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

Macbeth Coursework

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Macbeth Coursework In this essay, I am going to look at and explore the three witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth. I will look at the way they are presented in each of their four scenes; how audiences might react to them and the part they play in his downfall. The witches don't appear much in the play but bring about the idea of both evil and ambition. In Act 1 Scene 1 the mood is set. We first hear of the witches and the play begins with thunder and lightning. The witches are waiting for Macbeth, which suggests they are there for a purpose. The gives a creepy feeling and also the evil and supernatural emerge. In superstitious times it was believed that fierce storms released forces of evil and were omens of unrest. The witches immediately establish this and also make it very clear that they are going to meet Macbeth. However, where they will meet him isn't made clear. They say that they will meet him "upon the heath" which sounds strange and deserted. They use negative language and this is shown when arranging their next visit; "In thunder, lightning or in rain". They don't seem to want to meet in sunshine and this gives the audience the feeling of evil and wickedness. ...read more.

Middle

The witches my actually be reading Macbeth's mind- therefore exaggerating thoughts and turning them into their predictions. Macbeth questions how he is to be Thane of Cawdor and "to be king stands not within the prospect of belief." He asks the witches where they get this information. He wants to know more and begs the witches to stay-"Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more." Again, this is another example of his burning ambition. Through out the scene the witches highlight this and also bring attention to the fact that he wants to be king. The next scene I will look is Act 4 Scene 1. We meet the witches conjuring up a spell in their cauldron. All sorts of interesting ingredients are added such as reptile, shark, goat, tiger, baboon and wolf. These animals are all related to black magic and nighttime. I think Shakespeare's main motive of including this "spell" was to really enhance the supernatural and create the eerie mood among the audience. Hecate (the Queen of witchcraft) appears, approves their work- "O Well done", and calls for music, song and dance to celebrate the end of the witches' preparations. Hecate leaves. The witches then sense and evil omen approaching- " By the Pricking of my thumbs Something wicked this way comes." Macbeth then enters and demands to know what the future holds for him. ...read more.

Conclusion

They make Macbeth believe that the prize of Kingship he longs for is near and the show him the power of royalty. It is more realistic however to believe that Macbeth was responsible for his own actions throughout the play and it was he who made the final decisions. The witched foretell the future, add temptation and evil and influence Macbeth but they cannot control his thoughts or actions. The witches offer great enticement but it is in the end Macbeth's decision to fall for the temptation, not to resist. Lady Macbeth also contributes to his downfall and is shown early in the play as a very ambitious woman. She can manipulate Macbeth easily because he loves her. This is shown in the line "That I may pour my spirits in thine ear." (Act 1 Scene 5) Before the speech she gives in act 1 scene 5, Macbeth decides not to go through with the killing of the king. However, Lady Macbeth chips away at Macbeth's self esteem by playing n his manliness and bravery. He is like a child who is easily guided and Lady Macbeth knows it. She can convince him to do anything. On the other hand, as the play develops there is a reversal of order and Macbeth becomes the dominating partner. Macbeth himself already harbours the thoughts of kingship and ambition that in the end leads him to commit murders. He willingly listens to the witches and takes onboard what they have to say. ...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

    How does Shakespeare characterize the witches?

    3 star(s)

    They entice Macbeth with fantastical visions, and in Act 1, scene 3, they seal their curse; 'The weird sisters, hand in hand, Posters of the sea and land, Thus do go about, about, Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine, Peace!

  2. What prevents Macbeth from being nothing more than the story of a ruthless and ...

    Especially that he should be aware of Macduff strikes out to him and once more he acts on the witches' prophecies and sends murderers to kill Macduff's family. This is probably the most coldblooded act he commits throughout the play.

  1. Character Analysis of Macbeth

    This indicates he is very regretful of almost everything he has done right back to the killing of Duncan. Throughout the course of the play Shakespeare weaves into the storyline small respites in which Macbeth's slowly declining character shows moments that magnifies what is left of the qualities that redeem

  2. Analyse the rise and fall of Macbeth

    The battle for his self-esteem is lost and won. The turning point is at the banquet after Macbeth has been chosen as king.

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

    However, he now began to feel scared. He was conscious about what he had done to Banquo. His ghost haunted him. Again Macbeth showed signs of mental instability. However after killing Banquo, Fleance, his son, fled and got away. This leads to Macbeth trying to seek out the witches again, to find out what the future holds.

  2. Describe how the witches prophecies to Macbeth arefulfilled in the final Act of

    Macbeth takes all honours and words placed upon him. It is decided that they all should move on to Macbeth's castle to bound their newfound friendship. Macbeth decides to ride on to break his glorious news to his wife, on the way he now begins to think like a truly

  1. There Are Many Supernatural Elements In "Macbeth". What Effect Do They Have On The ...

    I think that the witches do evil and harm against ethnical and moral laws in order to scare the audience. Shakespeare uses rhyming couplets and alliteration to express the language "fair is Foul and foul is fair." These words contradict each other and introduce the ideas of illusion.

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

    What is particularly interesting to analyze in this essay, is that both plays revolve around the dichotomy appearance-reality. This can be seen in Hamlet, for instance, on Act III, when Hamlet proposes to represent a reality on stage. The effect that Shakespeare creates is kind of a blur, as it

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