Macbeth Disrupts The Great Chain Of Being Analysis

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Explore the ways that Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a character that disrupts the Great Chain of Being. ‘Macbeth’ by Shakespeare was performed in 1606, during King James’ reign. When Shakespeare wrote ‘Macbeth’, witchcraft was a topic of considerable interest and fear, even reaching as high as the new king of England, James I, who had written a book, Demonology, about witches. Elizabethan society may have thought that James I was a weak link in the Great Chain of Being, as he wasn’t directly related to the previous Queen. ‘Macbeth’, was written for the court partly in the response to the Gun Powder Plot of 1605 in order to reinforce the Divine Right of Kings and James I legitimacy to the throne. The Great Chain of Being was the idea that…show more content…
This can be seen with “Come fate into the light, and champion me to th’utterance” uses the language of battling, this is proof of his vicious attitude. He personifies fate misguidedly; how is it possible to fight an idea? The word “come” is an imperative word indicating he is commanding “fate” to stop hiding. The dabbling with the supernatural creates problems for him, where in Act 3 scene 2 he says “but let the frame of things disjoin, both the worlds suffer ere we will eat our meal”. This is an example of dramatic irony because he has already upset the idea of the Great Chain of Being but he doesn’t know it yet. The word “disjoin” indicates that he has separated things already. The phrase “both the worlds” create a sense of unity between heaven and earth, this is ironic as Macbeth is going against God by killing the god chosen king. Also in Act 2 Scene 3 Macbeth says, after he has killed the king, “his gash’d stabs look’d like a breach in nature, for ruin’s wasteful entrance”. This simile is used to show that Macbeth has disrupted the chain as the gashes where the knives had cut the king, looked like wounds to nature itself as he has disobeyed God. Also the personification “ruin’s wasteful entrance” shows that Macbeth has ruined the Great Chain of Being. He has created a series of problems all the way up the chain because if one thing suffers all of them will…show more content…
Macbeth was influenced by the witches and the constant berating and bullying by his wife. He allowed himself to be corrupted and coerced and finally disrupted the Great Chain of Being himself by killing the God-chosen king and replacing him with himself. Shakespeare uses this plot to demonstrate how the great chain of being was disrupted by false ambition dominating over human nature. Macduff was born of caesarian meaning the whole play of Macbeth is ironic as it takes someone who is unnaturally born to destroy Macbeth. Ultimately, Macduff restores the Great Chain of Being by killing Macbeth and presenting the “usurpers cursed head” to Malcolm, who takes his rightful place as King as the true heir to the throne. Also as everything has been restored by Macduff he says “Grace of grace” this repetition and alliteration is ironic s it shows the Great Chain of Being has been restored, unlike the beginning of the play when everything was in disorder; “Foul is Fair and Fair is
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