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With the use of textual illustration, describe Macbeth's varying characteristics; discuss the dramatic effect of his encounters with the supernatural elements; and suggest how your opinion of Macbeth may be altered during the course of the play.

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Introduction

25/11/2001 English Coursework Essay With the use of textual illustration, describe Macbeth's varying characteristics; discuss the dramatic effect of his encounters with the supernatural elements; and suggest how your opinion of Macbeth may be altered during the course of the play. By Felix Crosse The play I am writing this essay in description of, is a well-known work of the playwright 'William Shakespeare'. 'Macbeth' is a story of a short period of a Scottish Nobles life, in relation to his actions concerning others. At the start of the play, Macbeth is described as being a kind, yet powerful man, who has battled against Scotland's foes. However as the story continues, it is evident that he is corrupted and destroyed, and by the first few scenes, he has taken the life of his king. The story itself tells us only of his deeds concerning others. It goes into no great detail over other events of the play, and was obviously written originally, to be a play. However brief the account of the play is, this is one of the greatest literary works of Shakespeare, and the fact that Shakespeare is one of the most commonly known authors means that his works cannot be dismissed lightly. ...read more.

Middle

In my opinion, this area of the book is not one that concentrates on Macbeth's confidence, but Macbeth's arrogance, and how his is so sure of himself, he is not even scared of death. Supernatural themes are commonly found throughout the book, and the dramatic effects of using them are among the strongest in the entire book. Using ghosts, and apparitions in the play gives it a somewhat eerie feeling, and the goes on to affect how the characters interact. Each time Macbeth meets with either the witches, or some other supernatural element, he seems to change. It is obvious, from the start, that he is terrified both, by the prospect of murder, and the witches themselves. Taking the second scene involving the witches [act 1, scene 3], it is obvious from this scene alone that the supernatural, used in such a method, creates some kind of void near afterwards. Shakespeare tends to fills that void usually, with confusion, or even conversation between the other parties involved (eg, Macbeth, Banquo), but even as he does, there is still some need for something more. This scene involves the three witches, Macbeth, and Banquo. This is the scene where Macbeth's premonition, via the witches, comes to light, and it is shown that Macbeth will be, "...Thane of Glamis...Thane of Cawdor...and King hereafter..." ...read more.

Conclusion

The witches, in this scene produce predictions about Macbeth, and Banquo, and it is from this original prediction that Macbeth has cause to change. The witches tell him he will be thane of Glamis, Cawdor, and King later. He is already thane of Glamis, and just after he has been told this information, Ross arrives with news of Macbeth being given 'thaneship' of Cawdor, as of the death of another thane. From this point, Macbeth does change. As a direct result of the witches predictions, and the fact that, later in the play he tells his wife of the predictions, Macbeth changes. He becomes more restless, possibly consequential of the murders he (sometimes through assassins) commits. He also becomes more ruthless, not caring about lives he destroys, or even countries. He is ruthless in his quest for power, and that become obvious soon after he kills Banquo (via. assassins). Another thing he becomes, towards the end of the play, is uncontrolled, and (to use a phrase that is not ideal) perhaps mad, with grief at what he has done, and what he is going to do next. This revelation is not surprising, considering what he is done, and how he has almost completely ignored his conscience. In conclusion, the play Macbeth is a complex, but decipherable production. Throughout the play, Macbeth does change, sometimes by great 'leaps', and I believe that I have shown that. English Coursework: Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' By Felix Crosse 1 ...read more.

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