How Villainy is Depicted in Macbeth


A mind map to help with essays asking the student to describe how villainy is depicted in Macbeth.
Mind Map by scarletsnow491, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by scarletsnow491 over 9 years ago

Resource summary

How Villainy is Depicted in Macbeth
  1. Soliloquy
    1. 'Is this a dagger...?'
      1. Supernatural imagery
        1. Half of the world has been plunged into darkness (night time) which represents evil and death
          1. 'Wicked dreams' represents nightmares and they are plaguing Duncan's sleep, which would usually be a place of safety for him
            1. Murder is moving like an all-consuming ghost. This is dark, dangerous and violent
            2. The description of the dagger
              1. The 'gouts of blood' appear on the dagger because he is thinking of the evil he is about to commit.
                1. The handle is pointed towards his hand, showing that he is keen to commit the regicide of killing the king.
                  1. It is a 'dagger of the mind', which could portray all of Macbeth's negative thoughts.
                    1. The dagger is also pointing in the direction that Macbeth is heading. It seems to be pointing the way for Macbeth to go, spurring him on to be evil and murderous.
                    2. Villainy is presented through Macbeth's actions. He is sneaking around at night, which is traditionally associated with an evil being. Also, he is on his way to kill King Duncan, which is definitely villainous, as it is treachery.
                  2. Macbeth's initial response to witches
                    1. He is intrigued by what they are saying to him, and seems to like the fact that he is prophecised to come in to power. This shows that he would like to become king in Duncan's place.
                      1. He is upset that the witches have departed, and actually urges them to stay and tell him more of his future. This shows that he is is keen to find out how he becomes king and he is thirsty for power.
                        1. He instantly thinks of killing the king to become king himself, which shows his ruthlessness.
                        2. Murders
                          1. Duncan's Murder
                            1. Duncan's murder was plotted very thouroughly, which suggests how cunning and sneaky Macbeth is. It's almost as though he has done this sort of thing before but on a smaller scale.
                              1. Duncan's murder was not shown onstage. This is because Shakespeare had to show respect for the monarch due to the belief in the divine right of kings in that time period. Divine right of kings = belief that kings are appointed by God.
                                1. The fact that Macbeth was actually willing to kill the king to take his title shows how villainous he is, because this is regicide and treachery.
                                  1. Duncan was killed by Macbeth himself, showing that he is perfectly happy to kill someone of a higher status than him.
                                  2. Banquo's Murder
                                    1. He killed Banquo for fear that he would tell someone of his own treachery. This is villainous because he was preventing people from finding out the truth of his heinous crime by committing yet another crime.
                                      1. Banquo's murder was shown onstage, and it is shown that he is brutally stabbed by an assassin. Shakespeare added this in to entertain the audience. What's the point if having a play full of murders if none of them are shown onstage, after all?
                                        1. Macbeth hired assassins to kill Banquo rather than do it himself. This shows that he is very cowardly, despite him having already murdered the previous king.
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