William Shakespeare

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Apart from being a legend in his own lifetime, William Shakespeare remains one of the most influential writers for centuries to come. Even though he might have been writing four hundred years ago, there is still a lot of breakthroughs that Shakespeare made in terms of literary competence, which are a benchmark for modern writers as well.


The central concept of Macbeth's long aside in 1.3 is that of equivocation and ambiguity.1 Macbeth speaks in contradictions and paradox, suggesting that the appearance of the weird sisters and the message they bring can be neither good nor bad. The final words of his speech are a masterpiece of equivocation, almost to the point of disrupting all meaning. It may be worth considering that Macbeth is a character intended to correspond to the real life figure of Father Henry Garnet who was put on trial for his part in the Gunpowder Plot of Guy Fawkes. Garnet wrote a very famous essay on equivocation, giving instruction on how to respond in utterly ambiguous ways to questions posed while under oath. Macbeth appears to be capable of applying Garnet's lessons regarding equivocation quite well in both this scene as he appears to consider and reject the possibility of the weird sisters having the power to foretell and in the murder scene when he struggles mightily to absolve himself of guilt and distance himself from the act of murder.
The question of equivocation and ambiguity creates the potential for striking staging of Macbeth's long aside. ...
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