The Macbeth Book Review

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Updated: May 16, 2022
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Can corruption of the innocent can lead to the unwanted destruction caused by the individual that was once innocent? It is evident in books such as Macbeth, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Brave New World, and Lord of the Flies. Each one has examples some better than others but all of them once had an innocence that got ripped from their bare hands all while they still thought they had it making confusion for those around them. So in all reality are we innocent or are we the monsters we fear that take our innocence.

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Some examples from Macbeth are “This supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success, Commencing in a truth? I am 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? Present fears Are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man That function is smothered in surmise, And nothing is but what is not.” This is when Macbeth first imagines killing King Duncan and it shakes him to his core. It shows that even to a survivor of the battlefield that his mind is innocent of things like this such as cold-blooded murder. Another innocent moment in Macbeth could be “ I am settled, and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show.

False face must hide what the false heart doth know”. This is when he decides to fully go with his plans and when he completely loses his innocence. As the story goes on he orders more and more people murdered. As time goes on the man that has been shaken to the core just by thinking about murder becomes a calculated murderer trying to keep his position on top. So do we ourselves become the thing we were fighting so hard against all because someone told us something that shaped us in a way they never imagined? Some examples from Frankenstein are in chapter one “The innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by heaven, whom to bring up to good, and whose future lot it was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery, according to as they fulfilled their duties towards me”.

This goes to show that Victor believes that the way you turn out is based on how you are raised. This goes to a theme are childhood and innocence intertwined? In this book, it seems so especially when the monster says this ‘Frankenstein! you belong then to my enemy–to him towards whom I have sworn eternal revenge; you shall be my first victim.’ That William who the monster killed was portrayed as innocent. His innocence in his murder helped drive Victor into disappearing when he realized that he was the person who unleashed this monster upon this world and only he could possibly kill it or neutralize the threat. This was all brought about by his innocence in the subject he was studying and what he was doing.

Did he realize what he was doing for if he did he would have surely thought about it and what would happen if the monster remembered he created him? So, in the end, are we the monsters we create or are monsters created by us? An answer to that type of question can be answered in Wuthering Heights. Some examples from Wuthering Heights are “Come in! come in! he sobbed. Cathy, do come. Oh, do once more! Oh! My heart’s darling, hear me this time Catherine, at last!” This just goes to show what the loss of childhood innocence to soon can lead to people throwing their lives away for the wrong person or for the wrong things. When they throw their life away they can become bitter old people who don’t know how to let go of the past just like Heathcliff except in a way he still held onto his innocence in part due to his hope of Catherine and what she would do for her when he came back.

Another example is “She was much too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him: yet she got chided more than any of us on his account” This just goes to show that contrary to the truth she does go on to love another man but never as much as Heathcliff and when he comes back it breaks her heart that she did not wait on him. It also ends up killing her since Catherine was childish and that she had to have what she wanted and right then as well. Unlike her daughter who outgrew her childhood innocence, she grew to care for more than just herself. Catherine never did and it ended up destroying her and Heathcliff both since they could never lose their “innocence of childhood”.

Through this it allowed hatred to swell and destroy what little humanity they had in them effectively destroying their souls and since they never lost the childish ways they had so they completely ruined generations of all of the families involved simply because they didn’t get their way. Could this just be childhood foolishness or does innocence come with childhood? So with Heathcliff and Catherine, they were childhood sweetheart with innocence from the beginning but what happens in a world where there is no such thing as innocence. For example the Brave New World. Some examples in Brave New World are in chapter five “Do you know what that switchback was? he said. It was some human being finally and definitely disappearing. Going up in a squirt of hot gas. It would be curious to know who it was a man or a woman, an Alpha or an Epsilon.

He sighed. Then, in a resolutely cheerful voice, Anyhow, he concluded, there’s one thing we can be certain of; whoever he may have been, he was happy when he was alive. Everybody’s happy now. Yes, everybody’s happy now, echoed Lenina” This just shows how shallow the people are in this world and they mistake it for innocence. It also shows that anyone who has or shows any signs of disgust in this worlds false innocence they are immediately known to have something wrong with them. They might even say something entirely false about the person just to ruin their reputation especially if they hold any sway in the world. Some other examples in this book is “ “I know you don’t. And that’s why we went to bed together yesterday-like infants-instead of being adults and waiting.

But it was fun, Lenina insisted. Wasn’t it? Oh, the greatest fun, he answered, but in a voice so mournful, with an expression so profoundly miserable, that Lenina felt all her triumph suddenly evaporate. Perhaps he had found her too plump, after all. I told you so, was all that Fanny said, when Lenina came and made her confidences. It’s the alcohol they put in his surrogate” This also shows that the innocence they think they have from a young age is very different from the savage reservation and almost inconceivable from our worldviews today. It also shows that the people in this world who never knew what innocence is are the shallowest people who believe anything and everything told to them by others that are also respected in their respective classes.

This just goes to show that in that world they are never taught or know anything about innocence and the people who branch out and try to think about the world around them are often cast out by the society because they disrupt the world around them asking questions that the answers will cause distention and division. So in Brave New World the people never know about innocence but with this book, they all knew it and what happened to them ripped it from there hands like candy from a toddler. Some examples from Lord of the Flies are in chapter two “ You got your fire alright … the boys were falling still and silent, felling the beginning of awe at the power set free below them” This is after the boys burnt down half the island the first time. It shows that they realize the power they have in this world and that no one is going to punish them for any mistakes they may make. Could it be a loss of innocence?

Acting without fear of punishment could be called that. Another example from Lotf is “ Then, amid the roar of bees in the afternoon sunlight, Simon found for the littluns the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless, outstretched hands”. This shows the Christ figure Simon helping the masses aka the littluns all while the savagery going on behind them with the grown folk aka the higher classes in the world. This shows that although the higher classes may actually care about the masses they always want to keep their heads above the water as well. This also shows the difference between Simon picking the fruit for the littluns and then Jack killing the boar savagely.

Are we born innocent or do we ever even have innocence in this world? Some examples from Hamlet “My lord, I think I saw him yesternight./ Saw, who? /My lord, the King your father. /The King my father?”  This shows the first time he was told of his father’s ghost ripping his innocence from him and threw him into the world of ghost, lies, and death. “It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain. No medicine in the world can do thee good; In thee there is not half an hour’s life. The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, Unbated and envenomed. The foul practice Hath turn’d itself on me. Lo here I lie, Never to rise again. Thy mother’s poisoned. I can no more the King, the King’s to blame.” This ends his madness into which he went to fool people into thinking he was not onto the king but he was and that’s why he was acting crazy.

This shows that the innocence he once had that was ripped from him caused him to die as well as many a people0. So in the end is innocence something we are born with. Or is it attainable in childhood. Or is it ripped from our toddler hands to soon to see the world in all its harsh light. So all in all these books provided why taking innocence might not always be a good idea, this stories also have so many hidden meanings that they are still finding hidden ones even today. So in total is innocence may be destructive when taken from the person who held it. Ernest Hemingway once said “ All things truly wicked start from innocence.” That can mean whatever you may think it means but I think it means that for it to be truly wicked you must start out doing it innocently but realizing your wrong but continuing anyway. 

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The Macbeth Book Review. (2022, Apr 11). Retrieved from