Student Answers gurden Student Macbeth is a tragic hero and the beginning praise by Duncan about his military skills proves it. So yes, the methods and ideas are from his own mind, but what do we see throughout Macbeth? We see a man, once noble and honorable, praised by the king, a cousin of him as well, suddenly sell his humanity to ambition. I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other.
It is impossible to read "Macbeth" without noticing the prominence given to the belief that witches had the power of creating storms and other atmospheric disturbances, and that they delighted in so doing. The sisters elect to meet in thunder, lightning, or rain. To them "fair is foul, and foul is fair," as they "hover through the fog and filthy air.
They can loose and bind the winds,1 cause vessels to be tempest-tossed at sea, and mutilate wrecked bodies. A few isolated charges of the kind may be found. Infor instance, a witch was burnt who confessed that she had caused all the tempests that had taken place in that year.
Scot, too, has a few short sentences upon this subject, but does not give it the slightest prominence. It is exceedingly curious to notice the utter harmless nature of the charges brought against the earlier culprits; and how, as time went on and the panic increased, they gradually deepened in colour, until no act was too gross, too repulsive, or too ridiculously impossible to be excluded from the indictment.
The following quotations from one of the earliest reported trials are given because they illustrate most forcibly the condition of the poor women who were supposed to be witches, and the real basis of fact upon which the belief in the crime subsequently built itself.
Bessie Dunlop was tried for witchcraft in One of the principal accusations against her was that she held intercourse with a devil who appeared to her in the shape of a neighbour of hers, one Thom Reed, who had recently died. Being asked how and where she met Thom Reed, she said, "As she was gangand betwixt her own house and the yard of Monkcastell, dryvand her ky to the pasture, and makand heavy sair dule with herself, gretand8 very fast for her cow that was dead, her husband and child that wer lyand sick in the land ill, and she new risen out of gissane,9 the aforesaid Thom met her by the way, healsit10 her, and said, 'Gude day, Bessie,' and she said, 'God speed you, guidman.
Then Thom Reed went away fra me in through the yard of Monkcastell, and I thought that he gait in at ane narrower hole of the dyke nor anie erdlie man culd have gone throw, and swa I was something fleit. On the third occasion he asked her "if she would not trow14 in him.
She answered that "if she should be riven at horsis taillis, she suld never do that, but promised to be leal and trew to him in ony thing she could do," whereat he was angry.
On the fourth occasion, the poor woman fell further into sin, and accompanied Thom to a fairy meeting. Thom asked her to join the party; but she said "she saw na proffeit to gang thai kind of gaittis, unless she kend wherefor.
And so Thom began to be very crabit with her, and said, "if so she thought, she would get lytill gude of him. She answered that "when sundrie persons came to her to seek help for their beast, their cow, or ewe, or for any barne that was tane away with ane evill blast of wind, or elf grippit, she gait and speirit15 at Thom what myght help them; and Thom would pull ane herb and gif her out of his awin hand, and bade her scheir16 the same with ony other kind of herbis, and oppin the beistes mouth, and put thame in, and the beist wald mend.
This sad picture of the breakdown of a poor woman's intellect in the unequal struggle against poverty and sickness is only made visible to us by the light of the flames that, mercifully to her perhaps, took poor Bessie Dunlop away for ever from the sick husband, and weakly children, and the "ky," and the humble hovel where they all dwelt together, and from the daily, heart-rending, almost hopeless struggle to obtain enough food to keep life in the bodies of this miserable family.
The historian -- who makes it his chief anxiety to record, to the minutest and most irrelevant details, the deeds, noble or ignoble, of those who have managed to stamp their names upon the muster-roll of Fame -- turns carelessly or scornfully the page which contains such insignificant matter as this; but those who believe "That not a worm is cloven in vain; That not a moth with vain desire Is shrivel'd in a fruitless fire, Or but subserves another's gain," will hardly feel that poor Bessie's life and death were entirely without their meaning.
As the trials for witchcraft increase, however, the details grow more and more revolting; and in the year we find a most extraordinary batch of cases -- extraordinary for the monstrosity of the charges contained in them, and also for the fact that this feature, so insisted upon in "Macbeth", the raising of winds and storms, stands out in extremely bold relief.
The explanation of this is as follows. During the voyage an unusually violent storm raged, which scattered the vessels composing the royal escort, and, it would appear, caused the destruction of one of them. By a marvellous chance, the king's ship was driven by a wind which blew directly contrary to that which filled the sails of the other vessels;18 and the king and queen were both placed in extreme jeopardy.
James, who seems to have been as perfectly convinced of the reality of witchcraft as he was of his own infallibility, at once came to the conclusion that the storm had been raised by the aid of evil spirits, for the express purpose of getting rid of so powerful an enemy of the Prince of Darkness as the righteous king.
The result was that a rigorous investigation was made into the whole affair; a great number of persons were tried for attempting the king's life by witchcraft; and that prince, undeterred by the apparent impropriety of being judge in what was, in reality, his own cause, presided at many of the trials, condescended to superintend the tortures applied to the accused in order to extort a confession, and even went so far in one case as to write a letter to the judges commanding a condemnation.
Under these circumstances, considering who the prosecutor was, and who the judge, and the effectual methods at the service of the court for extorting confessions,19 it is not surprising that the king's surmises were fully justified by the statements of the accused.Exploring death in Macbeth.
Essay by theman, Junior High, 9th grade, A, April Death is when one ceases to live/exist. In Shakespeare tragedy Macbeth, there are many forms of death. Including, but not limited to, the death loyalties, the death of family and the death of morals. Al the deaths in this tragedy Macbeth, is what makes 5/5(1).
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