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How is Macbeth relevant to a modern context?

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hello-hhello | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 15, 2012 at 5:04 AM via web

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How is Macbeth relevant to a modern context?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:44 PM (Answer #1)

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Except for the obvious "lesson" about out-of-control ambition, the play is not really very "preachy"--that is, Shakespeare was not trying to teach a moral lesson or change anyone's behavior.  It could be argued that the play warns against equivocation, or interpreting statement personally instead of skeptically; also, modern audiences and readers can find universal wisdom about family loyalties and unity.  But the most relevancy comes in the never-changing battle of balancing personal ambition and public welfare, of considering yourself as an individual vs. a member of society--a "one" or a part of something larger.  The incident of Dunsinane--"anon, me thought the woods began to move" is a viable metaphor for singularity vs.membership in a "forest"--society.

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