Thesis Statement For Macbeth Play Vs Movie

It's not his ambition that ruins Macbeth, it's his wife's ambition. She's the one hungry for power and glory, not Macbeth. She infects him with her ambition. And then there's this:

The witches greet Macbeth with two truths and one prophecy. They tell him that he is the Thane of Glamis, which everyone knows already. That's the set up, part one. Then they hail him as the Thane of Cawdor. He's already been named that,...

It's not his ambition that ruins Macbeth, it's his wife's ambition. She's the one hungry for power and glory, not Macbeth. She infects him with her ambition. And then there's this:

The witches greet Macbeth with two truths and one prophecy. They tell him that he is the Thane of Glamis, which everyone knows already. That's the set up, part one. Then they hail him as the Thane of Cawdor. He's already been named that, but the news hasn't officially reached him yet. That's the second part of the set up. Then they hail him as "King hereafter." That's the prophesy.

After the witches vanish, Macbeth and Banquo meet up with Ross and Angus. They bring news that he has been named Thane of Cawdor. The trap is sprung. Banquo says, "What, can the devil speak true?" And now Macbeth believes that what the witches said is a promise. And that's the second ingredient in Macbeth's downfall: he's gullible and is easily manipulated by others' words and by his own imagination.

Now, can you put together your thesis statement with that information?

In Act 1, scene 5 of William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, Lady Macbeth meditates on a letter she has just received from her husband. In this letter, he tells her of good fortune that has recently come his way – fortune than has confirmed prophecies he has received from witches. Lady Macbeth is glad of her husband’s new status and positions, but she worries that her husband is not ambitious enough to want to take definite steps to become king – another bit of good fortune apparently promised by the witches:

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be 
What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature; 
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness 
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great; 
Art not without ambition, but without 
The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly, 
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, 
And yet wouldst wrongly win . . .

Two good thesis statements might be derived from this passage.  The statements might involve the following kinds of arguments:

  1. that although women were often expected during Shakespeare’s time to be modest, humble, and obedient, Lady Macbeth is actually one of the most explicitly and relentlessly ambitious of all the characters Shakespeare created. She is a woman who defies the stereotypes of her culture, which assumed that most women were (or should be) unambitious.
  2. that Shakespeare makes it clear that although the witches have prophesied Macbeth’s rise in status and power, their prophecy does not predetermine that rise.  In other words, Macbeth has the free will that would make it possible to behave virtuously, whatever the witches have predicted.

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