William Shakespearean last tragedy, the timeless’ Macbeth, has not become obsolete due to the universal concerns that remain pertinent in our society. In his play he portrays many themes through the use of controversial characters; Many of these concept have ongoing relevance to our world today that subsequently produce sinister connotations. But the ingenuity with which Shakespeare painted the portraits of the eventual corruption and moral decay of one’s pureness, caused by the rapid influx of power bestowed upon a single individual, and the adverse effects of allotting the great chain of being, truly resonate with modern audiences.
Shakespearean representation of the ramifications that a disruption to the Great Chain of Being’ would cause is one of the reasons for its ongoing relevance. Historically, Shakespeare has paid great reverence to the hierarchical order in which society must abide by in Renaissance England. It was believed that the health of a country and positive elements was directly related to the moral legitimacy of its king. As such in the 21st century, if the leader of a nation is good and Just then the nation will operate smoothly.
This concept is demonstrated when Macbeth disturbs the chain by murdering Duncan and usurping the throne, nature goes haywire. Lennox “… Some say, the earth was ferrous and did shake,” (2. 3. 46-53). The earth is a states personified component used to demonstrate the effect of what happens when a move is made against God’s will. This entire soliloquy is a pathetic fallacy that displays the negative effects of uncontrolled power.
Machete’s regicide at Inverness initiates chaos in Scotland, as any attempt of displacement would be a slight against god which is supplemented with disorder in the natural universe. A statement made by Marina Villa in her critical analysis of this text, “… Macbeth focuses on the oedipal complex; the father/son struggle between Macbeth and Duncan and the fall of the heroes through fatal conscience” explains that the Oedipus complex is incorporated into the play.
The theory is used to describe the relationship between Duncan and Macbeth and how it leads to corruption. The Oedipus complex is a psychoanalytic theory; it is the desire for sexual involvement with the parent of the opposite sex and a sense of rivalry with the parent of the same sex. But in Macbeth he sexual side of the theory is suppressed and the role of the mother is symbolized by the power that comes with the title, King. This emphasizes Macbeth thirst for power. Machete’s lust for power caused him to make sinister decisions that created corruption.
The way Shakespeare depicted the repercussions that this may result in, such as the formation of destructive tyrants, are two other notable themes that have strong relevance. Though in the present day, instead of divine kings and monarchs we have politically elected people who wish to fulfill their power but have become erupted in the process. The infamous dictators of our society that also abused power in this way; Muhammad Qaeda, Sad Hussein and Did Main prove that this type of corruption leads to an individual becoming a tyrannical oppressor.
A state of corruption is not one that a person can easily withdraw from as advocated by Macbeth when he states, “all causes shall give way. I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more”. The metaphoric language used in that line that he states to the instigator that planted the seed to power into his mind Lady Macbeth, ashes forward the fact that he is so far in corruption there is no point in going back and he may as well go forth with his dishonesty. This quote also articulates how boundless power creates tyranny.
The rhyming couplet “… Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell”, dramatists the corruption in Machete’s decision to kill Duncan. Though he is hesitant at first, his desire to be the new monarch of Scotland and his thirst for power overcomes his good nature, hence the birth of Machete’s tyrannical side. Macbeth is paranoid that now a couple of the vents in the witches’ prophecy have come true, the likelihood of the other prediction, Banquet descendants taking the throne, is at large.
This is shown through the dramatic mood set by the rhyming couplets used in his small soliloquy after his conversation with the murderers in the first scene of act 1 where he states, “It is concluded . Banquet, thy soul’s flight, if it find heave, must find it out tonight”. The personified dialect in which Banquet soul is referred to in that soliloquy suggests that the mood is not only dramatic but also one reeking of audaciousness. This homebodies unchecked power brings about a thought of invincibility.
Shakespearean Macbeth is expressed through the exploration of a wide range of contextual themes which have many parallels that can be drawn between those morals of our world today. At the forefront of these concepts, he depicts how violating the great chain as a portent of Mother Nature wreaking havoc and the greed for power is the catalyst which in turn causes corruption, beautifully. This play is incredibly relevant due to society being able to relate to and understand the consequences caused by these morally deficient and inherently flawed themes.