Example research essay topic: Analyzing Central Issues To Macbeth – 1,359 words

Macbeth, a tragic-drama of Shakespeare, explores
the concept of natural and unnatural factors in
society. By doing so, the playwright raises
central issues, which are successfully resolved in
the culmination of the plays plot. Two such
central issues, both evident in the extract and
the play throughout, are power and morality. The
thoughts, actions and continual reference
throughout the play of that which is natural and
unnatural exemplify the two central issues chosen
for discussion. The central issues raised in the
extract continue throughout the play into a
resolution whereby the natural or good, conquers
the unnatural or evil. Beyond the selected
extract, Shakespeare successfully introduces the
issues of power (and the desire of) and morality.
Shakespeare maintains the presence of these issues
and resolves them in the plot of the play.

The
plot cumulates with Macbeths tragic death, where
the desire for his power and abandonment of morale
fibres, remain as central issues as they appear in
the selected extract. This is illustrated clearly,
as in the selected text; Macbeth is torn morally
for his plan to take power, which he and his wife
desire. Beyond Act1. Scene 5, Macbeth resolves all
concern for morality by disbanding it altogether
through his desire for power. It is a deliberate
choice that accentuates the plays ethical values
and denounces his desire as unnatural due to the
actions Macbeth is willing to undertake. Macbeth
is aware of Morality and social judgement for his
actions.

In Act 1, Scene 7, Macbeth delivers a
speech: We still have judgement here, that we but
teach Bloody instructions which, being taught,
return To Plague th inventor. This even-handed
justice Commends thingredience of our poisoned
chalice To our own lips (1.7.8-12). Despite social
and moral constraints, Macbeth indicates he has a
deep vaulting ambition which surpasses fear of
recrimination from society or from god (1.7.27).
Power, and the desire to achieve an absolute
power, is a central issue in Macbeth. Lady
Macbeths strong ambition to be Queen spurs the
faltering ambition of Macbeth to an all- consuming
quest where Macbeth’s character ultimately
undergoes a transformation. Lady Macbeth has an
instant desire to take what greatness is promised
to Macbeth (Macbeth 1.5). The power Lady Macbeth
desires requires a sacrifice of her natural being,
hence her dramatic address to the spirits which
govern mortal thoughts: unsex me here, And fill me
from the crown to the Toe, top full of direst
Cruelty (Shakespeare 1.5.40-42).

Lady Macbeth to
strip away her maternal instincts of compassion,
emotion and care to become a hardened woman. Lady
Macduff, is a contrasting character to Lady
Macbeth and serves to illustrate the natural
female traits in her maternal, caring manner
(4.2). Such contrasting women in the play
illustrate that which is natural and unnatural in
a woman according to the society of the plays
setting. Macbeths quest for power is initially
hesitant. Macbeth is a good man who is initially
troubled by his conscience and loyalty, though at
the same time ambitious Lacy Macbeth states that
her husband is too full o th Milk of Humane
kindness(1.5.16), and not cruel enough to fulfill
his ambitions and seize the power the witches
foresaw as his for the future. .

Lady Macbeth’s
advocacy ultimately spurs Macbeth to fulfill his
intent and ambition for power. The desire for
power consumes Macbeth as the play unfolds and
becomes intertwined infallibly with the plot,
culminating in a moralistic stance on power and
its associated evils. Morality ,along with Power,
is a central issue in Macbeth. Lady Macbeth and
her husband transgress ethics and principles of
morality in the hungry fervour to achieve power.
The concept of what is natural or unnatural
exemplifies the issue of undermining ethics to
achieve power. Lady Macbeth is prepared to
transgress social rules and Christian beliefs to
achieve the power promised to her husband. She
suggests an act of equivocation.

This social
deception would require Macbeth and his Lady to,
Look like the Time; bear welcome in your eye, Your
Hand, Your tongue; Look like th innocent Flower,
But be the serpent undert(1.5.63-65). Accentuating
Lady Macbeths deception behind an act of
equivocation is the sin of committing a murder,
especially when imposed upon a King – emphasising
her lack of ethics. Underpinning the central
issues of power and morality throughout the play
is the concept of natural and unnatural. Desire is
portrayed as natural as it exists day to day.
However, the unnatural aspect of desire is the
means taken to achieve the desire of power. To
want the power is not portrayed as unnatural,
rather the sinful actions taken by Macbeth and his
lady. The play continuously highlights that which
the society or setting determine as natural and
unnatural.

By doing so, the reader can ascertain
when a characters thought or behaviour is immoral
as per the society laws and beliefs. For instance,
Lady Macbeth aspires to de-humanise herself to go
through with any unmoral act it would take to put
her husband on the throne. Lady Macbeth wants to
dispel all her natural traits and redeem her
purity. She requests the spirits to: Make thick my
blood, Stop th access and passage to remorse, That
no compuctious Visitings of nature, Shake my fell
Purpose, nor keep peace between, Th effect and Hit
(1.4.45-49). Lady Macbeth is a good wife who loves
her husband. She is also ambitious but lacks the
morals of her husband.

To achieve her ambition,
she rids of herself of any kindness that might
stand in the way. Thus, Lady Macbeth needs to
become an unnatural being to adopt the emotionless
cruel position required to fulfill her intentions.
However, she runs out of will to suppress her
conscience and natural being and kills herself.
The central issues of morality and power
accentuate one another as they highlight each
other as the plot escalates into the tragic death
of Macbeth. The desire for power underlies the
actions of Macbeth and his Lady throughout the
play. Additionally, the actions of these two
characters incessantly compete with morality.
Desire is natural, however, when al the rules,
moral and social, are broken in the desire for
power, then these actions are deemed by the plays
characters as unnatural actions, with unnatural
consequence. The play successfully resolves the
main issues, especially in the dramatic plot. As
the plot climaxes with the death of Macbeth, the
reinstatement of the natural ruler and the justice
over Macbeth, the unnatural being or tyrant, the
play shows a moral standing on the actions
undertaken by Macbeth.

Reactions in nature or
behaviour illustrate the unnatural disturbances
this action creates. Shakespeares play
successfully resolves the central issues of power
(the desire of) and morality (transgression
thereof) in a capitulating plot where the
unnatural tyrant of Macbeth is slain and the
natural `due of birth (3.5.25) ruler takes upon
the Throne of Scotland. Balance therefore is
supposed to be restored now that evil or unnatural
forces (those that transgress morality) have been
overpowered. The concept of natural and unnatural
is highlighted through moral questions and
references to the teaches of Christianity. The
fact Lady Macbeth and her husband ignore such
natural rules illustrates that their desire
becomes unnatural as their quest for power
overtakes all moral beliefs. As the play reflected
the audience values of the 1600s, the play
arguably conforms to the social and moral values
of the authors society.

Power and morality are
central issues resolved in the play of Macbeth.
The issues are highlighted through an emphasis on
natural and unnatural. Both issues of power and
morality are successfully resolved in the play,
especially as they intertwine with each other,
form the basis of the plot, and these concepts are
resolved in the final scenes of the play. The
desire to achieve power undermines issues of
morality and nominally results in Macbeth and his
wife transgressing morale and social ethics to
acquire power. The resolution of the play
culminates in the restoration of the rightful
person in the throne. The play does not judge so
much the power desire of Lady Macbeth and her
husband, but rather the actions they undertook to
take that which was not rightfully or naturally
their own to possess..

Research essay sample on Analyzing Central Issues To Macbeth