Shakespeare is considered as the greatest write in the English language. One of his recognised plays is Macbeth. Macbeth’s tragic story is constructed by the genre, privileged discourse and archetypal characters which are still relevant to today’s audiences. The intertextuality of Macbeth and a variety of modern texts such as films, plays and songs is still representing the play in today’s society. The genre of a tragic hero can be intertextually linked to Roger Chillington (The Scarlet letter).
Discourses such as betrayal and lust for power can still be identified by audiences in modern society, hence they can be intertextually linked to such characters as Mark Zuckerberg (The Social Network) and Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith). Even Shakespeare’s archetypal character, Lady Macbeth, is closely intertextually linked to Julia Gillard. The cultural values, experiences and attitudes mobilized in the construction of such texts, let us fully understand Macbeth.
The genre of a tragic hero was used in the Elizabethan era, but is still used in contemporary texts in modern society. In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, it is shown that Macbeth is a tragic hero. A tragic hero can be described as a hero whose actions and fatal flaws lead to their downfall. Various circumstances, such as his encounter with the witches, Duncan’s decision to stay at Macbeth’s castle, Macduff’s sudden arrival and even Macbeth’s final duel with Macduff all work to warp and shape him into the tyrant he is by the end of the play.
At the beginning of the play, the audiences can identify that Macbeth is good. However, throughout the play the audience can recognise the transition of Macbeth from good to bad as he commits more murders. Macbeth’s fatal flaw was his ambition to become King, which has leads him to his death as Macduff battles him for revenge since Macbeth murdered his family. There have been many tragic heroes throughout the history of literature, including the tragic hero of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne makes the tragic hero clearly understood.
Roger Chillingworth is evidently the tragic hero in this novel. Although later plagued with the evils of revenge, Chillingworth has the promise to be a great hero. He is a man well educated in the areas of medicine. He is also is strong willed, persuasive, and able to look directly into a person’s soul. “Trust me, such men deceive themselves. “- (1) Roger Chillingworth never kept his sins secret, showing the potential for good in his heart. He would have had many secrets had he been made up purely of evil. Roger’s fatal flaw was his revenge, which lead to his death.
Chillingworth dies at the end of The Scarlet Letter because of his own weaknesses. He dies from the pure evil which is led into his life. His goals of vengeance make him a pure tragedy. Both characters were seen as heroes in the beginning; however their actions and fatal flaws lead them to their downfall, which make them both tragic heroes. Betrayal is a discourse in many modern contemporary text and Shakespeare plays. Betrayal can be defined as the breaking or violation of a presumptive social contract, trust or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals.
In order for betrayal to be apparent, some components such as treachery, manipulation and deceit must be seen. This discourse could be seen in Macbeth where Banquo, the loyal friend of Macbeth, has been betrayed when he was ordered to be killed by Macbeth. Macbeth was suspicious that Banquo knew about Duncan’s murder and would notify the community. Though Banquo was Macbeth’s loyal friend, he thought that Banquo would violate his trust, leading Macbeth into believing that his loyal friend would betray him.
The social network shows similar discourses of betrayal as the main character Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin. “Eduardo Saverin: “It was insanely stupid for me not to have my own lawyer look over all the… the uh… I thought they were my lawyers. I was a Harvard business major. I was your only friend. You had one friend. ” – (2) The components of treachery, manipulation and deceit can be found between the relationship of Mark and Eduardo. Even though he was not murdered, Mark betrayed the trust of Eduardo as he diluted his shares of Facebook until he basically was not a part of the company.
Mark manipulated Eduardo thinking that when he signed a business contract, that he could put his into the lawyers and get a fair and just amount of shares. Eduardo states he was the only friend of Mark’s, he felt betrayed as to why he could commit such disloyalty to his only friend. The two close friends wonder how a common dream came to be in such an adversarial situation by betrayal. Macbeth and The Social Network are both intertextually linked as both texts show betrayal between loyal friends.
The discourse of lust for power is another element of the Shakespearean play, Macbeth, which establishes its relevance to modern society. Power can be defined as ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something. Macbeth’s lust for power develops into his fatal flaw which destroys his morality. Macbeth is given responsibilities and duties, yet he is teased with the promise of one day becoming King. This is done because he has a flaw; he is too determined. He doesn’t let anything in his way of the goal, to be king.