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"The central theme of Macbeth is the moral supremacy of God and country." Do you agree...

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yahhhh | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM via web

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"The central theme of Macbeth is the moral supremacy of God and country." Do you agree with the above statement?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:34 PM (Answer #1)

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It is difficult to say that the moral supremacy of "God and country" is a dominant theme in Macbeth, because people in Macbeth's time (and indeed, really, in Shakespeare's time) did not have a modern concept of country in the abstract. However, it could be argued that Macbeth's violation of the natural order of things inaugurated the bloody chaos that followed, and eventually led to his downfall. By murdering Duncan, the divinely-ordained king of Scotland, Macbeth committed an act that was not simply evil, but unnatural. Indeed, throughout the play, Shakespeare frequently portrays the unnatural as evil. Lady Macbeth asks heaven to "unsex" her so that she can push her husband toward what she believes is their destiny. The witches themselves are portrayed as bizarre and unnatural looking. So evil is associated with a violation of the natural order of things. Certainly God is present, and Macbeth is reluctant to murder Duncan because he fears divine retribution. But offending God, or being unpatriotic, is not necessarily a central concern of Macbeth.

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