Conflicts and Literary Techniques
One striking conflict in Macbeth is between Macbeth and himself. This is an internal conflict between the character and his self. An internal conflict rages within Macbeth after he kills Duncan in Act 2 Scene 2. He becomes so engulfed by guilt that he starts hearing voices and wonders to himself if Duncan would awake if the latter could hear his knocking. He is startled by every single noise and wishes to adopt hypocrisy because of the disillusionment that his crime has created.
He wishes that he would die because he now realizes he has made a terrible mistake, a mistake that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. He also compares his future to a barrel from which all the wine has been drained. This metaphor implies that he does not believe that he will ever enjoy life again or find satisfaction from life. His internal conflict is exacerbated when he murders Banquo. He feels so guilty to the point of hallucinating that he can see Banquo’s body at his dining table.
Although Macbeth feels extremely guilty and remorseful after his heinous act, his character does not seem to be tainted in any way. As the play progresses, we see him being able to kill other people such as Banquo without much remorse. After having Banquo murdered, he has a slight spell of paranoia when he sees the former’s body at his dinner table. However, he expresses anger at his soldiers for allowing Banquo’s counterpart, Fleance, to flee. He views Fleance’s escape as a loose end that might interfere with his plans to remain in power. We also see that his relationship with Lady Macbeth deteriorates because he no longer shares with her his plans including the plans to kill those he perceives to be a threat to his claim to power.
2. Mistaken Identity: A Ten Minute Play
Several conflicts are presented in Sharon E. Cooper’s play, ‘Mistaken Identity: A Ten Minute Play.’ The play comically brings out different types of conflict but all in all these conflicts intertwine and help to reinforce one another. The most striking conflict is individual versus individual conflict. There is conflict between the main characters, Steve and Kali. Steve’s mistaken assumption about Kali’s sexuality leads to conflict. Steve is a heterosexual man who is eager to marry Kali. However, Kali is a lesbian and sees no chance of having a successful relationship/ marriage with Kali. There is also a conflict between the two as to how Kali’s sexuality might impact their marriage. Kali believes that a marriage between people with different sexual orientations cannot work and is doomed from the very beginning. However, Steve is still determined to marry her despite her audacious sexual orientation perhaps with the forethought of changing her to heterosexuality.
Kali’s character does not seem to develop even after her conversation with Steve. She is still determined to live as a closeted lesbian as she fears the consternation of her elder brother and family members if they ever found out. She is also still determined to hide her true sexual orientation from her future suitors. However, Steve’s character undergoes tremendous changes throughout the play. He begins to feel sorry for Kali about her predicament of not telling her parents about her sexual orientation. At first, he was very ignorant about what might transpire between Kali and her family members if she were to come out. He was even adamant that she should tell them. At the end, he feels sorry for her and is especially touched by the notion that Kali might not be allowed to see her nieces if she tells her parents and relatives about her sexual orientation.