Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

Humanism and Macbeth
Back in the days of the Renaissance, a new philosophy came about. This new philosophy, resulting from the rediscovery of classical literature, art, and civilization, emphasized secular concerns. The philosophy is known as Humanism. Humanism could be compared to mountain climbing. Do what is right and you will climb the mountain and reach for the top, otherwise you will fall back down to the bottom or possibly even lower. At the top you can look down on everything and know or feel that you are in heaven. Though, right, is a relative term. Everyone has their own definition and their own beliefs. So we will define the word, right, as a rational action. Thinking rationally and using reason will help us make better decisions and allow us to climb the mountain. But staying on the top of the mountain will make us take for granted the beauty of what it is around us. Thus, a balance of good and bad, through mistakes, is essential to humanism. But to be good on the outside we must be good on the inside, because what is on the inside will reflect on what's on the outside.

In Macbeth, we see Macbeth trying to climb the mountain but his idea of climbing the mountain is making him drop lower and lower into the ground. At first, he used reason by deciding not to kill anyone, but was persuaded to the dark side. After killing Duncan, the guards, and Banquo he uses irrational decisions and nearly gives himself away. Clearly there was no use of rational decisions and that's what caused the balance to get set off. Balance is essential.





Return to Index Page

Margaret Stewart-Zimmerman
May 22, 1998 - 2010