Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Discuss the conflict between good and evil in Macbeth.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The conflict between good and evil in the play Macbeth is illustrated by Macbeth's decision to act upon his ambition and not serve King Duncan loyally like his close friend Banquo. Evil is portrayed through the influence of the Three Witches, Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth's unrestrained violence. In contrast, good is depicted through Banquo's reaction to the enigmatic prophecies, as well as Malcolm's and Macduff's response to Macbeth's tyrannical reign.

Shakespeare portrays the Three Witches as masters of manipulation who spark Macbeth's ambition by telling him that he will one day be crowned king. Macbeth then struggles to decide whether or not to act on his ambition. Lady Macbeth is also depicted as an evil influence and encourages her husband to assassinate the king. While Macbeth initally dismisses the idea of murdering King Duncan, it is Lady Macbeth who persuades him to kill the king. Unfortunately, Macbeth follows through with his wife's plans and makes the tragic decision to kill King Duncan...

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