Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Shakespeares Macbeth - Renaissance Humanism Essay -- GCSE English Lit

  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   While the witches present in Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth assume the role of supernatural beings, it was not Shakespeare’s intent to portray a classic case of fatalism. On the contrary, Shakespeare used Macbeth as a way to display the idea of Renaissance humanism. Although the witches did in fact possess uncanny powers, they were in reality not controlling Macbeth, but rather they were tempting Macbeth to act in particular ways. The witches, as well as other significant characters, may have encouraged Macbeth to act in a certain way, yet they did not by any means determine Macbeth’s actions. By comparing the humanist movement and its values to the tragedy Macbeth, it becomes blatantly obvious that Macbeth was intended to demonstrate the basic humanistic qualities. Under the premise of humanism it is required that there be a centralization and focus upon humans, a balance in which elements within reflect without, and all reason must be used to become more angelic than bestial. Although the witches’ predictions display supernatural properties, their philosophies center around the dealings of mere mortal humans. This gives humans a sense of importance in the workings of the world. Even nature is disturbed as part of fulfilling one of the philosophies (the displacing of Birnam Wood to Dunsinane). Moreover, one of the main themes of the play, the effects of evil in the life of one man- Macbeth, stresses a centralization on the individual being. Through the usage of masks in Macbeth, the balance is achieved by blocking off elements within from being focused without. This is shown in Act I, scene V, as Lady Macbeth talks to Macbeth, she gives him specific instructions: "Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, Your han... ...he appearance of the Weird Sisters in Macbeth, as well as the encouragement of a few influential characters, Macbeth is clearly defined as a portrayal of the true spirit of Renaissance humanism. Macbeth may have attempted to place the blame away from himself, but the fact that he no longer accepted the responsibility for his actions does not mean that the responsibility is removed, and therefore Macbeth’s downfall can be traced back to the actions of one man, Macbeth.    Works Cited Page Cooper, The Mystery of Witchcraft, London, 1617. Epstein, Norrie, The Friendly Shakepeare, New York, Viking Publishing, 1993. Harbage, Alfred, Macbeth, Middlesex England, Penguin Publishing, 1956. Magill, Masterplots- Volume 6, New Jersey, Salem Press, 1949. Staunten, Howard, The Complet Illustrated Shakespeare, New York, Park Lane Publishing, 1979.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.