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To discourage this mad scramble for power among the nobles, Shakespeare uses the theme of betrayal answered by reprisals to Justify the theology of the divine right of kings. During the time of Shakespeare, Europe had become a more ordered place since the time of the Dark Ages. During this time, the lands were ruled by warlords and war raged constantly as various rulers with their own armies struggled for power. Europe emerged from this time period, due in large part to the divine right of kings theology. According to this doctrine, God bestows on kings the right to rule.
As James I writes, inns “sit upon God his throne In the earth and have the count of their administration to give unto him” (par. 4). An uprising against the king, which James describes as “monstrous and unnatural,” is by extension an uprising against the will of God” (Label). Most Europeans at the turn of the first millennium were extremely religious therefore this made subjects much more willing to obey the king without questions. This aspect of the doctrine dramatically helped Europe to stabilize from its previous warring state because those who went against the king were also going against the will of God and therefore risking eternal damnation.
What Do The Witches Promise Macbeth
Although this theology can easily be dismissed today as a naive invention in order to keep kings in power, it was widely accepted during the 16th and 17 centuries during Shakespearean time, due to the much greater influence of the church. Shakespeare uses the fact that there existed a large devotion to Charlatanry to comment on Macbeth character and further demonstrate the evils In the usurpation of authoritative figures. Machete’s fall from grace closely resembles the similar fall of Lucifer from the courts of heaven to definitively point out the evils inherent in the unwarranted seizure of control. The rebellion of Lucifer is described in the book Isaiah as, “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “l will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain” (Chapter 14: 12-13). These transgressions which reflect Machete’s ambition to kill Duncan and unlawfully take the throne away from the rightful heir were swiftly punished by God who said, “So I made a fire come out from you, and It ensured you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground In the sight of all who were watching” (Ezekiel 28:18).
Shakespeare asserts that In scalar fashion as “the great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who [seeks to] lead ten wangle world astray’ (Revelations 12 Y) as Machete Is lead astray Day ten witches planting the seeds of rebellion in his mind. Macbeth is often in close association with evil characters such as the three witches and Hectare throughout the play to reflect the changing character of Macbeth as he becomes more and more evil. It was the witches, who are associated with the devil, who first makes Macbeth obsessed with attaining power when they greet him with, “All hail Macbeth! Hat shall be king hereafter” (Shakespeare 1. 3. 50).
By having both Banquet and Macbeth present when the witches promise great things for both of them, Shakespeare is asserting that all men will undergo temptation, but also that it is possible to stay devoted and loyal such as Banquet does even under great temptation. Macbeth, however, does not stay loyal to Duncan and almost immediately following the words of the witches he admits that, “my thought, whose murder yet is UT fantastical shakes so my single state of man that function, is smothered in surmise, and nothing is but what is not” (Shakespeare 1. . 139). With this personal confession, Macbeth reveals how he is struggling internally between his own personal ambition and what he knows is right. When he does later decide to murder Duncan, he “acknowledges that his deed will entail all the kinds of violence civilization has been struggling to suppress since it first began” (Watson) as he had just recently help put down a rebellion against Duncan, ironically enough.
When Macbeth does betray Duncan, the consequences of this are enormous angina from fits of paranoia to his eventual death. The fallout of this central betrayal is foreshadowed early in the play when the former thane of Castor tried to betray Duncan and paid dearly for it. Duncan says that “he was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust” (Shakespeare 1. 4. 14) and because of this betrayal of trust he is executed and his title is given to Macbeth.
The same fate will eventually await Macbeth as “the rebel must be sacrificed to preserve [universal order]” (Bloom) but first he is abandoned by everyone around his until he is alone with his evil thoughts. The first introduction to evil with respect to Macbeth the character is with his meeting with the three witches. As the play progresses, evil in association to Macbeth grow proportionately as the ones around him draw further away from him. The first abandonment from Macbeth is God abandoning him the night of Dunce’s murder. Banquet is describing the night sky to his son when he says, “Their candles are all (Shakespeare 2.
1. 5) representative of God not being present at Machete’s out castle because he knows what evil is to take place that night. After Dunce’s murder and Macbeth assumes the throne, his paranoia sets in and his own senses even egging to betray him as is evident by the apparition of the slain Banquet at a feast. The frightened and alarmed Macbeth remarks “the time has been, that, when the brains were out, the man would die, and there an end: but now they rise again” (Shakespeare 3. 4.
78). This psychological breakdown displays the spiritual struggle going through Macbeth as evil continues to consume him. The last stages of abandonment of Macbeth come Just before Macadam and Malcolm storm Machete’s castle. The nobles see how corrupt and insane Macbeth and promptly defect; as Macbeth says, “the thanes fly from me” (Shakespeare 5. 3.
49). This desertion becomes o severe that the number of troops inside the castle so low that the only way to fight the oncoming enemy is to prepare for a siege. Macbeth describes the enemy force by saying, “were teeny not Trace Walt n tense Tanat snout a De ours we malign nave met teem direful, beard to beard, and beat them backward home” (Shakespeare 5. 5. 5).
With God, his own senses, and his nobles abandoning him, the last person to do so is his wife. The person who he committed the initial crime dies of an unknown cause to foreshadow his similar death and to emphasize how truly alone he is at this point. “The murder of Duncan is no mere political assassination. It is the very worst thing imaginable: ‘most sacrilegious Murder’ (al. Iii.
68), violating all the bonds between man, nature and God” (Bloom); because of his assassination of the king he has now lost all of those he holds dear around him. In this time of absolute solitude, Macbeth cries out to his servant, “Sexton! I am sick at heart” (Shakespeare 5. 3. 19). The name Sexton may be pronounced ‘Satan’ in reference to Lucifer who had the original rebellion on which Machete’s is only modeled.
When Macbeth admits that he is “sick at heart” this signifies that the transformation to complete evil is now complete and o remnant of the loyal Macbeth remains. This reference to Lucifer makes the play turn full circle as the seeds of rebellion were planted by devilish characters and it ends in Macbeth becoming a devilish character himself. Macbeth does receive his ultimate punishment much like the previous thane of Castor by being executed and having his head cut off. Shakespearean theme of betrayal met by Zestful vengeance illustrate his views on how kings should be viewed as appointments by God and not to be overthrown, reflecting the view of the divine right of kings. The practice of this theology largely eloped Europe to exit the period of small warring nations and become the great power known as the West’ dominating the world intellectually and technologically for hundreds of years.
Shakespeare was not the only writer to incorporate messages to discourage the usurpation of central powers, approximately 300 years before Shakespeare, Dante, who wrote the Inferno, described the lowest pit of hell as having three occupants. Two out of the three were there because of their part in the murder of Julius Caesar which weakened the Roman Empire and led to a power struggle. Both Dante and Shakespeare had similar ideas that rebellion against persons in rower were inherently evil deeds which only increased entropy in the universe and were acts of the devil.