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Motifs in Macbeth Essay


Have you ever read any play that was written by William Shakespeare? William Shakespeare was one of the greatest playwrights in the world. He wrote many famous plays such as Romeo and Juliet. However, Macbeth is considered one of his best dramas. In Macbeth, two motifs are evident; sleeplessness and the natural world versus the unnatural world. These motifs can be found in the conversations between characters of Macbeth.

There are two examples of sleeplessness. First, this motif appears when Macbeth killed Duncan, who was sleeping. In Act 2, Scene 2 line 35, Macbeth said, Methought I heard a voice cry Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, the death of each days life. There is another example of this motif. At the end of this play, Lady Macbeth described as a sleepwalker. Gentlewoman describes Lady Macbeths illness, in Act 5, Scene1, line 3. Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her night-gown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upont, read it, agferwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep. As these quotes indicate, after the night when Macbeth (and Lady Macbeth) killed Duncan, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth struggle with sleep; the motif, sleeplessness, shows up.

Another motif of Macbeth is the natural world versus unnatural world. There are two examples of this motif. The best example of this motif is the witches. The unnatural world especially expressed in the conversation between three witches and Hecate, their queen. Another example of the natural world versus unnatural world is the conversation between Ross and the Old Man. Ross tells that there was no light, because the sun didnt rise. It was completely dark, even in the morning, and in the afternoon. Following by Rosss lines, Old Man said, in Act 2, Scene 4, line 11, Tis unnatural, even like the deed thats done. On Tuesday last a falcon towering in her pride of place was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed. Naturally, a falcon kills an owl. So that what Old Man said, is an example of natural world versus unnatural world. Also, Ross said that Duncans beautiful horses were fighting against each other, eating each other, and killing each other. These unnatural events, which Ross and Old Man were talking about, show the motif of Macbeth.

Two of the motifs, in Macbeth, are sleeplessness, and the natural world versus the unnatural world. Macbeths quotes from the play and Lady Macbeths sleepwalking scene show sleeplessness. Another motif, the natural world versus the unnatural world, can be found from the witches, and the conversation between Ross and Old Man. These two motifs outstand out above all the others in Macbeth. That is one of reasons why Macbeth is one of the greatest plays in the world.

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