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I am the Thane of Cawdor./ If good, why do I yield to that suggestion/ Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/ and make my seated heart knock at my ribs, / Against the use of nature? These strongly portray the thoughts he obtained after hearing the witches prophecy. It seems as if there is an ominous tone to his speech, questioning and almost foreshadowing the fate that lies ahead. Early in the story Macbeth is conflicted with the act he may commit. By the end of the play all signs of Macbeth's remorse and guilt have disappeared.
The audience was genuinely afraid of evil, and it was about this time that the Salem witch trials took place, where witches were executed.
Watchers would have regarded the witches with suspicion and fear, just as Macbeth and Banquo do in the opening scenes.
An analysis of external and internal conflicts reveals the ultimate fate of king Duncan, and the expected roles of the genders in that era, the true identities of the main characters, and importance of being distinguished as a true man.
Through examining the internal and external conflicts we notice what people go through to obtain a certain desire and what plan of action they will take to achieve it.
Macbeth himself gives indication that he believes his acts are evil, and that he will receive punishment. This indicates that he knows he is facing an eternity of damnation.
For this reason he shows remorse, but this remorse is subdued, and eventually disappears for good.
Furthermore, it appears Shakespeare's intention was to portray the modern day attitudes towards religion and the supernatural of his time.
Indeed, the Elizabethan audience the play was written for would have been devout Christians, and would have had strict beliefs towards good and evil.
There is suggestion that this play was written for King James I, as he had a keen interest in the supernatural and occult ideas. We see the fight between virtue and immorality within characters; through struggles with their conscience, but they are also shown as forces in the outside world, which arose from religion, and ideas of Heaven, Hell, God and the Devil.
The theme of evil is shown through unnatural occurrences, the witches, and within characters.