How is the theme of Good vs. Evil depicted by Shakespeare in his play Macbeth?

The theme of Good vs. Evil is depicted in the clash between the two factions. On the good side are Duncan, Malcolm, Banquo, Macduff, and Edward. On the evil side are Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and their allies.

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The theme of Good versus Evil is depicted in Macbeth as a struggle not only between but within characters—primarily Macbeth himself, who vacillates over whether to kill Duncan until the very end of act 2, scene 1. In his argument with Lady Macbeth at the end of act 1, Macbeth eloquently expounds all the arguments against the crime of regicide, showing how clearly he understands the right course for him to follow. By the beginning of act 3, when he plans the murder of Banquo, Macbeth has almost entirely fallen under the influence of evil, but the audience is still given glimpses of the hero he might have been even when his death is almost upon him in act 5.

Lady Macbeth is often seen as worse than her husband, not because her crimes are more heinous, but because she actively invites evil spirits to take her over. She fears that both she and, to a greater extent, her husband, are not yet wicked enough for what she wants to accomplish.

Since evil, betrayal, and falsehood are so common in the play,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1126 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 19, 2020
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