What aspects of Macbeth's ending soliloquy make it relevant to readers and audiences of today?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the emptiness with which Macbeth's words ring so very true at the end of the drama is where modern readers can find some connection to it.  It is Shakespeare's genius to show Macbeth as a character that has come to realization at the end of the drama.  This is not the type of life affirming and redemptive notion of revelation.  Rather, it is one in which Macbeth has come to understand his true nature of self and all that he has done.  I think that modern audiences can relate to this because it shows the emptiness of greed and self- indulgence.  In a modern setting where greed is perceived to be good and self- indulgence is almost elevated to virtue- like status, Macbeth's closing soliloquy reflects how important it is for an individual to be able to stand on principle.  The notion of transcendental notions of the good guiding individuals is a powerful one and something that is enhanced through Macbeth's revelation of the futility and emptiness of how he has lived his life.  I think that this might be something that resonates with modern audiences in suggesting that while one might covet and desire that of the superficial moment or that which is to satisfy one's own needs, there might be some probative value to keeping one's eye on world order and elements that exist outside of one's sense of self.


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