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

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Introduction

How do the first three scenes foretell the tragedy of Macbeth? Good versus evil, this is a theme most commonly explored in many renowned literatures. Shakespeare has also used this oxymoron in his very famous as well as tragic creation called - 'Macbeth'. Along side this theme there are other similar oxymorons explored such as natural versus unnatural, murder, treason, destiny as well as betrayal. Shakespeare has produced many other tragic tales just like 'Macbeth' such as 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Tempes't and 'Kings Lear.' Macbeth is the male protagonist of the play. He is an honoured soldier for Scotland who fights bravely to defend his King and country but his overly ambitious desire to become King leads him to become an evil and heartless being. Macbeth's tragic tale starts with three dramatic scenes, which will be explored in this essay, they are purposefully set by William Shakespeare to decide Macbeth's destiny through hints and clues. The three scenes lead to Macbeth's downfall in many ways, some will be explained and analysed in this essay. Macbeth is referred to in the very first scene of the first Act although the audience do not actually encounter Macbeth himself. The three weird witches who are considered to be evil and unnatural beings at that time introduce the play by casting a spell that sets the play in motion. The witches meet in a setting that has thunder and lightening and then decide to meet Macbeth in these similar weather conditions. The witches mention Macbeths name as they say "There to meet with Macbeth." The witches, by saying Macbeth's name have already decided that he will be their prey, their victim and by doing this it gives the idea that Macbeth will be evil because soon he will meet the three horrid, impure creatures of the dark. The fact that the witches have a link with Macbeth shows that the audience have received a clue that some thing tragic will happen to Macbeth, which will lead to his downfall. ...read more.

Middle

This was unfair, as the King could not even defend himself against the attacks by Macbeth. After this many people around him especially Banquo become frightened as well as suspicious of Macbeth and this eventually leads to Macduff suspecting Macbeth and the fulfilment of the witches prophecy that he will die from Macduff's hands. This also shows that it is hard to know who to trust as the nearest of friends and the most loyal maybe the biggest enemies as well as the biggest betrays you have. The quote above could also refer to Lady Macbeth because she eventually feels uncomfortable of her and her husband's deeds and this leads to her sleepwalking and then her death that opens a gate inside Macbeth in Act 5 scene 1 which releases more evil that is not under the influence of the witches, this eventually leads to his downfall. The original Thane of Cawdor who is introduced in Act 1 scene 2 was also an evil, disloyal betrayer who was caught and hanged. Ross says "...most disloyal traitor the Thane of Cawdor,"there is a noticeable link between the original Thane and Macbeth. I think that there is a curse put on the Thane of Cawdor maybe by the three weird sisters. This is because people in the1600s believed in supernatural occurrences and happenings and believed there is no such thing as coincidence therefore if the first Thane of Cawdor was disloyal and a traitor and so was Macbeth then there must be a supernatural explanation which means that a curse could have been placed on this title. Macbeth was also caught by Macduff and was killed. This shows that Macduff who signifies good defeated Macbeth who symbolises evil. This is another oxymoron. The quote said by Ross shows that if the original Thane of Cawdor was a traitor and was disloyal so will be the new Thane and suggests something bad will also happen to Macbeth too. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sleepless nights will make Macbeth lose his concentration and make him very ill. Also a person does not sleep because of too much stress and too much things on their mind. This could suggest that a great tragedy will not allow Macbeth to sleep and therefore it would make it harder for him to focus and make right decisions. This will result in Macbeth's tragic downfall. On the other hand, it could suggest that along side Macbeth Lady Macbeth will not be able to sleep and this happens in Act 5 scene 1 that Lady Macbeth begins to sleep walk and then she commits suicide because she couldn't bear the guilt of her evil deeds. This then makes Macbeth more evil as it makes him heartless and arrogant as well as more dangerous because there is no one left in the world that he cares about so therefore he is emotionless. In conclusion the first three scenes foretell the tragedy of Macbeth through various hints and clues and through quotes. Exploring the text allows the audience to pick up extracts that show the beginning of Macbeth's downfall. The three scenes are very important in, as they are there to sustain the reader's interest as well as allow the prophecies to be made before they are fulfilled. In many plays and films it is very often that the good prevails evil. This is the case in Macbeth; however, as Macbeth is a tragic tale it shows Macbeth as both a good character and then an evil character at the end. William Shakespeare is trying to say that if you are good then you are rewarded as Macbeth becomes Thane of Cawdor but if you are evil you are punished as the original Thane of Cawdor had been. As Macbeth was listening to the agents of the Devil, he was punished by death at the end. ?? ?? ?? ?? Haroon Hussain 11E ...read more.

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