[[folder: Fridge Brilliance ]]

* Macbeth's death in his fight against [=MacDuff=], and the partial redemption for his evil that came from dying in a fair fight rather than killing by proxy, always struck This Troper as being a powerful moment, but I could never quite see why it got to me so much. Then I realised: it was totally foreshadowed at the start of the play, when the thanes execute the traitorous former Thane of Cawdor and comment that "Nothing in his life/Became him like the leaving it". The two Cawdors both acted against their countrymen, eventually dying for their deeds but redeeming themselves in their last moments. Wow.
* I once heard a short lecture about Macbeth that took me from thinking it was just okay to thinking it was megabrilliant. The lecture hinged on the Lady Macbeth line when she says, "I have given suck and know how tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me." It's kind of a throwaway line, since she changes the subject pretty quickly, but wait a minute - when? When has she given suck? This play is all about succession - if the Macbeths had kids, we'd definitely know about it, and they don't. The only explanation is that she must have had a child who died. And suddenly this play is about being a dead end- sure, [=Macbeth=] is winning the kingdom, but winning it for who? There's nobody for him to give it to when he dies, which makes the whole thing terribly pointless. And once you start looking, dead babies are EVERYWHERE in the play- Lady [=Macbeth=] talking about smashing a baby's skull and trading her breastmilk for gall, [=MacDuff=]'s kids getting murdered, the dead baby finger in the witches' brew, the two dead babies that appear in one of [=Macbeth=]'s visions (one wearing a CROWN, forcryingoutloud)... and there's more. And then who kills [=Macbeth=]? [=MacDuff=], who was from his mother's womb untimely ripped, of course, the antithesis of dead babiness.
** Actually, there is a perfectly straightforward explanation for this; while it is true that Macbeth (reigned 1040-1057) was childless, Queen Gruoch had a son, Lulach, by her first husband, Gille Coemgáin. When Macbeth was killed in battle in 1057, Lulach briefly succeeded him as King of Scotland before being killed in battle in 1058. It has been suggested that the references are evidence that Lulach was included in earlier drafts of the play.
** [=MacDuff=] actually at one point says directly of [=MacBeth=] that "He has no children". I also noticed the apparent contradiction when Lady [=MacBeth=] says she has 'given suck', and came to the conclusion that she'd either had a child by someone other than Macbeth ''[yes, she did - check out Holinshed (Maven)]'', or - more probably - they had had a child who had died. Which, as you say, just adds a whole new layer to the play.
*** Actually, that "He has no children" is very ambiguous. It could refer to Malcolm's callous attempts to comfort Macduff after Macduff has just gotten news of his family's deaths.
** They built on this layer for a production that I saw in Stratford in 2011. The witches were not crones, but children, and they used dolls to explain the prophesy and the apparitions. Later, though, those exact same children with those exact same toys were [=MacDuff=]'s children (and they were just as creepy). They emphasized all the mentions of children in the production.
* The bit about Lady [=MacBeth=] not being able to kill King Duncan because he looked so much like her father. Shakespeare probably didn't mention it because his audience would have known that Lady [=MacBeth=] and Duncan were first cousins; her father was Duncan's father's younger brother. (Which explains why [=MacBeth=] was able to take the throne; he was a Royal In Law already, AND a war hero.)
** Moreover, [=MacBeth=] was Royal kin on his own account - he and Duncan were first cousins, as their mothers were both daughters of Malcolm II (who had no sons). Maven
* This troper recently realized that the forms of the apparitions in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' represent parts of the prophecy. The helmeted head that says to "beware Macduff" is Macbeth's severed head, which was severed by Macduff. The bloody child that says that "NoManOfWomanBorn" can kill Macbeth is bloody because it represents a child born by C-section. Macduff was born by C-section. Finally, there is the man who holds the tree branch and says that Macbeth cannot be defeated until Birnam Forest marches against him. He holds a tree branch because the soldiers who [[StormingTheCastle storm the castle]] at the end of the play use tree branches to hide their movements -MarkyMark
