Macbeth Transformation

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In Robert Stevenson’s novella ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, Dr Jekyll transforms from the handsome “well-made” scientist into the devilish, sinful and villainous Mr Hyde. Similarly, in William Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Macbeth’, Macbeth transforms from a patriotic hero into a malevolent tyrant. By comparing the thoughts, intentions and actions within the protagonists’ behaviour, it is clear that both Stevenson and Shakespeare present the theme of change from good to evil within their stories. At the start of ‘Macbeth’, Macbeth is presented as a valiant, noble character, but Shakespeare uses varied language to foreshadow his downfall. This is shown when the Captain is speaking to King Duncan. He says, “For brave Macbeth – well he…show more content…
This is shown between a conversation with Mr Utterson and Jekyll when Utterson claims, “‘I have been learning something of young Hyde’. The large handsome face of Dr Jekyll grew pale to the very lips, and there came blackness about his eyes’”. Becoming “pale to the very lips” shows that he is stunned and unable to speak, which is suspicious considering Utterson has mentioned Hyde. “Pale” also has connotations with lifelessness and death which Stevenson might have used to foreshadow the killing of Mr Carew or, since Jekyll is the one being described, Jekyll’s own death by the end. The “blackness about his eyes” also alludes to the fact that he has an immoral side that is emerging. Black has connotations with evil, death and darkness. People of the Victorian era thought appearance reflected personality (many judgements today are still based on appearances alone). Hyde is presented as significantly deformed by Stevenson who wishes to emphasise how wicked Hyde is. Having Jekyll have blackness about his eyes, shows that there is an immense evil hidden within him. Other gothic horrors around that time period used appearances to portray evil within their characters. An example is Frankenstein’s monster from Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. Frankenstein’s monster is misshapen by virtue of being made from a collection of dead bodies. This…show more content…
Jekyll is shown to be lost forever at this point, as he and his good nature are represented as the side that rolled into the neighbouring gutter. Jekyll is described earlier as well-made and this is also reflected in the “rare and very tough and heavy wood”, which of course would be expensive. “Tough” has connotations with being sturdy, so it could also be used to describe how Jekyll thought of himself earlier; how he thought that he could handle his situation and maintain control over Mr Hyde. However, in the end he could not which is shown in the wood breaking. Also, Stevenson purposefully uses “insensate” which has connotations with savagery and psychopathy. This not only shows how viscous Hyde was in his killings, but also illustrates how Jekyll has not taken into account the consequences of his actions in turning into Hyde. In
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