Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Macbeth book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What would be a good statement to include in the introduction which would get the audience members on my side about Macbeth? When writing a persuasive speech which focused on the reasons as to why Macbeths themes, ambition and disloyalty, are relevant in modern context.

Expert Answers info

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write5,917 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

Persuasive speeches appeal to emotions and experience as well as to logic and reason to influence an audience to agree with your point of view. Mark Antony's speech to the plebeians is the perfect example of a persuasive speech--an a perfectly successful persuasive speech. A lot of persuasion comes from emotional appeals and a lot comes from making your listener think you are saying what they already know--as Antony did.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;     
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.     
The evil that men do lives after them;     75
The good is oft interred with their bones;     
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus     
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:     
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,     
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.     80
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--     
For Brutus is an honourable man;

In applying the persuasion that Antony employed, you might start out with mentioning prime examples of ambition, like Enron, and disloyalty, like Bernard L. Madoff.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

The wonderful thing about Macbeth is that it is filled with themes one can see in society today.

The themes of ambition and disloyalty are relevant in modern context given the fact that people who study hard and maintain good grades are ambitious. Others, who do not possess that ambition typically tend to cheat, or simply not care about their grades, and this makes them disloyal- to both school rules and themselves.

For example, an opening to a speech that could persuade listeners that Macbeth's themes are relevant today could be: Are you tired of knowing you can go somewhere in life and yet you just cannot find a faster way? Do you consider the fact of lying simply to achieve this goal? If you do, or if you have, you at not much different than Macbeth.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial