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Violence, Sensationalism, and the Supernatural in Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Violence, Sensationalism, and the Supernatural in Macbeth

Shakespeare had a thorough idea of what his audience wanted. In Macbeth he used violence, sensationalism, and elements of the supernatural to appeal to his audience.

Shakespeare knew his audience when he used violence in Macbeth to heighten the effect of the play. One example of the violence is this scene. Lady Macbeth “That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold; What hath quenched them hath given me fire. Hark! Peace! It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman, which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it. The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged their possets, that death and nature do contend about them, whether they live or die.” Macbeth “Who’s there? What, ho?” Lady Macbeth “Alack, I am afraid they have awaked and ’tis not done! Th’ attempt and not the deed confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready; he could not miss ’em. Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t.” Macbeth “I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?” Lady Macbeth “I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry. Did not you speak?” Macbeth “When?” Lady Macbeth “Now.” Macbeth “As I descended?” Lady Macbeth “Ay.” Macbeth “Hark! Who lies i’ th’ second chamber?” Lady Macbeth “Donalbain.” Macbeth “This is a sorry sight.” Lady Macbeth “A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.” Macbeth “There’s one did laugh in sleep, and one cried “Murder!” That they did wake each other. I stood and heard them. But they did say their prayers, and addressed them again to sleep.” Here is another example of the violence. Messenger “Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known though in your state of honor I am not to you known, though in your state of honor I am perfect. I doubt some danger does approach you nearly: if you will take a homely man’s advice, be found here; hence, with your little ones. To fright you thus, methinks I am too savage; to do worse to you were fell cruelty which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve you! I dare abide no longer.” Lady Macduff “Whither should I fly? I have done no harm. But I remember now I am in this earthly world, where to do harm is often laudable, to do good sometime accounted dangerous folly.

Essay on Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): Meursault’s Indifference

Meursault’s Indifference in The Stranger (The Outsider)

The language in The Stranger (The Outsider) is strikingly simple. The sentences are molded to fit their function. They state what Meursault, the narrator believes. More importantly, their structure conveys Meursault’s feelings. His feelings are a prominent focal point of the novel. With all of the varying emotions and feelings he has throughout the story, there is one general term that can be applied to them all: indifferent. Meursault delights in simple pleasures, but never fully indulges himself into any of his endeavors. He is always reserved, taciturn, lacking an abundance of emotion. The only passionate surge that emanates from his mind and body comes in the form of his encounter with the Chaplain in his cell.

Monsieur Meursault speaks when he has something he feels he should say. Otherwise, he remains the receiver of other people’s communications. It is this innocent reservedness that begins to build the image of him in the reader’s mind. At first he may seem dull, unintelligible, even unfeeling; the reader is soon taken in by his casual persona however, and empathizes deeply with his plight by the end of the novel. Meursault perceives his world as extremely indifferent–he does not believe in God or seem to believe in anything higher than pure human existence, and pure human non-existence when death ends life. Meursault is himself indifferent to all of the things throughout his life, except when he is finally met by the specter of death. However, even this fear and anxiety ceases after he accosts the Chaplain. At the end of the novel this young Frenchman comes to realize his similarities to his universe. He feels things are almost “consummate”, only a few …

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…will not come for the others in his world either. Meursault is fortunate enough to realize this while still living, for this foresight he triumphs.


The merging indifference. Meursault is a man whose life is hedged on a pervasive indifference. His Existentialist philosophy of the world is also a conception built on indifference. By the end of the novel Meursault is at peace with himself. He has finally come to a unity and understanding of the interwoven nature of his individuality and the existence of existence. Meursault’s head will roll. His life snuffed out. A life complete. Ended. Actualized. All of this because he harbored no false hopes, no vain strivings, because he made a subtle covenant with the death that returns us all to the earth we were produced from.

Works Cited:

Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Everyman’s Library: New York, 1993.

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