Gothic melodrama and the supernatural in Macbeth?

Essay title:

"They say, blood will have blood" (Banquet Scene, Act III, Scene 4). Is Macbeth more than an exaggerated Gothic melodrama before its time, dominated by the spectacular?

  • Theme 1: Settings and Production.
    • First lines of witches under "thunder, lightning", "fog and filthy air" - foreboding, pathetic fallacy, oppression, evil.
    • Banquet hall, castle and heath settings - gradeur, sublime.
    • Rosenfield about 19th century production: set designs 'might have served any melodrama of the time' - though in Victorian era, any semblance of Gothic melodrama in proto-gothic plays was hyperbolised to please audiences.

    But that's all I have in my plan...

    I know I should be able to incorporate the witches, the dagger, maybe Macbeth's guilt and conscience (and thus the shared consciousness with Lady Macbeth, too, perhaps), the grotesque and violent imagery (frequency of 'blood', 'plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed his brains out' etc).

    The question is: what are the main themes that can be discussed under the title given, and how can the ideas I've come up with be developed further, if possible?


    Expert Answers

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    The story does have some serious things to say about guilt.  Macbeth succumbs to his own guilt.  He is aggressive and arrogant.  He ends up being eaten up by guilt and fear, almost like his wife.

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