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Unlocking Themes in Macbeth. Ambition can subvert reason. When supernatural powers represent evil, they should be ignored. The natural order is disrupted by any upset in the proper order of human society. Unlocking Themes in Macbeth. Appearances do not always reflect reality.

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unlocking themes in macbeth
Unlocking Themes in Macbeth
  • Ambition can subvert reason.
  • When supernatural powers represent evil, they should be ignored.
  • The natural order is disrupted by any upset in the proper order of human society.
unlocking themes in macbeth2
Unlocking Themes in Macbeth
  • Appearances do not always reflect reality.
  • Despite prophecies of the future, people are responsible for their own actions.
  • Attempts to control the future by overturning the natural order of society are futile.
ambition can subvert reason
Ambition can subvertreason
  • “From this moment,the very firstlings of my shall be the firstlings of my hand.”
    • Act IV, Scene 1

heart

ambition can subvert reason4
Ambition can subvert reason
  • “Thou wouldst be great; art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.”
    • Act I, Scene 5
when supernatural powers represent evil they should be ignored
When supernatural powers represent evil, they should be ignored.
  • “But ‘tis strange! And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence.”
    • Act I, Scene 3
when supernatural powers represent evil they should be ignored6
When supernatural powers represent evil, they should be ignored.
  • “Accursed be the tongue that tells me so, for it hath cowed my better part of man! And be these juggling fiends no more believed.”
    • Act V, Scene 8
the natural order is disrupted by any upset in the proper order of human society
The natural order is disrupted by any upset in the proper order of human society.
  • “By the clock ‘tis day, and yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp. Is’t night’s predominance, or day’s shame, that darkness does the face of earth entomb when living light should kiss it?”
    • Act II, Scene 4
the natural order is disrupted by any upset in the proper order of human society8
The natural order is disrupted by any upset in the proper order of human society.
  • “The obscure bird clamored the livelong night. Some say the earth was feverous and did shake.”
    • Act II, Scene 3
appearances do not always reflect reality
Appearances do not always reflect reality.
  • “There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust.”
    • Act I, Scene 4
appearances do not always reflect reality10
Appearances do not always reflect reality.
  • “Our separated fortune shall keep us both the safer. Where we are, there’s in men’s smiles; the near in blood, the nearer bloody.”
    • Act II, Scene 3

daggers

despite prophecies of the future people are responsible for their own actions
Despite prophecies of the future, people are responsible for their own actions.
  • “If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favors nor your hate.”
    • Act I, Scene 3
despite prophecies of the future people are responsible for their own actions12
Despite prophecies of the future, people are responsible for their own actions.
  • “I pull in resolution, and begin to doubt the equivocation of the fiend, that lies like truth.”
    • Act V, Scene 5
attempts to control the future by overturning the natural order of society are futile
Attempts to control the future by overturning the natural order of society are futile.
  • “Duncan is in his grave; after life’s fitful fever he sleeps well. Treason has done his worst: nor steel nor poison, malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing, can touch him further.”
    • Act III, Scene2
attempts to control the future by overturning the natural order of society are futile14
Attempts to control the future by overturning the natural order of society are futile.
  • “Here’s the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh,oh,oh!”
    • Act V, Scene 1