The Theme of Nature in Macbeth by William Shakespeare


Length: 493 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The Theme of Nature in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth, and all of William Shakespeare's other works include several universal themes. Shakespeare incorporates these themes into his works to emphasize meanings and points. Several times in Macbeth nature is out of order which coincides with unpleasant events occurring. This happens many times in Macbeth. Shakespeare demonstrates this using setting, characters, and dialog.
One of the major ways Shakespeare shows disturbances in nature is use of setting. "Thunder and Lightning." (Shakespeare 1) This is how Shakespeare describes the setting before the play begins. The thunder and lightning are disturbances in nature and a great day is not filled with thunder and lightning (Ravi 1). The three Weird Sisters enter in the midst of all the thunder and lightning. Their appearance could be considered an unpleasant event because whenever the Weird Sisters appear bad things happen. "When shall we three meet again / In thunder, lightning, or in rain" (Shakespeare 2). This tells the reader that the witches' meeting with Macbeth

will be filled with thunder, lightning, and rain. A meeting like that is very foreboding (Ravi 1).
Another method Shakespeare uses to develop the theme is the characters' dialog with other characters. "On Tuesday last, / A falcon, towering in her pride of place, / Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd," (Shakespeare 9) said the Old Man to Ross. The falcon was high in the sky and an owl, who usually stays low to the ground to hunt mice went up to the falcon and killed it (clicknotes 3). This occurred shortly before Macbeth murdered King Duncan. The night Macbeth murders Duncan his best horses eat each other (Shakespeare 9). MacDuff comes in with the verdict that the king's sons bribed the servants to kill Duncan and Ross says "Gainst nature still!" (Shakespeare 10) He is saying that it is just as unlikely that an owl killed a hawk and horses ate each other, that Duncan's sons had him murdered (clicknotes 3).
Yet another way Shakespeare conveys the theme is through the use of characters. "What are these / So wither'd and so wild in their attire, / That look not like the inhabitant's o' the earth, / And yet are on't." (Shakespeare 6) This is Banquo describing the Three


