In the earlier centuries, Macbeth's story is not seen as wrong and tragic, but as a powerful study of a heroic individual who commits an evil act and pays an enormous price as his conscience destroys him. When people read about Macbeth now they see tragedy with a crazed man who does not feel that he can get enough power. In this play his speeches of despair show that Shakespeare shared late-twentieth-century feelings of alienation. Today there are new attitudes towards witches and witchcraft being expressed, different questions have also been raised about the way maleness and femaleness are portrayed in the play. "As with so many of Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth speaks to each generation with a new voice." (xiv) It is important to look at the themes, motifs, and symbols that the author displays throughout his work. .
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text major themes. Violence is a very important motif in the play, Macbeth. Even though in most of the play murders take place off the stage, the characters provide gruesome descriptions of the murder and it makes the play extremely violent. Hallucinations also recur throughout the play.
" Is this dagger which I see before me,.
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch.
Thee A dagger of the mind, a false creation.
Proceeding from the heat oppressed brain?" (II, I).
They are reminders of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's evil plan to get rid of the King. Macbeth sees a dagger floating in the air, as he is about to kill Duncan. The dagger, covered in blood and pointed towards the king's chamber, represents the cruelty he is about to commit. Macbeth is not the only one to see awful visions, Lady Macbeth sleepwalks and believes that her hands are stained in blood and they will live in sin and without any religion. The hallucinations that are shown throughout the play represent their conscience and them realizing what they have done.