Write a paragraph describing the flaw of Macbeth. Consider the question: "Does Shakespeare's treatment of Macbeth reflect Scriptural principles?"Critics argue that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth...

Write a paragraph describing the flaw of Macbeth. Consider the question: "Does Shakespeare's treatment of Macbeth reflect Scriptural principles?"

Critics argue that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth possess flaws that ultimately are the cause of their downfalls. Citing specific evidence from the drama to support your answer, write a well-developed, but brief, paragraph describing the fatal flaw of Macbeth and his wife. In your response, consider the following question: "Does Shakespeare's treatment of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth accurately reflect Scriptural principles?" Begin your argument with a clear thesis statement.

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mstultz72's profile pic

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

Posted on

The play exhibits many Christian scriptural elements, namely in the character of Macduff, whose "none of woman born" has some Christ-like connotations.  As he is the hero and savior of the play, Macduff's birth is analogous to the Virgin birth paradox.

So says Enotes,

According to Lowenthal, Macduff and his family present a Christian contrast to Macbeth and the supernatural elements in the play, relying on natural order and God for their own preservation. In the end, the play divulges that the world is not the dark or unintelligible place it seems, and that although there are contrasts and evil in the world, the forces of good are more fundamental and lasting and eventually overcome the chaos to reestablish a coherent human existence.

Also, the murder of the King Duncan by a traitor is analogous to the way Jesus was betrayed by Judas.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Perhaps you may wish to explore Macbeth's worship of "false gods" in the sense that he puts his faith in the witches, supernatural beings not meant to be so worshipped, and because of this false worship Macbeth went down an evil trail.  Of course, there are several passages in which this faith can be documented, such as Act I, Scene 3 in which Macbeth thinks to himself in an aside:

If chance will have meKing, why,/chance may crown me,/Without my stir.

Another Biblical principle is that of "Pride goeth before fall."  Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself felt themselves outside the moral scheme of retribution and pursued their evil acts, believing that they would suffer no consequences.  In Act I, Scene 7 Macbeth speaks of "vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself."  After Macbeth slays King Duncan, for example, Lady Macbeth declares that "a little water clears us of the deed" (II,ii,66). This latter principle may work well for you as your assignment is limited to only a paragraph.

You may wish to write a paragraph that has a topic sentence with two parts to it (this is like a mini-essay). After your topic sentence, write a subtopic that has the first point in it. Then, support this point with examples from the play, and cite passages as detailed support.  Follow with the second subtopic that includes the second point. Again, provide support and details. Don't forget the reworded topic sentence with a "clincher"--a reminder of the motivating opener you use at the beginning.

Good luck!

dstuva's profile pic

Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Shakespeare's Macbeth could be viewed as reflecting scriptural principles in the sense that it reveals ambition and lust for power and retribution (an eye for an eye kind of thing), if you need to go that route for your paragraph.

Passages abound as evidence.  You can look at the following: 

  • Act 1.5 when the Macbeths confirm with one another that they are both thinking the same thing--let's assassinate Duncan. 
  • Act 2, Scenes 1 and 2 when they assassinate Duncan.
  • Act 3.1 in Macbeth's long speech when he talks about his being king not being enough; he now wants his heirs to be kings as well.
  • Act 3.1 when Macbeth hires the murderers to kill Banquo, etc.
  • Act 5.8 when Macduff avenges his family and Scotland by killing and beheading Macbeth.

That should be enough Old Testament-like evidence for you.

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