A myriad of common themes exist in literature, employed by authors for an infinite number of effects: among these are the basic human experiences such as life, death, joy, and adversity. As defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, adversity is “a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune.” A subject commonly explicated upon, adversity is present in literature’s earliest works, all the way through modern compositions. The role of adversity in literature can vary: if a character triumphs over or falls to adversity can paint the work in a positive or negative light, and be the difference between a tragedy and a triumph. Customarily, adversity in literature is very clearly presented in a work. The epic poem Beowulf, which …show more content…
Instead of adversity being directly presented in the play, it is created by the actions of the title character. Following a prophecy in which he becomes King of Scotland, Macbeth commits numerous atrocities, including regicide, to fulfill his supposed destiny. Adversity, when viewed as misfortune, can be applied to both the trials that Macbeth endures and the overarching theme of fate and free will. While influenced by the prophecy, Macbeth ultimately decides his own fate, and carves a path that traps both himself and other characters in a cataclysm. Before murdering Duncan, Macbeth expresses doubt about killing his king through numerous soliloquies. Macbeth hallucinates a vision of a bloody dagger pointing him in the direction of the king, and interprets it as a sign to go through with the murder; however, he goes back on his word a moment later, doubting its significance: “Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible / To feeling as to sight? or art thou but / A dagger of the mind, a false creation, / Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” (Shakespeare II. I. 36-39). The murder of King Duncan signifies the beginning of Macbeth’s descent into criminality, a plunge only quickened by the consequences of his behavior—the main form of adversity he faces. The affliction that Macbeth must confront grows when he becomes aware of three additions to the prophecy. One of these …show more content…
Despite committing a number of abhorrent crimes, Macbeth’s morality is definitively ambiguous, or “grey,” “because he is so acutely aware of the horror of his crimes” (Charney). Even before his transgressions take place, Macbeth is aware of the “physiological and psychological” consequences the murder will have on him, “forsee[ing] the effects” of his wrongdoings with rightfully placed apprehension (Charney). This sorrowful character is not the one first introduced to the audience, as Macbeth is depicted as an exalted hero in Duncan’s army; however, though his visage morphs into one of a tyrant. During his metamorphosis into seemingly amoral ruler, Macbeth does not take pleasure in the carnage he inspires, contributing to the adversity faced through his remorse. Conversely, Macduff, who may be considered the protagonist by some, is not presented as wholly virtuous. He has a strong desire for vengeance against Macbeth, a trait that can be viewed as typically villainous. Moral ambiguity in Macbeth emphasizes that adversity can be man made; the clash between Macbeth’s conscience and his strong desire for power forges the misery upon which this the tragedy is built, and shapes the entire work as a hero’s fall from
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Brandon Sanderson’s science fiction novel, “Steelheart,” takes place in a post-apocalyptic universe packed with complex problems that many normal humans are not willing to solve. The cities are packed with creatures known as epics that are very similar to humans that have acquired special powers David, the protagonist in the story, is put in a very tough situation and hopes to overcome the what seems to be the greatest obstacle, defeating Steelheart the most powerful and evil epic of all. One theme that this book suggests is that although some of life's struggle may make people want to give up on their desires, through belief and perseverance they are able to overcome greater obstacles. Sanderson uses Author's craft frequently through the
Adversity is something that causes someone issues,problems,and difficulties. It affects everyone in a different way, it could make someone turn their life around or lead to more problems. In the short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, by Richard Connell, the character Rainsford was being faced with a challenge that put his life at risk. Rainsford got stranded on an island where he met General Zaroff who was planning to hunt him. Luckily, Rainsford was an experienced hunter, but The General had a lot more resources.
Beowulf the brave, bold, and battle crazy Beowulf is an epic poem that tells the story of a glorious hero, by the same name, who wins fame and glory by battling and killing evil creatures that cross his path. Sea monsters, trolls, sorceresses, and dragons all fall at the hands of mighty Beowulf. The treacherous world in which we find ourselves seems ideal for producing heroes worthy of such heroic epics like Beowulf’s. It seems like in this world, the only way to fix one’s problems is to kill them.
Not all heroes wear capes. Well, in novels and movies, they tend to. From the start, heros have always been someone who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. In poems such as Beowulf, which date back to the 10th century, implement the hero’s model in its purest form. The main character, Beowulf, is the stereotypical hero that comes from a far away land to defeat the monstrous antagonist Grendel, and defend the impotent villagers.
