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Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Shakespeare and Bronte convey the harassment that Cathy and Macbeth have to tolerate with when making their decision by using many techniques. Shakespeare's Macbeth was written in the early 17th century and Bronte's Wuthering Heights was written in the 19th century. Although, Macbeth and Wuthering Heights were written in different periods they both portray how the two characters are hesitant of the decision that they have to make.

During the 1600s when Macbeth was written and the Middle Ages when it was set, people were very superstitious about witchcraft. Since, Macbeth received the prophecy of him becoming king from the witches; he will be confused when deciding the murder, because witches are considered to be evil and the message may not be true. Also, the idea of the divine right of kings was well accepted during the middle ages. This theory claims that kings were very dignified and only they can be answerable to God. This idea will encourage Macbeth's indecision because he is a noble and religious man, and also it would be sinful to kill the king, as the kings were considered to have an image of God.

In contrast Wuthering Heights was set in the 1800s, an era where social class hugely mattered, especially in marriage. This is one of the reasons why Cathy struggles to arrive at a firm decision. She states that by marrying Edgar 'I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood.' This shows that she is only marrying Edgar not for love but for lust and a respected social position. But she also says 'in my soul and in my heart, I'm convinced I'm wrong!' This is the evidence for her indecision as although she desires to have a high status in society she wants to be with Heathcliff in reality.

Shakespeare indicates Macbeth's agony over whether to kill Duncan through his use of connectives. Particularly the word 'but' expresses Macbeth's indecision because he recognizes the act of murdering the king as a terrible sin. He struggles in particular with the idea of murdering a man--a relative, no less--who trusts and loves him. Likewise, Bronte portrays Cathy's uncertainty on marrying Edgar Linton through using the connective 'but' as well. This authenticates Cathy's ambiguity because the word 'but' tells us that Cathy evidently doesn't have one opinion of her situation, however two and is perplexed on which one to choose.

Shakespeare makes Lady Macbeth have a significant impact on Macbeth's indecision on killing Duncan; he makes her convince Macbeth that murdering Duncan is right. As Lady Macbeth enters, Macbeth tells her that he "will proceed no further in this business". This shows that at this precise moment Macbeth has come to a conclusion on what he is going to do but then Lady Macbeth taunts him for his fears and ambivalence, telling him he will only be a man when he carries out the murder. She counsels him to "screw his courage to the sticking place" and details the way they will murder the king. In response Macbeth says 'bring forth men-children only'. This now proves that Macbeth has changed his mind and has decided to kill Duncan. This suggests that Lady Macbeth has influenced him and has led him into doubt. The struggle to make the decision is obvious, as confusion is brought upon Macbeth, as since he loves his wife dearly disobeying her can result in dissatisfaction from her. At the same time his conscience is also troubling him because he worries how Duncan will feel as he says 'his virtues will plead like angels (...) against the deep damnation of his taking-off'.

Similarly to Macbeth asking help from Lady Macbeth, Cathy seeks advice from Nelly and confides to Nelly that Edgar has asked her to marry him, and she has accepted, even though she is convinced that it is Heathcliff she really loves. However, she cannot marry Heathcliff, given his social situation, and she thinks marriage to Edgar will secure Heathcliff's



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