Macbeth Buddhism Analysis

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BUDDHIST PERSPECTIVE ON WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S MACBETH Buddhism focuses on personal spiritual development and the attainment of a deep insight into the true nature of life. There are around 380 million followers worldwide. Buddhists seek to reach a state of Nirvana, following the path of the Lord Buddha. According to Buddhist tradition, Lord Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering through the elimination of ignorance and craving by way of understanding and the seeing of dependent origination…show more content…
Macbeth’s ambition, his wife’s suggestion, and the witches all work together to drive the action .The Buddhist perspective may present Shakespeare’s play Macbeth in the new light. It will explore the territory of suffering especially that of the protagonist: Macbeth himself. This is the first connection with Lord Buddha’s teaching which starts as an exploration of suffering (dukkha) — his first Noble Truth — and its causes. The starting point of Buddhism is that 'All is suffering' (Sarvam Dukham). Suffering prevails in life. Birth is attended with sorrow, decay is sorrowful, death is sorrowful and all bodily conditions which spring from attachment are sorrowful. This view-- that life is full of pain and its delights are temporary and burdened with sorrow-- is essential to the teachings of Lord Buddha. Buddhism highlights that suffering as well as desire is the universal feature of the total process of nature. Desire is the cause of human misery, and the moment a person gets rid of it, he or she reaches perfect 'Nirvana'. But, in fact, the reaching of ‘Nirvana’, as preached by the Buddha, is possible through asceticism, which involves the rejection of all senses. Suffering pervades in the play Macbeth, but its prime source is protagonist Macbeth himself and its essential theme is expressed in the second Noble Truth:…show more content…
Her own sleepwalking displays the remorse that has caught her, despite her efforts to banish it. No amount of ritualised cleansing can now remove the blood she sees and smells on her hands because her mind will not cease producing it. Reality, for the Buddha, means the pattern of existence which he expressed in the chain of conditioned existence. For Macbeth, the train of actions and consequences has become a dreary procession towards death. His lust for power — a kind of craving for sense experience that is perhaps a version of a more primal craving for existence – has become nihilism: craving for non-existence. Nothing has meaning for Macbeth because he has cut the emotional roots from which meaning grows. Like Macbeth, the Buddha used the image of a flame to signify the hopes and desires that lead us with promises of fulfillment. For Macbeth, who identified with it, nothing remains when it is extinguished; for the Buddha, who separated himself from craving, it meant liberation – nirvana literally means the blowing out of a flame, the walking

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