Preview
Preview

Parallels Between Macbeth and Satan in Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 576 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Parallels Between Macbeth and Satan in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Shakespeare creates parallels between the protagonist, Macbeth, and Satan. Many critics believe Macbeth and Satan share a common thread in their high peaks and low drops. Throughout the play, Macbeth is very much the shadow of Satan in his eminence, ambitions, and consequences.
Macbeth mirrors Satan in being the right hand man for his king and second in power. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed as a "...valiant Cousin! Worthy gentlemen!"(1.2.24) Many of his fellow peers feel Macbeth is honest and true: "For brave Macbeth -- well he deserves that name" (1.2.16). However, as the play commences, critic Robert Pack believes "...Macbeth exhibits a balance of hard and soft virtues: courage, bravery, strength, defiance, pride, and ambition" (Pack 276). This flower of greatness and light slowly starts to feed off his ambitions which leads to Macbeth's greed for power. Much like Satan, Macbeth's ambition seizes control of him until he can think only to further his powers.
Macbeth and Satan both take matters into their own hands as they strive for complete power. Robert Pack surmises "...Macbeth sins like Satan -- without any provocation except his own inexplicable pride and ambition" (Pack 276). Like Satan, Macbeth contemplates the chance to become king and feeds his need for greed knowing that:
"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.
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see" (1.4.48-53).

As...


... middle of paper ...


...s to blame. Like a withering flower which becomes old, dead, and useless, Macbeth also becomes old in body, dead in soul, and useless in life.
The characters Macbeth and Satan both share the same ambitions and the same downfalls. Each character knows that the greatest evil one can embellish is knowing that something is wrong yet still committing the sinful act. The comparisons between Macbeth and Satan can best be drawn as two great heroes becoming villainous due to their ambitions and own greed for power.



Bibliography:

Bradley, A.C. "Shakespearean Tragedy." World Literature Criticism - 1500 to the Present. Ed. James P. Draper. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1992. 3154-3158.
Pack, Robert. "Shakespeare and the Tragedy of Our Time." Shakespearean Criticism Vol.3. Eds. Langen Harris and Mark W. Scott. Detroit: Gale, 1986. 275-278.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Macbeth vs. Satan Essay example - Macbeth vs. Satan How can two authors write stories almost half a century apart where the characters have comparable qualities. William Shakespeare and John Milton wrote a play and a poem, respectively, where two characters share qualities. These characters are Macbeth from Macbeth and Satan from Paradise Lost. Despite the similarities between the characters of Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost, which include their strong will, pride, and insatiable greed, they have qualities that set them apart....   [tags: Character Analysis]
:: 2 Works Cited
692 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Horrendous Evil Within Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - The Horrendous Evil Within Macbeth        Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a recognized classic tragedy portraying the victory of good over evil. This paper will explore the various expressions of evil within the play.   In Everybody's Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies, Maynard Mack compares the fall of Macbeth to the fall of Satan:   In some ways Shakespeare's story resembles the story of the Fall of Satan. Macbeth has imperial longings, as Satan has; he is started on the road to revolt partly by the circumstance that another is placed above him; he attempts to bend the universe to his will, warring against all the bonds that relate men to each other - reverence, l...   [tags: Macbeth essays]
:: 12 Works Cited
1962 words
(5.6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on Christian Symbolism & Biblical Imagery in Macbeth - Many authors share a common thread in their writing, allusions to biblical concepts. The Bible is one of the most influential texts of all time and its presence can seen seen through countless pieces of literature.. One of the best examples of a literary work that has been fashioned after biblical elements is The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare. “Christian philosophy' says Walter C. Curry ' recognizes two tragedies of cosmic importance: (1) the fall of Lucifer and a third part of the angelic hosts, who rebelled against God and were cast out, and (2) the fall of Adam who was originally endowed with perfection and freedom but who set his will against God and so brought sin and li...   [tags: biblical allusions in Macbeth] 2145 words
(6.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay - In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the struggle between good and evil is a recurring theme throughout the play; it is also the main conflict. The witches, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s ambition are all major causes of conflict between good and evil within the play. Macbeth is a man who at first seems content to defend his king and country against treason and rebellion. However, when he is told of a prophecy by the witches, which implies that he will become Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland, it seems to spark Macbeth's already existing evil desires inside his head....   [tags: witches, evil, ambition, conflict]
:: 1 Works Cited
980 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Witches in MacBeth Essay examples - The Witches in MacBeth      Shakespeare utilized many sources of information when writing his plays.  One of his sources for the witches in MacBeth was almost certainly Reginald Scot's The Discoverie of Witchcraft, published in 1584.  In his book, Scot refuted many of the common notions regarding witches and their powers; nevertheless, the book created a basic outline for the typical witch, including physical descriptions and abilities.  The witches in MacBeth are representations of those described in Scot's book.  In the play, Shakespeare describes authentic witches in their physical appearance and behavior and MacBeth's character is made more villainous through his association...   [tags: Macbeth essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
851 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay examples - Evil in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In this contemporary era, we often wonder why terrible deeds such as murders and crimes are on the rise and what exactly urges the soul to have the courage to do such an act. Are we all capable of committing horrendous acts under the circumstances or are some people just evil by nature. Does the urge begin within us or are there supernatural forces that lead us blindly. These questions are uppermost in the minds of people living in the modern world and have occupied the minds of writers for thousands of years....   [tags: Papers] 896 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Dramatic Impact on a Jacobean Audience of Act 1 Scene 5 of Shakespeare's Macbeth - The Dramatic Impact on a Jacobean Audience of Act 1 Scene 5 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth In this essay I will be examining how Act 1 Scene 5 of “Macbeth” would have had a dramatic impact on a Jacobean audience. I will also be exploring how Shakespeare’s stagecraft – his use of devices such as symbolism, references to contemporary events and imagery – would have helped to create this dramatic impact. Macbeth was written to be performed – on a stage, by actors, and to an audience. In Jacobean England, drama was considered to be the greatest art form, and was appreciated by many classes of people, from King James downwards, so these audiences would have been large and va...   [tags: William Shakespeare Papers] 1912 words
(5.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Character of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play Essay - The Character of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play The play Macbeth addresses many complex issues throughout. The main one of these revolves around the theme of “ambition”. We gain our first insight into the main character “Macbeth” through other people’s opinions in Act 1, Scene 2. The aim of this is to build the suspense and intrigue surrounding Macbeth. The play gives the audience plenty of opportunity to contemplate Macbeth’s actions and influences. In this essay I will be focusing on three of the main influences in Macbeth’s life; ambition, the influence of Lady Macbeth on her husband and the supernatural....   [tags: Papers] 633 words
(1.8 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Role of the Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essays - The Role of the Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth William Shakespeare probably wrote his play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, for King James I around 1606. To fully appreciate why the witches had such and important presence and impact upon the characters in the play, one has to take into account the beliefs and fears that people living in the early part of the 17th century held. Today of course, with our scientific knowledge, and so called 'spiritual enlightenment', witches are perceived by the general population as objects of fun - daft women who practice silly spells(naked of course!) on hillsides- as we 'know' magic doesn't exist....   [tags: Papers] 1159 words
(3.3 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on The Role of Witches in Macbeth by William Shakespeare - The Role of Witches in Macbeth by William Shakespeare The witches present modern directors with great difficulties. Consider the role of the witches and suggest how they can be made as successful for a modern audience as they would have been for a contemporary audience. In Shakespeare’s day, the thought of the witches scared people as they thought that they had witches living among them, casting spells on them and trying to do them harm. This fear was fuelled by the King at the time, James I, who believed strongly in the Divine right of Kings....   [tags: Papers] 1000 words
(2.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]