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Essay on Macbeth and the Bible

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After a close reading of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the most prominent influence has been narrowed down to the biblical imagery that Shakespeare incorporated into the play. Macbeth makes many direct quotes towards spiritual beings. William Shakespeare's use of biblical imagery in Macbeth reflects our predilection toward literature that reflects morality, prophecy, and mythology.
Morality can is defined as having the quality of being in accords with standards or right or good conduct. Knowing “good from bad” is a morality trait. There is an evident line between good and evil shown in Macbeth. It is not hidden that Macbeth is a bloodthirsty fiend. He will always be the bad guy. Based on this, Macbeth is obviously a morality play. In Howard Felprin’s criticism of Macbeth, “A painted devil: Macbeth”, he describes that there are forces working to make Macbeth the fiend that he becomes, “…with its malign forces of temptation…” A major story, or piece of history you may call it, would be the crucifixion of Jesus. The first reference to the bible is in the second scene of the first act. Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain and Lennox walk into a room, and meet a bleeding sergeant. “Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds, or memorize another Golgotha, I cannot tell” (I, ii). Golgotha was the place that Jesus was crucified. The reference to the biblical story in the sergeant’s speech can be seen as just a compliment to the two generals that crucified Christ. In relation to Macbeth, the sergeant is complimenting Macbeth and Banquo on their persistence and hostility. Shakespeare seems to have an underlying meaning in this manner, or maybe foreshadowing. The soldiers put Christ to death; Macbeth will put Duncan to death. Not to con...


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...mizer. Because of the witches, Macbeth is seemed to commit the sins that he is accused of. Surly, Macbeth is not the only villain in the play.



Works Cited

Felperin, Howard. “A Painted Devil: Macbeth.” Modern Critical Interpretations:
Macbeth. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

Freud, Sigmund. Some Character-types Met With In Psycho-analytical Work:
“Shakespeare: Macbeth-Freud on the Macbeths.” The Ng SiblNgs hMepage. November
11, 2008. http://web.singnet.com.sg/~yisheng/notes/shakespeare/mbeth_f.htm.

Johnston, Ian. “Introduction to Macbeth.” Malaspina-University College.
Nanaimo, BC, June, 2001.

Levin, Harry. “Two Scenes from Macbeth.” Modern Critical Interpretations:
Macbeth. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, Inc., 1993.


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