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

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MACBETH Act 4 Scene 1: Discuss the Dramatic Potential in this scene "Macbeth" is a play that revolves initially round a brave warrior, who is loyal to his king. This can be seen, as he fights for his king with so much courage and bravery. He fights his way through a whole army on his own. The king thanks him, and promotes him to Thane of Cawdor. After this battle, he meets three witches. During this meeting he is with Banquo, a good friend. The witches tell Macbeth, that he will become Thane of Cawdor and then king. They predict that Banquo's children shall become king. Quote: 'All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!..... All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be King hereafter / Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:' At the time this play was written. People really believed in witches. They would have run away, however Macbeth and Banquo stayed. The audience watching this play at the time it was written would have found this unusual. After hearing the news, Macbeth changes. He is filled with ambition. He wants to know more. Soon after he writes a letter to his wife telling her about the witches. She thinks of a plan, to make Macbeth king. When Duncan (the king), comes to stay at Macbeth's castle, Lady Macbeth drugs the guards and Macbeth kills Duncan while he is sleeping. The next morning after hearing about their father's death, Duncan's two sons run away to England. They fear for their lives, however people start to point the finger at them, for Duncan's murder. As there are no heirs to the throne, Macbeth crowns himself king. Macbeth then tries to find the witches, and meets up with them. This is the start Act 4 Scene 1. The fact that Macbeth has actually gone to find the witches makes this scene different from any other. ...read more.


Macbeth also gives a whole lot of destructive and horrible things that could happen, and if these did he would not care but he wanted to know about his future. He quotes, 'Even till destruction sicken: answer me.' This reinforces that he is fearless of the witches, demanding and he has been taken over by ambition. However it also shows that he is desperate and fearful of his throne. He does not want to lose it. Macbeth demands even more when the first apparition appears. He says, 'Tell me, thou unknown power -' It can be seen that there are no question marks, indicating that it is not a question. This means that it is an imperative (command). The second apparition calls Macbeth three times. He replies, 'Had I three ears, I'd hear thee.' This shows change in his character. He seems to be arrogant. When he is told that only a man not born of a woman can harm him, Macbeth replies, 'Then live Macduff, what need I fear of thee?' This is a rhetorical question, however it reinforces the fact that he has changed and has now become very arrogant. Straight after he shows a sign of ruthlessness. He quotes: But yet I'll make assurance double sure And take a bond of fate: thou shalt not live, That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies. And sleep in spite of thunder.' He is saying that he will make sure that Macduff will not live and be a threat to him and his throne. The third apparition is also given in the form of a riddle. It has many interpretations. However he still thinks that all the apparitions are good. He thinks that they are impossible, as he quotes: That will never be: Who can impress the forest, bid the tree Unfix his earthbound root? Sweet bodements, good.' The quote above shows that Macbeth feels that the forest can never move to the hill. ...read more.


These factors affect the mood and tone of the scene. The music in the background is loud and has a sharp discord. This gives an increasing haunted feel to the play. Another factor affecting the successfulness of the scene is the witches. They play a big role in the play and must have affect on the audience. I think that in the Polanski version, the use of old women, with no teeth or an eye, was more effective than the Macbeth on the Estate version, which used children as witches. Children are normally considered as the innocent people; however, using them to create horror and drama does not work too well as an audience would find it hard to believe. The above reasons are the main reasons why I feel the Polanski version was more successful than Macbeth on the Estate. After looking back at Act 4 Scene 1, have learned a lot about the way Shakespeare has added drama to the play through this scene. During the course of scene 1, Macbeth's character has changed a lot, and by the end of it, it continues to change. This shows the audience, that Macbeth is not psychologically stable, and this will have great affect on what is about to happen. The scene is also aimed at adding drama, by using witches and their evil doings. The person who is affected most is Macbeth, and his involvement in evil, gives a hint to the audience that something tragic will happen as the play progresses. The purpose of Act 4 Scene 1 is to add drama to the play, and it is the turning point. It is like a link between the beginning and end, because it shows how much Macbeth has changed, and it also is the scene that revolves round the witches and witchcraft. It includes the apparitions and shows how these visions affect Macbeth's character. As a result of this, it can be shown in a number of different ways; either on stage or for a film, using several techniques to build the drama. BHAVIK SAMANI ...read more.

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