Macbeth
Macbeth
by William Shakespeare

Macbeth Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Fate and Free Will

The dog ate my homework. The devil made me do it. She forced me to eat that apple. People have been coming up with excuses for their actions since Ugg first had to apologize for hitting Zog with a...

Ambition

You'd think it was enough to be the nation's greatest warrior and Thane of Cawdor. What more could a man want? Apparently, a lot. Once Macbeth has had a taste of power, he's willing to kill anyone...

Power

Absolute power corrupts absolutely… unless, of course, your absolute power is a god-given right. In Shakespeare's time, the Divine Right of Kings was the idea that the power of kings comes direct...

Versions of Reality

Bearded witches, severed fingers, and floating daggers: Macbeth is more fun than a haunted house at the state fair. And, like that haunted house, nothing is quite what it seems. Fair is foul; foul...

Gender

Ah, 11th century Scotland: a time when men were men, and women were … either bearded witches, unsexed nags, or dead. (Yeah, did you notice that not a single woman is left alive at the end of the...

The Supernatural

Are the three weird sisters witches, or are they just … three weird sisters? Is there really a floating dagger, or is Macbeth just making up excuses? Does he really see a ghost, or is it just the...

Violence

Do violent TV shows and video games actually make kids more violent? Maybe. But if they do, then you're going to have to lock up Shakespeare with a MA-17+ rating, too, because Macbeth's body count...

Time

Macbeth's most famous speech begins "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow," so, yes: we're going to say that time matters. (And, to be honest, this theme takes the Tough-o-Meter up a notch or two,...

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