Macbeth Relevance to Audience Today

ENGLISH PRACTISE ESSAY: ‘William Shakespeare’s Macbeth has no relevance to an audience today’.

Macbeth, William Shakespeare’s shortest and bloodiest tragedy, outlines the downfall of a brave yet ambitious Scottish general, after he receives a prophecy from the trio of witches that he shall become the King of Scotland. Spurred by his ambition and his wife, Lady Macbeth’s actions, Macbeth decides to murder King Duncan and seize the throne for himself. Throughout the play, we can see how ambition and greed turn Macbeth’s life into one of arrogance, madness and eventually death. Although the play was written over 400 years ago, it is definitely an influential piece of writing in our society today. Ambition, violence and fate are the main themes in the play, and each theme has a strong relevance to people today.

Ambition is the most obvious theme of Macbeth. Shakespeare explores this theme deeply in the play Macbeth, showing how Macbeth dramatically shifts from the loyal, good-natured protagonist, to the tragic villain in the play. We can relate the theme of ambition to overly ambitious people in the modern day society, who are never quite content with their present lives, but instead wish for more power for themselves. In Macbeth, we can see that in order to fulfil their dreams and desires, Macbeth and his wife are willing to completely change themselves. In Act I Scene 7, we see Macbeth saying “I have… only vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’other”. In this scene, Macbeth is balancing out the reasons for and against murdering his king, and although he has so many reasons against the murder, his only reason for the murder, ambition for becoming king, is so great that it weighs down all the other reasons. By our morals, we know it is unnecessary for someone to completely change their character in order to gain something big, however, both in Macbeth and our society today, these morals are overthrown by ambition.

Another theme in the play...