An analysis of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and a look at various aspects of the play.

The paper analyzes the tragic play, Macbeth by Shakespeare. The paper explores several aspects of the play including: The images and symbols used in Macbeth; gender contradictions in Act V; interpretation of the phantasmagoric aspects; male anxiety about maternal issues and why Macbeth is more than just a story about a heartless, ambitious murderer.
Male anxiety about maternal issues is addressed in the play. Macbeth mentions maternity in some form in many of his speeches. An example is where he describes sleep saying, the innocent sleep, / Sleep that knits up the raveled slave of care, / The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s birth (II,ii). This is relevant as a reference to the power of women, a maternal force that Macbeth does not have. It is relevant that the witches and Lady Macbeth both lead Macbeth into murder and then madness. These references to birth can be seen a reference to wanting to avoid the power of women, but being unable to. It is also relevant that Lady Macbeth and the witches both take on maternal roles with Macbeth. In many ways they treat him as a child, especially by uses his weaknesses to trick him.