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An Analysis of Poetic Justice in Macbeth

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 790 words Published: 7th Jun 2017

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The play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare is a story about a man named Macbeth and his quest for power. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a brave and noble soldier, who is crowned as Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan. After becoming Thane of Cawdor he and Banquo come across three witches who give them each three predictions. The witches predict that Macbeth will become the Thane of Glamis, the thane of Cawdor and then King. At first these predictions mean nothing to Banquo and Macbeth, but then Macbeth starts thinking that if the witches were right about one prophecy, then it must be true that he will become King. This prophecy mixed with the influence of his wife, lead him to kill King Duncan. After Macbeth became King, Macduff and Banquo have suspicions that it was Macbeth who slayed Duncan. Macbeth kills Banquo and tries to kill Macduff to avoid being caught, unfortunately Macduff has already assembled an army to kill Macbeth. When the army reaches Macbeth, Macduff fights him and kills him. With Macbeth gone, Malcolm rightfully becomes King of Scotland. The conclusion of Macbeth contains a high degree of poetic justice because of the slaying of Macbeth, Macduff being the man to slay Macbeth, Malcolm becoming King of Scotland and Lady Macbeth committing suicide.

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In the beginning of the story we get a false impression of Macbeth, because we see him as a brave, loyal and trusted soldier. After he kills King Duncan, we see Macbeth as an evil, greedy and power-hungry. Macbeth continues his murderous ways when he kills Banquo and tries to kill Fleance so they couldn’t be his successor as King. Then Macbeth kills Macduff’s family, because he knows hat Macduff has a suspicion that he killed King Duncan. Macbeth is truly a murderer that has gotten away with everything he has done. Macbeth realizes that he has changed and can’t go back: “ I am in blood. Stepp’d in so far that should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.” (3.4. 136-138).

Poetic justice is established when Macbeth is slain, because he had killed many people, all of which were innocent and had done nothing wrong to Macbeth. He finally gets proper justice when Macduff kills him for his actions throughout the play.

Macduff is the Thane of Fife and is one of the first people to suspect that Macbeth killed King Duncan. Macbeth is aware that Macduff suspects him as the murderer, so he sends out men to kill him. When Macbeth’s men get to Macduff’s castle he is not there, but his family is and the men kill Macduff’s family. Macduff learns that his family has been killed: “ All my pretty ones? Did you say all? O hell-kite! All? What all my pretty chickens, and their dam at one fell swoop?” (4.3.216-218). This shows the love that Macduff had for his family and how sad he became when he knew he would never see them again.

Poetic justice is established when Macduff slays Macbeth because he gets justice for what Macbeth did to his family by killing the man who made him lose his whole family which he cared for so much.

Malcolm is the eldest son of king Duncan and the rightful heir to his throne. When King Duncan is killed, Malcolm was the next in line and should have became king, but instead he fled to England out of fear of being suspected as his father’s murderer. Since Malcolm and his younger brother Donalbain fled, there was no one to take the throne other than Macbeth.

Poetic justice occurs when Malcolm becomes King of Scotland because he was supposed to be King since King Duncan’s death but instead Macbeth becomes king. Malcolm gets his poetic justice when he finally gets what he rightfully deserved since his father died.

Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth and is an influencing factor in Macbeth’s decision to kill King Duncan. Without her influence Macbeth may not have killed King Duncan. It was her influence that made her feel guilty, because she knew she was just as much a part of the murder as Macbeth was. This guilt leads her to start sleepwalking, where she attempts to wash blood off her hands during her sleep. Although the play never mentions why she committed suicide it is most likely that it was because she couldn’t live with the guilt she felt.

Poetic justice occurs when Lady Macbeth commits suicide because she was a big part of the murder of King Duncan and gets what she deserved when she kills herself because of her own guilt. She deserved to die because of what she did to influence Macbeth into killing King Duncan.

In conclusion, the ending of the play Macbeth provides a high degree o Poetic Justice as a result of


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