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'Macbeth is full of highly dramatic scenes. Choose two scenes and explore how Shakespeare creates dramatic effects through his dialogue, setting, character and plot development.

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Introduction

English coursework MACBETH. Hayley Pearcy 11Gio 'Macbeth is full of highly dramatic scenes. Choose two scenes and explore how Shakespeare creates dramatic effects through his dialogue, setting, character and plot development. I have chosen the two scenes, Act 1 scene 3 and Act 3 scene 4 to demonstrate how dramatic effects are used by Shakespeare, as I believe these scenes are the most dramatic and versatile for theatre production as they can be interpreted in spectacular ways. They are also focal scenes of the play. When William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, in the early 17th century, England was under the reign of King James ?. This had a great effect on the content of the play. Shakespeare used certain elements that King James would have approved of such as the divine right of kings and the supernatural. These are just a few. So Macbeth has been particularly influenced by its era. During my research into the play I watched one film version produced by Roman Polanski and also a Harrogate Theatre production of the play. In Act 1 scene 3, Macbeth and Banquo are returning from battle. The weird sisters have congregated on a heath near Forres in wait of them. This is where they planned to meet earlier in the first scene of the play. Upon meeting, the witch's make prophesies as to the futures of both Macbeth and Banquo. Both characters take the prophecies differently and soon after, one of Macbeth's prophecies comes true. He is given the title 'Thane of Cawdor'. This is the title held previously by their arch rival, the Thane responsible for the disruption of Scotland. Macbeth is left troubled at the end of the scene by the truth of the witch's predictions. The witch's play an extremely important part in this scene and subsequently the whole play. The relevance to the supernatural ties in with the era of the play and the superstitions of the audiences for which the play was written. ...read more.

Middle

The drama is created, as the audience are curious to see how Macbeth is going to react considering his noticeable inconsideration already for what is morally correct. 'And for an earnest of a great honour, He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor;' Macbeth reacts by questioning to himself if the witch's predictions are good or evil. If they are evil then why should two good things come from them? 'If ill, why hath it given me earnest of success,' If they are good then why does Macbeth react in such a violent way? 'If good, why do I yield to that suggestion, Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,' We notice that Macbeth introduces the idea of murder, something that the witches never mentioned. 'My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,' He is already considering becoming king, with no consideration for the important title that he has just received, Thane of Cawdor. He seems mesmerized to reach his new goal of becoming king. The fact that Banquo's children are predicted to be kings after Macbeth is dead also seems to trouble Macbeth. This leaves the question in our minds of, would Macbeth kill his best friend's children in order to keep his own in line to the throne? This would have had great effect on the audience of the time, as they strongly believed that witches were completely evil and they also respected the importance of the king. Murdering the king would be a serious offence. Here is a character questioning these two ideas, something that the people of the time wouldn't have dreamed of. The audiences would have been inquisitive as to the outcome of this traitor of their strong beliefs. The clothing theme is carried on again at this stage, Macbeth says, 'Why do you dress me in borrowed robes?' when he is given the previous Thane of Cawdor's robes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth is terrified by the ghost and feels overpowered by it. His speech is full of powerful metaphors describing Banquo to give him a strong image. 'Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear Thou armed rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger.' To the audience, this can be seen as slightly ironic as this powerful ghost has just been killed by the man who now fears it so much. An explanation of Macbeth's fear would be that the ghost has triggered Macbeth to realise that even in death he may have to live in turmoil, that he may not be at peace. Banquo's ghost has also come back to accuse Macbeth of his murder, maybe it is at this point that Macbeth realises the horrific things that he has done but knows that it is too late to turn back. Macbeth's royal status decreases in the presence of Banquo's ghost. This change in state doesn't go unnoticed by the royal subjects who are present in the room. They are intrigued by Macbeth's behaviour and inquire on what Macbeth is seeing whilst also acting innocent to lessen the embarrassment of the royal couple on Macbeth's strange behaviour. Having his subjects present at Macbeth's clear change of state and mental laps creates another element of excitement and drama to the audience. It indicates a beginning of a lesser focus on Macbeth and his inward turmoils and an increased focus on the larger cast and the question of 'will Macbeth give himself away? The indication that his subjects may be suspecting something and the absence of Macduff at the banquet creates this new driving force for the play. Lady Macbeth carries along another image of the play at this point. She talks to Macbeth about sleep. 'You lack the season of all natures, sleep.' This echoes a previous riddle by the witches. They talk about a pilot's thumb and that his ship is to be tossed and turned until the pilot cannot sleep. This could parallel with Macbeth in the way that he is going to create turmoil for Scotland resulting in him not being able to sleep. ...read more.

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