Macbeth is the Shakespearean play that features the triumphant uprise and the inevitable downfall of its main character. In this play, Macbeth’s downfall can be considered to be the loss of his moral integrity and this is achieved by ambition, despite this, Lady Macbeth and the witches work through his ambition, furthering to assist his inevitable ruin. Ambition alone is the most significant factor that led to Macbeth’s downfall. The witches are only able to influence his actions through Macbeth’s pre-existing and the three witches see that Macbeth has ambition and uses it to control his action. Ambition alone is displayed throughout the play to be the most significant cause for Macbeth’s downfall.
Macbeth shows a true sense of ambition in his personality which is acted out in a positive manner initially, but overtime becomes cynical. It must be noticed that in the beginning, his ambition is evident through his daring traits. The Captain speaks with Duncan, king of Scotland, about Macbeth’s courageous spirit during war: “For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), /Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, /Which smoked with bloody execution” (1.2. 18-20). Many people around Macbeth admire him for his bravery and leadership in and out of the battlefield.
In Macbeth, Shakespeare writes about a man named Macbeth, who has a very strong ambition to be the the king of Scotland. His credulousness led him into believing the prophecy from the three witches without thinking rigorously. Because of this prophecy, Macbeth is willing to do everything he can to gain the throne, even to the extreme of murdering someone. Shakespeare uses syntax, similes, and personification to convey the evolution of Macbeth’s insanity.
Shakespeare positions his audience to witness the fall of a man, from a position of power to tyranny. To maintain his power, Macbeth commits a series of murders to protect himself. As he commits brutal murders, he becomes amoral and anti-humanitarian and reaches a point of no return, which eventually leads him to corruption. The playwright epitomise these through hamartia, peripeteia and anagnorisis. Ambition empowers Macbeth to face guilt, greediness and great oppression.
Similarly, Macbeth 's own mental state initiates a rivalry within itself. The thought of killing Duncan brings Macbeth 's brain into turmoil, causing him to hallucinate. He then questions his own sanity by asking if the imaginary dagger is physical " Or art thou but // A dagger of the mind, a false creation // Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?"
Macbeth’s ambition is one of the most prominent things that drive Macbeth in the play and truly becomes evident when he hears of the Witches prophecies. When the witches stop talking, he demands to know more. “Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more” (I, III, 73-74). This portrays his excessive curiosity on the subject as well as his craving for more desirable prophecies. This ambitious nature and craving for power is also demonstrated only moments after hearing the witches, when he starts formulating a plan to kill Duncan in order to make the third prophecy come true.
The reader sees that the characters personality, actions, and diction justify the significant theme good vs. evil. Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth displayed traits of evil and corruption by wanting power and wanting to get rid of King Duncan and others that were a threat. In contrast, Macduff showed readers that he wanted what was best for his country and refused to let Macbeth destroy his homeland. After reading The Tragedy of Macbeth, one can see that everyone is not what they seem because even the “brightest angel fell from
In Beowulf, Beowulf’s greatest challenge is the dragon. As humans, we all face our own dragons. Our dragons might be unwanted, but in the end, they help make us who we are. As we face our challenges, we develop habits and we change our way of thinking, which later defines us. Personally, I have faced my own challenges.
Throughout the play Lady Macbeth has a great influence upon Macbeth’s decisions, including the one which begins all the bloodshed, daring Macbeth, “Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem[?]” (1.7.41). Lady Macbeth invigorates and changes Macbeth’s attitude from unwilling and ambiguous about murdering Duncan to “settled, and bend up...to this terrible feat” by using pathos, demonstrating that Macbeth chooses evil because of the flawed influence of Lady Macbeth who is leading him down to a tragic alley.
In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, as edited by Sandra Clark and Pamela Mason, we are presented with a convoluted universe revolving around the main character Macbeth, a man who seemed to be at first a man of honor, but slowly slipped into a chasm of cruelty. While he was pushed by outer forces, such as Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters, to attain power and sink further into darkness, it can be argued that everything actually stemmed from him. While he may have appeared to others in one way as an honorable noble who was worthy of leading the country, his inner thoughts hidden away from the rest of the world drove him down a dark path in a quest for power. With such dual and conflicting natures, this ultimately breaks Macbeth until the
In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the character Macbeth is enlightened of a prophecy stating that he, the current Thane of Glamis and Cawdor, is to become the next king of Scotland. He conspires against the current king, Duncan, in order to allow himself to ascend to the Scottish throne in a timelier manner, and Duncan soon comes to a bloody demise while soundly asleep in Macbeth’s own castle. In this Shakespearian play, Macbeth murders Duncan in cold blood while under the spell of disorienting prophecies, selfish ambitions, and mental instability. Macbeth’s murderous intents first begin when the weird sisters tell him of a prophecy stating that he will be king. However, in order for that to be true, the current king, Duncan, would need