• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the opening scenes of two or three plays you have studied to bring out some of the dramatic effects sought for and achieved. Macbeth and Hamet.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

IB A1 English Compare and contrast the opening scenes of two or three plays you have studied to bring out some of the dramatic effects sought for and achieved. Playwrights have always created dramatic, enticing, effective openings to their plays. The object of the opening scenes is to provide the exposition of the play. It often sets the mood, the atmosphere, the tone, the general ambience, the characters, and all the other aspects of the play. In brief, the opening presents the audience with the status quo of the play, which can be peaceful and orderly, or can be amidst confusion, terror, comedy, or any other mood chosen by the playwright. For William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Macbeth, the opening exposition scenes can be analyzed for comparison. In writing his plays, Shakespeare puts a lot of emphasis on the exposition of the piece. In focus, the first two witch scenes in Macbeth, provide hidden details about the events to come. Likewise, the guards in Hamlet also foreshadow a pending trouble in the castle. In both cases, neither is detailed enough to give away the plot to the audience. Shakespeare uses the opening scenes to create such tension to leave the audience pending. ...read more.

Middle

However, further analysis suggests the witches have done nothing but simply provide the truth in affairs. In this sense, the opening scene is used by Shakespeare to underscore Macbeth's internal moral conflict. The first scene almost outlines the entire plot of the story while the third scene delves into the details of Macbeth's future. Overall, Shakespeare crafts this exposition to show the central theme of the play-the battle between Macbeth's reasonable side that abides by law and order against the human passion that leads Macbeth to murder for power. In Hamlet, Shakespeare has chosen a different approach to cast an effect on the audience. Compared with Macbeth, Hamlet does not being in thunder or rain with three witches that seem to take part in a sort of incantation. Instead, Hamlet opens with a dead silent stage where darkness surrounds the area. The scene creates immediate tension with the very first line, which is Bernado asking, "Who's there?" The reply from Francisco, who is at the guard post, is: "Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself." The answer only echoes back as "Long live the king!", which still does not reveal any identities, until Francisco has to guess that it is Bernado. ...read more.

Conclusion

He uses his character's words, the stage's appearance, and the general atmosphere of the stage to create the angst, the terror, the deafening silence, and the hostile environment of his plays. In using these dramatic effects, Shakespeare evokes emotion in the audience, which is the fundamental goal of stage productions. He is able to, at the same time, convey the deeper literary value of his work by setting up his themes through character's actions and words. Just as with other works, Shakespeare's main characters experience a major internal conflict. For Macbeth, it is his tormented soul after having committed murder. For Hamlet, it is his inability to muster the courage to kill Claudius-he instead gives in to his logical suspicion of the ghost's word. The characters' inner trouble is reflected, in both plays, in the opening scene. And once again, Shakespeare has demonstrated the art of drama through his very masterpieces. Using subtleties that lay beyond the literal meaning of spoken words, Shakespeare combines the literature of his work to the live performances to give his audience the full experience of drama. With Hamlet and Macbeth in focus, it is clear as to how Shakespeare's every line is more than what it seems, bringing the best to both the amateur enthusiast to the literary critic. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Macbeth essays

  1. Character Analysis of Macbeth

    unable to move due to his mind being completely occupied with what has happened. The damage dealt is clear when he says that he heard a voice cry ''Macbeth hath murdered the innocent sleep'' which shows the beginning of his restless nights which is the first harsh blow to his mental health.

  2. Macbeth - Act 4 Scene 1: Discuss the Dramatic Potential in this scene.

    When Macbeth enters the scene, and asks the witches to tell him about what will happen in the future, they tempt him to go further in to evil. Quote: First Witch Speak Second Witch Demand Third Witch We'll answer First Witch Say, if thou'dst rather hear it from our mouths, Or from our masters'?

  1. How does Shakespeare present the witches in an interesting and dramatic way?

    SECOND WITCH: All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee Thane of Cawdor! THIRD WITCH: All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!' One could say that this is the most important speech in the play. It is the seed of Macbeth's downfall, and what triggered the whole of the play's continuation as a tragedy.

  2. This essay will thoroughly canvass the main themes of Hamlet and Macbeth, and will ...

    These ghostlike characters play a vital role on the play, as they predict what will happen in the future and are, in a way, the ones who stir up Macbeth's over-ambition. After this bizarre encounter, Macbeth is given the title of "Thane of Cawdor" as it was predicted by the witches.

  1. How do the first three scenes foretell the tragedy of Macbeth?

    only fair that he becomes King, he achieves his ambition through a foul method. This is what the witches might be suggesting when they said this quote. Also it could propose that the witches are playing a 'game' with Macbeth and they think that everything is 'fair in love and war.'

  2. Macbeth - Do the witches heighten the dramatic impact of the play?

    This would heighten the dramatic impact of the play because the way the other characters talk about the witches is that it causes conflict in the play and when the watching audience hear the other characters talking about how devilish the witches look like this makes it dramatic because its

  1. Macbeth - 'With detailed reference to the text (Act 1 scenes 1-3) analyse the ...

    The witches talk about the foul weather, the war and most importantly, Macbeth. This is the first time he is mentioned in the play and suggests that he will play a big part in the role of evil as the witches are talking about him.

  2. Macbeth Comparison - the contrast between Macbeth and Banquo

    ?devils.? Banquo also gives a warning to Macbeth: ?to win us at our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths; Win us with honest trifles, to betray us In deepest consequences.? Banquo recognises that the witches could be telling lies in order to win his and Macbeth?s trust to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work