Is Macbeth message one of despair or hope?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The play 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare at first seems to end on a note of hope. Order seems to be restored, the fighting is ended and, although people have died, those who are left behind can look forward to the future and make plans. However, the history of Scotland with its clans, warlords and bloodbaths over lands and territories may never be free of discord.Fights with England would not be the least of these. Indeed, in hindsight we as the people of today can see the bloody sequence of events which started with the death of Mary Queen of Scots and continued to cause death and division. Even today there is suspicion and animosity between some protestants and catholics in Scotland. The temptation to look upon the restoration of a leader or a bloodline as a resolution in any country has drawbacks - those who follow will go on to have new challenges.

englishteacher72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not sure I'd say William Shakpeare's tragedy, Macbeth, has a message of either despair or hope, but I will try to help you.  I suppose it's also how you look at it: if you are looking at it from Macbeth's perspective, it is one of despair.  After hearing the three Weird sisters' prophecies, he and Lady Macbeth become obsessed in their desire for power and fame.  They not only kill King Duncan, but Macbeth then goes eafter Banquo and his son, and later on, Macduff's family.  Lady Macbeth ends up going insane, and Macbeth is killed by Macduff.  Macbeth is the ultimate example of a tragic hero.  On the other hand, this tragedy can be seen as hopeful since Macduff easily defeats Macbeth at the end of the play, and goodness and order are once again restored to Scotland.  I hope this helped!