Macbeth Themes – English Literature/Theatre/Drama
If you have been studying the play Macbeth as part of your English Literature GCSE, these revision notes will help you to remember the main themes for your essays and exams.
- Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare and is believed to have been first performed in 1606
- The play follows the central character Macbeth through a murderous spree in an attempt to become King of Scotland.
- Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are ambitious to better their position. The three witches prophesize that Macbeth will be King and start a chain of events which lead to a string of murders.
- Lady Macbeth pushes his hand and tells him he’s not a man if he doesn’t do the deeds. Her manipulation leads to a lot of blood on their hands.
- There are many differences between Duncan and Macbeth. Macbeth becomes a tyrant ruler whereas Duncan is merciful and loyal.
- Hallucinations recur throughout the play, horrible visions of bloody daggers and ghosts – what do you think these might be symbolic of?
- There is a lot of violence in this play, lots of blood, battles and murder. The stains of blood wont easily wash away.
- The predictions of the witches galvanise Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into putting their plan in place. Was it the meddling of the witches which caused this to happen or were the events always going to happen?
- The unsettling nature of the play is aided by the terrible weather. The thunder and lightening help to support the atmosphere of chaos and fear. What literary device is Shakespare using here?For more help and support with your GCSE English Literature revision check out our Macbeth song. For more GCSE revision notes and songs on English, Maths and Science click here….