9. A list of unexplored essay topics for Macbeth
Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the most-loved - and most-studied - plays written in the English language. As such, it is often difficult to find new and interesting things to discuss. This does not mean, however, that there are not unexplored avenues for study.
• “Resonances of ancient philosophical thought in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.”
Shakespeare did not write in a vacuum: he had inspirations and often even stole whole plots from other, earlier writers. Comparing ‘original’ themes from earlier works with those of Macbeth is a fruitful area of study. Particularly understudied is the plays’ ancient philosophical aspect. Shakespeare drew largely on work written by Seneca, a Roman philosopher. Investigating how Seneca’s thoughts are reflected throughout this play is an intriguing and unexplored subject area.
• “How does a modern pagan audience react to the witches in Shakespeare’s…show more content… However, not every facet of their use has been studied extensively. Exploring the modern reaction to and understanding of characters, situations and relationships is an intriguing new way to view old plays, because what is ‘current’ is always changing. This also works for viewing the play from a feminist perspective, for example.
• “To what extent do the minor characters of Macbeth fit into the same character ‘types’ or ‘stereotypes’ as those of Shakespeare’s other plays?”
Comparing Shakespeare to Shakespeare is a very exciting area of study, and one that is constantly expanding. It is possible to explore, for instance, the main role of minor characters in the plot and determine to what extent this determines their entire personality and/or development (or lack thereof!). Comparing these observations with those regarding other minor characters from other makes for unique study.
• “How would audiences (or, in particular, women/men/children) from the 1800s have received Shakespeare’s