A List Of Great Controversial Essay Topics For Macbeth

Shakespeare's plays remain a traditional part of every English class. These plays remain relevant because they show intriguing insights into human nature. Out of all of Shakespeare's tragedies, Macbeth remains one of the most popular. Once a class has read through the play, they will generally be required to write an essay about Macbeth. For essay writing ideas and controversial topics, students can use some of the ones in the following list.

Essay Topics from Macbeth

  1. What is the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth like at the beginning of the play? How does it change by the end? What causes this shift?
  2. What are some of the main issues with creating movies based off of Shakespeare's plays? Is it possible to produce a mainstream film that retains all of the complexities of Shakespeare?
  3. What was the real life version of Macbeth like? How did historical Macbeth compare to the Macbeth of the play?
  4. How do the three supernatural beings set the stage for the rest of the play? How does Shakespeare use these beings to foreshadow the remainder of the tragedy?
  5. Is Macbeth a historical play or a tragedy? If produced today, would it be able to fit within a specific genre?
  6. Find two of the best productions of Macbeth. Compare and contrast how these productions are carried out.
  7. What caused the myths surrounding “that old Scottish play” to develop among actors? Are actors just naturally superstitious?
  8. How does the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth compare to modern celebrity couples like Hilary and Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy?
  9. How does Macbeth portray a set concept of manhood? What does it take to be considered a man in this play?
  10. Does Macbeth actually possess free will or do forces outside of his control guide each choice?
  11. Murder and conflict are common themes in Macbeth. Is violence used to advocate for peace and harmony or is it just a plot device? Does Shakespeare distinguish between moral and immoral types of violence?
  12. Is Macbeth really a horror story?
  13. English history lovers will be familiar with the infamous Gunpowder plot. Is Macbeth a “Gunpowder” play? Use plot information and other aspects of the play to support this thesis.
  14. How do different productions of Macbeth handle the influence of the witches and foreshadowing?
  15. What were some of the beliefs about witchcraft during Shakespeare's play? How did this influence his decision to include witches in Macbeth?
  16. The Royal Shakespeare Company has called and wants a student to direct the next production of Macbeth. What would the student do different in directing this play? What will the student's vision for the play be?