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The Dramatic Importance of the Opening of 'Macbeth'.

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Introduction

The Dramatic Importance of the Opening of 'Macbeth' In this essay, I will explore the aspects of the opening of Macbeth that make it a dramatically effective opening. In Elizabethan times, people were very superstitious and when the witches appear, they would be considered to be evil. The immediate appearance of the supernatural would captivate the Elizabethan audience and create interest. In Elizabethan times, the number three was considered to be a magic number so the fact there are three witches, and later three murderers and also three apparitions, creates more supernatural aspects in the play. At the end of scene one, the witches exeunt in a supernatural manner. The three witches 'hover' away, certifying to the audience that these three old women are witches. The atmosphere in the opening of the play was also very important. ...read more.

Middle

In the opening scene though, the witches predict that they will meet Macbeth creating immediate interest. Through the juxtapositioning of the two views of the same character, it brings doubt in the audience as to whether Macbeth is as brave, noble, and loyal like the Captain says he is or whether he will be evil and untrustworthy like the witches. Our interest and questioning is maintained when Macbeth and Banquo first meet the witches, Macbeth says 'so fair and foul a day I have not seen', which probably refers to winning the battle and the eerie weather, but there is also the relation to the witches line 'fair is foul, and foul is fair' which I feel gives the audience more information than the characters so creates dramatic irony. Macbeth and Banquo also hear the witches salute Macbeth not only as his title but titles he doesn't possess such as King of Scotland. ...read more.

Conclusion

The introduction of the witches' powering the first scene adds to the dramatic effectiveness of the opening. It is important because the rest of the play revolves around the witches' predictions and whether they come true. In most Shakespearean tragedies, the play revolves around a man climbing to a high status, and then taking a dramatic fall through a fatal character flaw; in Macbeth's case it is ambition and greed. He climbs from a thane or a lord, to king of Scotland by evil, treason, treachery and murder, then is slain by Macduff at the end. The opening to Macbeth is dramatically important, as it is here where we first discover the witches' talent to predict which is what the main plot revolves around. Also an eerie, suspicious and daunting atmosphere is created, and together with the supernatural aspects, the opening is very memorable, and also anticipating as the audience wants to know whether or not the predictions will come true. Ashley Lansiquot page 1 ...read more.

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