To begin with, evil characters were—and still are—used to explicate certain evil occurrences in the society. Based on the immense popularity of dramas among the English, representing a certain ill in a drama makes it very easy for the message to spread quickly. This was in fact more pronounced in the ancient days when freedom of speech was greatly limited. Consequently, by artistically weaving an evil in a drama using certain camouflaged names and characters; it was relatively easy to pass on a message to the audience without necessarily raising eyebrows from the ever-watchful governing officials.
As an example to the above, Macbeth cleverly addresses the issue of thirst for power which was prevalent at that time and how people would go to any extent just to quench themselves. In the play, Shakespeare uses three evil witches to prophecy that Macbeth (King Duncan’s Kinsman) will ascend to Kingship among two other prophecies. Once one of the prophecies come to pass, Macbeth’s ill-fated hunger for power begins eating him up. By the time the play ends, after Macbeth is slain soon after killing Duncan and succeeding his throne, a lot of evil twists and turns take place as Macbeth strives to actualize the prophecies from the witches.
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