the late 19th century, elaborate productions of the play staged by Henry Irving employed a wide variety of approaches for this task.
In a green silhouette was used to create a ghostlike image; ten years later a trick chair was used to allow an actor to appear in the middle of the scene, and then again from the midst of the audience.Macbeth and the Nature of Evil. In Macbeth evil is the opposite of humanity, the deviation from that which is natural for humankind, yet evil originates in the human heart.
Supernatural and unnatural forces are the agents of human beings, not their instigators. The witches’ words do not seduce Macbeth. Text of MACBETH with notes, line numbers, and search function.
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A line-by-line dramatic verse analysis of Macbeth's speech in Act II, scene 1. Detailed explanatory notes and analysis of Macbeth's meeting with the Witches on the heath.