Help writing an eulogy for MacbethOur teacher would like us to compose a eulogy for Macbeth from the point of view of one of his nobleman (one that didn't turn against him near the end). The...

Help writing an eulogy for Macbeth

Our teacher would like us to compose a eulogy for Macbeth from the point of view of one of his nobleman (one that didn't turn against him near the end). The teacher prefers that the first paragraph describe Macbeth while the second describes the work he has accomplished. Here are basic notes of what I have so far:


-he always stood by Scotland against traitors (malcolm, Macduff etc...)

- valiant and heroic in battle



-loved lady macbeth, despite her being a little delusional

-deserved the throne

- no proof he murdered duncan

the teacher listed various techniques we can use in our writing such as:

-witty sayings




-descriptive passage about macbeth

-tone- positive at times, sad at others

-justify/explain the controversial parts of their life (THE MOST IMPORTANT)

As you can see, it can be biased



Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As examples of the style of orations of the time, you may wish to refer to Marc Antony's funeral oration for Caesar in Act III, scene 2 of "Julius Caesar."  In fact, you could borrow the lines, "The evil that men do lives after them,/The good is oft interred with their bones" and use this as the theme of your oration. 

Or, you could start with Macbeth's monlogue uttered when he receives news of Lady Macbeth's death:

And all our yeasterday have lighted fools/The way to dusty death.  Out, out, brief candle!/Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage...(V, vii,23-25)

Macbeth was an honorable soldier, valiant and heroic in battle.  In fact, other Scot noblemen such as Ross and the King praise him in the first act, Scene 3. (Quote the pertinent lines.)

However, that he falls under the preternatural influence of the witches is obvious.  So, this influence of the witches, in which Elizabethans strongly believed, could be stressed in the oration, as Fate taking control of him.  In Act III, scene 6, for instance, Macbeth admits to the "Strange things I have in head that will to hand, (III,vi,139) and that "nothing is/But what is not (I,iii,141-142).

Infected be the air whereon they ride,/And damned all those that trust them [the witches]! (IV,i,138-139)

Another noble trait that Macbeth still retains is his loyalty and devotion to Lady Macbeth.  When the doctor comes to attend her, Macbeth asks him to

find her disease,/And purge it to a sound and pristine helath,(V,v,52)

And when she dies, he is devastated, pondering the insignificance and futility of life. The words of his speech for Lady Macbeth can be used, in fact, for him, as well:

She [He] should have died hereafter/There would have been a time for such a word.... (V,v, 17-18)

...We could have joined before you and said "Hail, King of Scotland, Hail King of Scotland!" (V,v,58-59)


Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think you are off to a great start.  I mean, your starting points are very solid in terms of its representing the point of view of someone in support of Macbeth.  It's going to be hard to dance around the fact that he turned in a fairly wicked manner, but you have done a nice job of showing the skeleton of a eulogy.  In terms of what you need to add, certainly, I think striking a reflective tone to open the eulogy will be a strong touch.  I think that opening with Macbeth's glory in battle would be a very appropriate starting point and emphasizing his greatness as a warrior and leader, one who inspired confidence in those around him and strove for achieving the best out of everyone on the battle field that fought alongside him.  I think your tone might be well set to be reflective and honoring him.  It should strike a tone of melancholy, but might not be well set to be too much because it would seem like you are overlooking many of the things he did, which were not exactly worthy of praise in a eulogy.  From the point of view of his noblemen, Macbeth represented the essence in strong and confident leadership.  This is what his lasting legacy to those who fought along with him would feel and perhaps, this might be the best position to strike in your piece.

Honestly, though, it seems like you are well on your way, as your sketches are very strong.  I would continue on the path you are currently on because direction and focus is evident.

mballaz191 | Student

In accordance to the previous person, could you advise any introductions?

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