Chaos In Macbeth

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Macbeth is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in 1606. A main concept represented in the play is the Great Chain of Being, a hierarchical structure in the Elizabethan society. This concept consisted of the belief that every universal element was ranked in order of their spiritual nature, with the King as the upholder, as ordained by God. Based on the concept of the Great Chain of Being and its progressive disruption, order and chaos is one of the central themes in Macbeth. Throughout the play, this theme is developed through the use of various extended metaphors such as clothing, which reflects the progressive disruption of the natural order in society. Moreover, the extended metaphor of blood is utilised to convey the idea of order and…show more content…
The theme of order and chaos is conveyed through Shakespeare’s use of the extended clothing metaphor in the play. The imagery of clothing exhibits the progressive disruption of the natural order in society through the development of Macbeth’s social position and psychological situation throughout the play. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is dressed in an armour, as a courageous warrior who has heroically defeated the invaders and traitors against King Duncan. “Brave Macbeth” reveals his awareness of his rightful role in the society as a warrior when he responds to his new title from Duncan with, “The Thane of Cawdor lives, why do you dress me in borrowed robes?” This represents Macbeth’s initial conformity to the natural order of society as he understands that he does not rightfully belong in the Thane’s “robes” which fundamentally represent Cawdor’s title. As opposed to the idea of order, chaos is then illustrated through the use of clothing metaphor further on in the play. For example, Lady Macbeth asks Macbeth to quickly put on his “nightgown” after murdering Duncan to avoid…show more content…
At the start of the play, the shedding of blood essentially represents defending honour. For instance, the “bloody man” seen in the first act is a “good and hardy soldier” who has bravely fought for the protection of King Duncan’s son, Malcolm. Furthermore, Macbeth’s “brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution” depicts his bravery in slaughtering rebellious Macdonwald, which is applauded by Duncan. Therefore, the imagery of blood is initially used to reflect the loyalty of honourable soldiers courageously fighting for their king, which displays the natural order of society in the play. Nonetheless, the imagery of blood is then very frequently used to vividly portray chaos caused by immoral thoughts and actions of violent killings throughout the rest of the play. For instance, Lady Macbeth summons the spirits to “make thick her blood” in her soliloquy, as she hopes to be remorseless and heartless for her plan to assist Macbeth in murdering Duncan. At this point of the play, this metaphor of blood foreshadows the disruption of the Great Chain of Being as it hints at possible treason and immorality through Lady Macbeth’s unrighteous determination to overthrow Duncan. At this point, the imagery of blood represents the disintegration of Lady Macbeth’s moral character. After Duncan’s murder, the imagery of blood signifies remorse and guilt felt by Macbeth and Lady

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