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

How Effectively Does Shakespeare Introduce The Major Themes Of The First Three Scenes?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Effectively Does Shakespeare Introduce The Major Themes Of The First Three Scenes? There are two main themes in the play Macbeth; these are the paradox "Fair is foul and foul is fair" and the tragic hero theme. These themes are introduced in the opening scenes and they are carried on throughout the rest of the play. I am going to analyse the ways in which Shakespeare introduces these themes in the opening three scenes of the play. The theme of "Fair is foul and foul is fair" means that the moral values in the play, along with everything else, have totally been turned around. Shakespeare uses this paradox to illustrate the fact that, in the play, people will do foul things to achieve, in their eyes, fair results. The tragic hero theme simply shows Macbeth as a hero with a fatal flaw, who could be great if it wasn't for the fatal flaw, in this case his ambition, egged on by the witches and Lady Macbeth. The first scene is a short but dramatic opening to the play. Firstly it informs the audience of two things: there is a battle somewhere and that the witches are planning to meet Macbeth. More importantly, however, this scene introduces some key ideas to the play. One of these is the idea of confusion and disorder. ...read more.

Middle

It is in this second scene we first meet Macbeth as a soldier recounts his brave acts to King Duncan. In the second scene we hear more about the battle mentioned in the first scene. The battle is between a force of rebels and the army of King Duncan in which Macbeth is a high-ranking officer. A soldier who fought in the battle on the side of King Duncan enters, wounded. He is asked to tell how the battle is going and he then proceeds to tell how Macbeth is fighting bravely. Macbeth is mentioned many times, and all references to him show him to be a hero, a brave fighter and a good soldier: * "Brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel". - This means that Macbeth is a hero that "disdains fortune", or does not accept what has been fated to happen, but he makes his own destiny, so strong is he in his actions. * "Like Valour's minion, carved out his passage, Till he faced the slave; which ne'er he shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chaps" - Macbeth "Like Valour's minion, carved out his passage", in other words, Macbeth is the favourite of the personification of Courage or Valour and he fought his way to the leader of the rebels and he "unseamed him to ...read more.

Conclusion

But we know from a previous statement that Macbeth will not just let fate take its course, his ambition pushes him to create his own destiny. It is this ambition, fuelled by the words of Lady Macbeth and the witches' encouragement, that is Macbeth's fatal flaw that leads him to be a tragic hero. Shakespeare introduces the themes of the play very effectively in the opening scenes, he does so by: * Creating an air of confusion and disorder by manipulating the beliefs of the 16th century audience using the supernatural. * Highlighting the paradox "Fair is foul, foul is fair" by using a battle, where this paradox is most evident. He does this again by contrasting the foul theme of the first scene with the noble, fair theme of the second scene. * Introducing Macbeth as a hero in the second scene but showing how he is corrupted by the words of the witches in the third scene, showing his fatal flaw and portraying him as a tragic hero. In all, I believe Shakespeare has introduced the themes of the play very effectively, using many dramatic devices and contrasting scenes, such as the eyrie calm of the open heath and the bloody action of the battle, and the evil and deceitfulness of the witches in contrast to the nobility and valour of King Duncan. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the impact of the witches in Act One Scenes One and Three

    3 star(s)

    This is a paradox and is used to confuse the audience and make them think. When they refer to hurly-burly, it is also confusing as to whether they are talking about the battle or the weather. In the next sentence, the third witch says 'that will be ere the set

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

    potions, however in the Macbeth on the Estate version of the play, the making of potions in a cauldron, has not been used. This is different in comparison to the Polanski version of the play. Also, by the end of the scene, Macbeth pulls back the curtain, and sees that

  1. Compare and contrast the opening scenes of two or three plays you have studied ...

    This is the central conflict of the play. Macbeth is faced with the choice of murdering the king for his own benefit or to abide lawfully and await the throne if ever the chance comes. The witches are simply minor characters used to ignite this conflict that disturbs Macbeth.

  2. 'Macbeth is full of highly dramatic scenes. Choose two scenes and explore how Shakespeare ...

    Macbeth's first phrase in the play immediately links him to the witches and could make him seem connected to them in a supernatural way. He says 'So foul and fair a day I have not seen.' This is similar to the phrase initially chanted by all the witches, 'Fair is

  1. Analyse 3 scenes from ‘Macbeth’ and discuss how they contribute to the play as ...

    of the "perfect world of kingship" to a obscene world in which innocent men are murdered all because of ambition and evilness. This scene is set for an important banquet, as this is the first opportunity for Macbeth to enter the nobility of Scotland.

  2. Macbeth was led down to an inescapable road of doom by an outside force, ...

    He also want the audience to think she evil in the ways she persuades Macbeth in to murdering. This two points, as a sharp contrast of each other and this is what give it the powerful effect of evil. For Macbeth.

  1. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth develop shakespeares themes

    Therefore, through Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, we see the corrupting power of ambition. The importance of honour and loyalty is another prominent theme throughout the play. Shakespeare often uses the characters and events in Macbeth to show us what good and evil are.

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

    companions such as Banquo and Lady Macbeth because of his evil deeds. Also it could mean that Macbeth has lost to evil, he has lost his good heart, his loyal and trustful attributes. Although he becomes the Thane of Cawdor, he has won the battle but he has lost the war against the desire of his ambitions.

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