Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)--Macbeth, Moderation in literature, Temperance in literature, Ethics in literature
In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth insists, “Th’expedition of my violent love / Outran the pauser, reason” (2.3.107-108). These lines can be attributed to Macbeth’s penchant for excess that overpowers his ability to reason. Reason allows men to live harmoniously within a community, and the early modern era constructed safeguards to ensure men acted within prescribed conventions to prevent the collapse of the government. In this thesis, I will address Macbeth’s inability to reason due to his immoderacy and the resulting consequences to the state. Thus, this paper argues that the behavioral extremes depicted by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are detrimental to the domestic and political arenas and justify the moderate behavioral boundaries set in place by the early modern society. Such a reading illustrates the harmful effect one individual’s behavior has on the state, and the modern world may be reminded of the perils of ceding reason for desire.
Padilla, Kathleen M., "Boundless intemperance : Macbeth, moderation, and social norms in the early modern era" (2017). Theses. 220.