How does Shakespeare Create Sympathy for Macbeth?
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How does Shakespeare Create Sympathy for Macbeth? In Shakespeare's Macbeth, he uses four main techniques to create a feeling of sympathy for Macbeth. These come in the forms of; the witches, Lady Macbeth, Banquo (Macbeth's friend) and Macbeth himself. The play is set in Scotland and starts with a dramatic stormy scene featuring the witches. To create sympathy Shakespeare creates the three witches who set Macbeth upon his murderous path. They appear in the first scene, which is long enough to awaken curiosity but not to satisfy it. The practice of witchcraft was seen to subvert the established order of religion and society, and hence was not tolerated. They create a dream for Macbeth, being Thane of Glamis, then Thane of Cawdor and later the King. As Macbeth is already Thane of Glamis, he does not believe the witches straight away. However, he is then made Thane of Cawdor by the King as a reward for the braveness he showed during the battle at the beginning of the play. When he is given the title of Thane of Cawdor, he begins to believe the earlier predictions made by the witches, and starts to believe that maybe he really will be King. These witches seem to turn values upside down. They use lots of opposites; 'Not so happy, yet much happier', this allows them to cause much confusion amongst the other characters. ...read more.
She pushes him, even thought it is quite clear to the audiences both from the book, performances on stage and in videos that Macbeth would rather leave the King be, and as the King is their guest and 'as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife himself'. He does try and tell his wife that he will proceed no further with the killing of the King, but she uses blackmail, drawing in the loss of their baby. The audience has to feel sorry for him there, he is simply a man delivering a duty to his wife and trying to please her even if it means that by killing the King, he is destroying his own life in the process. After he kills the king, he is deeply affected by it, he talks to himself, 'what hands are here! Ha! They pluck out mine eyes' in other words, his eyes are almost falling out of his head at the sight of his bloody hands. However, Lady Macbeth does not seem to notice this and is more interested in making sure his tracks are covered and the guards are framed. The reader is again made to feel sorry for him, as they can see how much he is affected but no one is doing anything to help him. ...read more.
the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee." The audience feel sympathy for Macbeth as it is noticeable that is he mentally unstable and is seriously contemplating the killing of the king. This soliloquy is one of the keys to the understanding of Macbeth. It shows off his powerful imagination, which in the end, gets the better if him. By using these four main things, Shakespeare does create sympathy for Macbeth.. The extra strain created by Banquo seems minor in comparison but is always there, as Banquo saw the witches as well, he is a liability. But perhaps Macbeth's greatest enemy was the power of his imagination and his conscience. The hallucinations and the portrayal of himself to the audience show that he is not a ruthless warrior with no feeling able to kill anyone, but a man who is trying to make his status in life just that little bit higher being pushed and blackmailed by those around him. The audience feels sympathetic towards Macbeth, he always feels the need to please his wife, because to the loss of her baby, he has come to believe everything about the witches and Is living under false hopes because of it, which drives him to murder the king which puts a great burden of him that he cannot shake off and is very affected by. Kate Gillett ...read more.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Macbeth section.
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