Macbeth, and all of William Shakespeare’s other works include several universal themes. Shakespeare incorporates these themes into his works to emphasize meanings and points. Several times in Macbeth nature is out of order which coincides with unpleasant events occurring. This happens many times in Macbeth. Shakespeare demonstrates this using setting, characters, and dialog.
One of the major ways Shakespeare shows disturbances in nature is use of setting. “Thunder and Lightning.” (Shakespeare 1) This is how Shakespeare describes the setting before the play begins. The thunder and lightning are disturbances in nature and a great day is not filled with thunder and lightning (Ravi 1). The three Weird Sisters enter in the midst of all the thunder and lightning. Their appearance could be considered an unpleasant event because whenever the Weird Sisters appear bad things happen. “When shall we three meet again / In thunder, lightning, or in rain” (Shakespeare 2). This tells the reader that the witches’ meeting with Macbeth
will be filled with thunder, lightning, and rain. A meeting like that is very foreboding (Ravi 1).
Another method Shakespeare uses to develop the theme is the characters’ dialog with other characters. “On Tuesday last, / A falcon, towering in her pride of place, / Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and kill’d,” (Shakespeare 9) said the Old Man to Ross. The falcon was high in the sky and an owl, who usually stays low to the ground to hunt mice went up to the falcon and killed it (clicknotes 3). This occurred shortly before Macbeth murdered King Duncan. The night Macbeth murders Duncan his best horses eat each other (Shakespeare 9). MacDuff comes in with the verdict that the king’s sons bribed the servants to kill Duncan and Ross says “Gainst nature still!” (Shakespeare 10) He is saying that it is just as unlikely that...
“Macbeth Navigator: Themes: Nature and Unnatural.” Online.
Internet. 3 October, 2000. Available WWW: http://clicknotes.com/Macbeth/nature.html.
“Major Themes in Macbeth.” Online. Internet. 3 October,
2000. Available WWW: http://www.imsa.edu/~ravi/
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. The Language of Literature.
Eds. Arthur N. Applebee, et al. Evanston, Illinois : McDougal Littel, 2000. 327-416