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What Is the dramatic impact of Act 1 Scenes 1 and 3 of Macbeth, and how do these scenes relate to the play as a whole

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What Is the dramatic impact of Act 1 Scenes 1 and 3 of Macbeth, and how do these scenes relate to the play as a whole Macbeth is a supernatural play, and to people in Elizabethan times this play would have been very frightening. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I the public were increasingly preoccupied with witchcraft. Contemporary audiences would not believe in witchcraft or the supernatural. In both of the scenes I am studying there are three witches and in scene 3 Macbeth is introduced to them so he is now to be associated with the witches from the beginning. Act1 Scene 1 is started in an open place with thunder and lightning (in Elizabethan times it was believed that fierce storms released forces of evil, and were omens of unrest in individual people and whole countries). The witches start by saying "when shall we meet again, Thunder, lightning or rain?" Indicating that they come out when 'forces of evil' are about. "When the hurly burly is done" this tells us there is war or battles in commence. "There to meet with Macbeth" This interests the audience who are thinking who is he and want learn more about him, what is so important about him that the witches must meet with him. ...read more.


Banquo is both shocked and surprised by the appearance of the witches. He says " So withered, and so wild... and yet on't?" They look nothing like humans but they have some human characteristics. This mystery is reinforced when he cant tell whether they are male or female " You should be woman and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so." This also suggests that the witches are a hybrid of man and woman adding to the mysterious atmosphere. Each witch greets Macbeth differently Thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor and "that shalt be king hereafter". Theses are the two prophecies, which are told to Macbeth. He is the Thane of Glamis, but not the other two. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony because the audience know that he is Thane of Cawdor but he does not. Banquo asks what the witches have to say to him. They say Banquo's descendants will be kings "Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none." This is the first indication that there is a potential conflict between Macbeth and Banquo because although the witches say that Macbeth will become king, it is Banquo's descendants that will succeed him. ...read more.


The two prophecies come true. The wood from Birnam wood is cut down and used as camouflage to get close to the castle. Macbeth is finally killed by Mac Duff who is not born by women because he was given birth to by caesarean section. Macbeth is a supernatural play, which is determined by prophecies and apparitions, the play is a battle between good and evil. The appearance and the prophecies of the supernatural element of the witches drive the whole plot of Macbeth. Without them the actions of the characters would be completely different. The emergence of the witches in the first scene shows how vital they are. The scenes also show how easily Macbeth is influenced by the external events. He could, for instance, have ignored the witch's prophecies. It is a weakness in his character that he believes them. He also sows the seeds of his own downfall when he later tries to make the witches prophecies come true. Maybe it is his excessive ambition combined with that of his wife that leads both of them to their tragic deaths. Christopher Perry 11G1 ...read more.

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