Witches. The Weird Sisters are disturbances in nature.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Theme of Nature in Macbeth by William Shakespeare." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Oct 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=129920>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Macbeth as the Frailty of Human Nature in William Shakespeare's Play Essay - Macbeth as the Frailty of Human Nature in William Shakespeare's Play Story line: Macbeth, the main character is a brave and victorious general. he plays a key role in defeating a couple of invading armies; He is to be rewarded for this. However three witches meet him and make prophecies regarding him.: He will become thane of Cawdor and later king. Macbeth sees how the first prophecy of becoming thane becomes true, so encouraged by his wife he sets out to make the second part of the prophecy come true....   [tags: Papers] 925 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - The true nature of human beings is thought to be many different things. Perhaps they truly are peaceful and genuine or maybe humans are actually mean and deceitful. William Shakespeare tries to show the true nature of man by using the play Macbeth. The main character, Macbeth, has revealed through his actions and decisions the true nature of human beings. Macbeth is portrayed as ruthless, audacious, and sometimes distrustful. His true characteristics change throughout the play depending on what was going on around him....   [tags: human nature, play analysis] 1346 words
(3.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Recurring Images in Macbeth by William Shakespeare - Macbeth has many important recurring images, like/such as weather, blood, and sleep that/which help give the reader a more vivid picture of what is taking place. Nature is used as an auxiliary image in Macbeth to create atmosphere and to foreshadow upcoming events. The play begins with thunder and lightning as the three witches meet. This creates a dark and gloomy environment for the remainder of the story. (fragment/run on?) The drama continues as Ross exclaims, “By th' clock ’tis day, / And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp....   [tags: guilt, nature, sleep]
:: 1 Works Cited
517 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about Fear, Guilt, and Regret in Macbeth by William Shakespeare - ... He is saying he won’t be able to sleep after what he has just done because he will regret it forever and it will haunt him. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are interrupted by knocking on the door and as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth walk away he says, “Wake Duncan with thy knocking; I would though couldst."( 2.2 78-79). Macbeth is basically saying in this statement that he wishes that the knocking on the door was able to wake Duncan up. He is showing his regret and how he wishes that Duncan were alive and able to be awoken....   [tags: murder, loyalty, nature]
:: 1 Works Cited
672 words
(1.9 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: A Masterpiece of Figurative Language Essay - In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the author embraces his ability to ingeniously use figurative language. Throughout the play, William Shakespeare’s writing enhances his play in numerous ways. Macbeth clearly shows how Shakespeare uses figurative language as an instrument to keep the play interesting with good writing. Using allusions, irony, and foreshadows allows the audience to enjoy the depth Shakespeare creates in his characters and improves the audience’s comprehension of the plot. William Shakespeare keenly incorporates allusions into Macbeth....   [tags: Shakespeare]
:: 6 Works Cited
1113 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - William Shakespeare's Macbeth In the play of Macbeth, Shakespeare introduces the main character, through the eyes of the one who knows him best, his wife. Lady Macbeth displays to the audience all of Macbeth’s weaknesses; her ambition to have power becomes her husband’s and this will bring out Macbeth’s ambition to be king. She also proves that the strong may become the weak and the weak may become the strong. Lady Macbeth is a main character in this play because she introduces Macbeth and helps the reader to understand his character....   [tags: William Shakespeare Macbeth Essays] 1287 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Nature and Supernatural in Macbeth Essay - Use of Nature and Supernatural in Macbeth       The aura of darkness, deception, and horror present in William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, envelopes the entire play and is created mainly by the sense of violence and foreboding that is evoked by the imagery.  The dominant images of nature and the supernatural contribute to the atmosphere of this tragedy.  The predictions of the weird sisters, along with natural forces and supernatural images, have lead to chaos in Scotland due to their impact on the characters of the play, which brings about many delusions and deaths....   [tags: Macbeth essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
2529 words
(7.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - William Shakespeare's Macbeth During the Elizabethan era, the great chain of being reigned. Women were low on this chain of power, and men were on top. In fact, women were below horses; you couldn’t live without a good horse, but, you could live without a wife. Lady Macbeth was a woman before her time, she was caught between being today’s ambitious, powerful modern woman and a fragile creature of the Elizabethan era. In the first four acts of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is vicious, overly ambitious, without conscience, and willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants....   [tags: William Shakespeare macbeth lady Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1471 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Role of Motifs in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - Role of Motifs in Shakespeare's Macbeth The best way to draw a reader into a story is to focus on knowledge drawn from other sources and add to them in a way so that the reader can relate. William Shakespeare achieves just this with his ability to enhance Macbeth with reoccurring motifs throughout the play. Possibly the most prominent ones and those that represent the greatest are the sleep and serpent motifs. J When one possesses a conscience, the function to tell the difference between right and wrong; it impedes the ability to either make positive or negative decisions....   [tags: William Shakespeare Macbeth] 1253 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay example - The Witches or Weird Sisters play a major role in the brilliant tragedy Macbeth by William Shakespeare. The role of the Weird Sisters represents that equivocal evil in the nature of things which helps to deceive the human will. They are not mere witches although they have some of the powers of witches. Even though they were produced by nature, they share with angels a freedom from limitation of space and time, a power to perceive the causes of things, and to see some distance into human minds (Kermode 1309)....   [tags: Shakespeare Witches Macbeth Essays] 1883 words
(5.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]



They have beards like men, but are supposed to be women. Whenever the Weird Sisters appear nothing good happens (clicknotes 1).
"Stop up the access and passage to remorse, / That no compunctious visitings of nature / Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between / The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts, / And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, / Wherever in sightless substances / You wait on nature's mischief!"

Lady Macbeth is trying to get nature out of order so that she will have what is necessary when it is time to kill Duncan.
In Conclusion, Shakespeare uses many different ways to communicate a theme to the reader. He makes use of setting several times in Macbeth. Shakespeare also uses dialog and characters to convey the theme of nature throughout Macbeth. Shakespeare uses all three ways expertly to emphasize the theme that when nature is out of order, it causes bad events to occur.




Bibliography:

Works Cited

"Macbeth Navigator: Themes: Nature and Unnatural." Online.
Internet. 3 October, 2000. Available WWW: http://clicknotes.com/Macbeth/nature.html.

"Major Themes in Macbeth." Online. Internet. 3 October,
2000. Available WWW: http://www.imsa.edu/~ravi/
macbeth/themes.html

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. The Language of Literature.
Eds. Arthur N. Applebee, et al. Evanston, Illinois : McDougal Littel, 2000. 327-416


Return to 123HelpMe.com