Macbeth Motif Analysis

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Throughout his play Macbeth, Shakespeare utilizes multiple motifs, or recurring subjects, themes, or ideas, that enrich his play and further portray his ideas. He uses the motif of babies, children, and the unborn to compare character actions to children in order to emphasize their weaknesses. This motif is also used to portray the strong bond between parents and children and the lengths people go to uphold this bond. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth, Macbeth is true to King Duncan, however, hearing a prophecy from the witches that he will become king, he kills Duncan to gain the throne. Eventually Macbeth is filled with feeling of paranoia, guilt, and fear which lead to further murders. After hearing and believing prophecies from three apparitions, Macbeth is eventually murdered by Macduff, whose family he had previously killed. The motif of babies, children, and the unborn is more heavily used before, around, and after these murders. This motif appears towards the beginning and end of the play and less so in the middle because of when the murders occur. This particular motif tends to appear frequently during the planning of a murder. For example, the murder of Duncan began with Lady Macbeth convincing Macbeth that murder was the right option. While deciding for himself whether or not killing Duncan was the right choice, Macbeth says, “And pity, like a naked newborn babe,/ Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim, horsed/ Upon the sightless couriers of the air/ Shall

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