* In ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', Shakespeare breaks many standard writing tools. The main character is very unlikable, as is his wife, and the climax of the story is at the beginning. Despite this, the play is still amazing and one of Shakespeare's best known works. On top of this, since the majority of the story takes place after the climax, that drives in the theme that this is a story about how Macbeth ''falls from his highest point''. There's some symbolism for you. -Froggy
* Macbeth is widely known as a tragedy; however, if you think about it, it's not. What was Shakespeare trying to evoke from the audience? It wasn't anger, humor, or heartwarming - it was terror. Shakespeare wrote the first horror story to ever be performed.
** Well, Aristotle's classical definition of a tragedy is of a play inspiring both terror and pity in the viewers, and this definition applies perfectly to Macbeth.
* In the second scene of the play, when the Sergeant is recounting Macbeth and Banquo's victory over Macdonwald's fleet, he drops the rather memorable line ''"As whence the sun 'gins his reflection, shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break..."''. It's likely meant to be a bit of figurative language...but, somewhat conspicuously, the very next line has the Witches describing a past incident where they magically conjured up a storm to wreck a merchant captain's ship. The line can be taken as a subtle hint that the Witches also had a hand in Macbeth's successes on the battlefield, and that they were pulling the strings in Macbeth's life from the get-go.
* An interesting observation is how the play treats the subject of "manhood". Macbeth and Macduff, each a natural {{Foil}} to the other, naturally represent directly opposite ideals of masculinity. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have a few talks about manhood, and in their villainous context, they always talk about how a man must be devoid of feeling or emotion to be truly manly. Lady Macbeth advises Macbeth to shut down all his feeling and emotions to be a true man and kill Duncan, and over the course of the play Macbeth acts accordingly and slowly becomes a EmptyShell (like when Lady Macbeth dies, and Macbeth is so emotionally stunted at this point his reaction is violent indifference). Meanwhile, Macduff's scene after his family's death with Malcolm directly counters that idea, for in it he tells Malcolm how he must grieve and shed tears like a man would, and openly weeps and feels pain from their loss. Furthermore, Macbeth's prophecy of "no man of '''woman''' born can harm him" implies Macbeth views himself as above those tainted by feminity due being "of woman born", implying a supremacy of masculinity. Macduff, therefore, is the living antithesis of that concept, for he is both a manly man ''and'' a man who, while born of C-section, ultimately came from a woman, thus showing masculinity needs not to reject feminity its entirely. In other words, Macbeth vs Macduff is not only a case of EmotionsVersusStoicism (on which emotion prevails), but most importantly, it is one of the earliest examples of Toxic Masculinity in the form of King Macbeth, while Macduff represents healthy masculinity (which ultimately triumphs over its more toxic counterpart).

[[folder: Fridge Logic ]]

* Wouldn't Macbeth have already ''known'' that Macduff was born via cesarean section? Granted, they're not that close, but he must have known that Macduff's mother died giving birth to him and that he was born earlier than usual, and thus joined the dots?
** Premature births aren't that uncommon, and childbirth was the leading cause of death among women well into the 20th century (infections and blood loss, primarily). Also, in Shakespeare's day, c-sections would have been pretty much mythological, and even moreso in Macbeth's. Also, how often do you discuss the cirumstances of your birth with your mates?
*** Well, precisely, if he ''was'' born in a very strange, quasi-mythological way, Macduff would have reasons to be proud of it, as a foreshadowing of a demigod-like destiny for instance.
*** Macduff's portrayal is that of a [[TheStoic silent, grim type]], partly because he doesn't really get a lot of focus but also because he really seems to prefer actions over words. Even in the battle of Macbeth he explicetly says "I have no words for thee, my voice is in my sword". It'd fit with his character that he doesn't really talk all that much about his past or his mother, thus Macbeth being blindsided by Macduff being "from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd".