Please help me with these macbeth essay prompts!?  im having problems choosing which prompt to use, and what to talk about for each...i need a prompt where i will be able to talk about many...

Please help me with these macbeth essay prompts!?

 

im having problems choosing which prompt to use, and what to talk about for each...i need a prompt where i will be able to talk about many things...

here are the 4 prompts:

1. through sharp contrast, a character foil enhances certain traits of a central character. Analyze how one or more secondary characters operate as foils and are employed to develop both character and theme in macbeth.

2. Show that a conflict based on morals or values is used to develop a central theme in macbeth.

3. those qualities that make a character heroic may also cause his or her suffering or destruction. TO WHAT EXTENT is this statement true of a character in macbeth?

4. in macbeth, how does the reluctance and or inability of a central character to see or accept reality lead to tragic concequences?

so what can i talk about for these prompts? i need to be able to go into a ot of detail...im planning to write about 1400 words.

any help is greatly appreciated!!! thanks in advance!

Asked on by jojogirl34

2 Answers | Add Yours

jseligmann's profile pic

jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I would do #3:

3. those qualities that make a character heroic may also cause his or her suffering or destruction. TO WHAT EXTENT is this statement true of a character in macbeth?

As the play begins, we learn that Macbeth is a great and even vicious warrior. He is almost single-handedly responsible for the huge victory over Norway:

For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—

Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,

Which smoked with bloody execution,

Like valor's minion carved out his passage

Till he faced the slave,

Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,

Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,

And fix'd his head upon our battlements.

Taken off the battlefield, however, a great warrior should know that, when the battle is over, it is no longer time to kill. What happens to Macbeth, though, is that he takes his prodigious killing abilities to his private life. Not only does he kill his king and cousin, Duncan, he goes on a killing rampage. Everyone who stands in his way becomes an enemy at war, and he strikes down as many of them as he can. Thus, a trait that once gained him the highest of praise, becomes his country's ruin as well as his own.

mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I like them all. You can't go wrong in terms of points to discuss.

I would choose number one myself.  Nearly everyone is a foil to Macbeth in the play.  Remember, a foil is a "character mirror" who--when in contact with the tragic hero--reflects, brightens, or diminishes the qualities of the tragic hero.

Banquo is Macbeth's foil when Macbeth and Banquo hear the witches' prophecies.  Banquo is less reluctant to believe them than Macbeth.  Banquo is loyal; Macbeth is not.  Banquo is a family man; Macbeth is not.

Lady Macbeth is Macbeth's foil throughout the play.  She casts off her conscience sooner than Macbeth and suffers quicker for it.  Her mental breakdown at the end, with the washing of her hands, parallels what bloody work Macbeth has done with his.  Her language also serves as counterpoint to her husband's: her's is business like; his is much more poetic.

Macduff is Macbeth's foil in the latter part of the play.    Macduff is the hero of the play, and he is so loyal to Scotland that he forsakes his family for it.  His knocking on the door of Macbeth's gate of hell after Duncan's murder is akin to the cosmic battle between good and evil in the Bible.

Duncan is Macbeth's foil in their brief scenes together.  The old Duncan is so gullible that he appoints a traitor to replace a traitor; both Thane of Cawdors betray him.  This juxtaposes Macbeth's paranoia at the end: he trusts no one.

There are more, but that's enough for a paper.  Good luck...

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