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

Look closely at Act 1. Explore the effects of the supernatural and how the Elizabethan audience would respond to such evocations of witchcraft. - Macbeth

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Look closely at Act 1. Explore the effects of the supernatural and how the Elizabethan audience would respond to such evocations of witchcraft. In the Elizabethan time period, religion played a huge part of societies everyday life, and witchcraft was a major part of the cultures belief, it was thought to be evil, and many people paid the price of death for others accusing them of being witches, so it was a delicate subject for the people of the time. 'Macbeth' focuses around this and uses the people's beliefs to good effect, knowing that they would be drawn to the play and would easily be able to relate back to it, which is what made the tale so popular to begin with. The opening scene sets up an early undercurrent to the whole play, and sets the scene, three witches, gathered around a cauldron, what could be more perfect to play on the minds of the people. ...read more.

Middle

The witches do not say much at all, but the symbolic sense of evil is ever present and looming beneath the play. 'When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or rain?' This is the opening line. It immediately draws the audience and captures their imagination as they begin this journey; the opening with the witches in Macbeth is an excellent choice, because in the Elizabethan era people were fascinated by these supernatural beings. Macbeth's fate is that he will win the battle, but will lose the battle for his soul, he cannot obtain one without the other, and although it has yet to happen, it has already been written. It can be seen already before Macbeth has appeared in the tale, that throughout he will be greatly influenced by the presence of these witches, this creates suspense among the audience. We are also led to believe that not everything is what it seems, and that people cannot be trusted, that 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair', this is ...read more.

Conclusion

In the time of which Shakespeare produced this work, it would never even have been contemplated that a play would portray the countries beloved king being murdered in such a way; Shakespeare has used the audience's imaginations to good effect, which is what makes the play so captivating, the focus of attention around what Elizabethans considered to be evil, witchcraft, being used to commit murder as the people would believe a witch to do. The witch's image is stereotypically what Elizabethans believed them to be, gathered around a cauldron, casting spells, manipulating minds, and just as the witches do, the play manipulates the audience's minds against them. The opening act leads us to believe that all is not what it seems, and that we should look on to find the truth, just as Macbeth must do before he understands what has been clear as day in front of him throughout the play. What we must also understand is that, although the witches show us what Macbeth's fate is, what has already written in his future.....the future can always be changed, 'we must be the change'. Mathew Edwards 11:1 / 11T ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Directing 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 GCSE Directing Macbeth essays

  1. Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 1

    Their faces each vary in appearance. One of them is old and hideous, but one is not so old and not as ugly as the other, and the last one is a lot younger and does not look ugly at all.

  2. The presentation of the witches in the opening scenes is crucial to the atmosphere ...

    Macbeth anticipates a major scene aside on the wonder and theme of kingship. His ambitions had been awakened. It is simple to realise what this production meant to me, I liked it a lot. I enjoyed watching it and it never ceased to amaze me.

  1. Presentation of Macbeth to Elizabethan and Contemporary Audiences

    Which are that men are the stronger sex and therefore rule over the household. The scene would still be presented with the thunder and lightening. When the leitmotif of the play is to be read 'Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair', it shall be read with a sense of

  2. Act 1 scene 1 of "Macbeth" the Scottish tragedy.

    Polanski portrays the witches as being old hags. One in particular has both her eyes out and they are sealed over with skin while another is just old, and bears the many scares of her evil life. In Polanski version the young witch would be better known as an apprentice

  1. How effective an adaptation of the play Macbeth is the film ‘Macbeth on the ...

    No elements that are exclusive to film are used, such as visual effects, making the soliloquies very similar to the originals. This is again because the director only wanted to make subtle changes. The actor can change their character by showing different body language, for example facial expression, and can

  2. Direct a production of Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" focusing in on act 1 scene 1.

    Macduff beheaded Macbeth, and Malcolm; King Duncan's son became king. If I were to sum the play "Macbeth" up in a couple of words, I would say it's a play where ambition can take over and end in a deadly way.

  1. The play Macbeth is a tragedy, dealing with the downfall and death of the ...

    This shows that they like to be hidden from the world. It also gave an outward impression that they are dirty and unclean within. Their faces have a grey tinge to them which gives the impression that they are unearthly beings.

  2. Discuss the openings scenes of the Polanski and Welles' film versions of "Macbeth", considering ...

    All these different audio and visual effects give the viewer a lot to think about in quick succession causing them to feel dizzy and worried. The camera angle helps to make us feel drawn in. When the witches pull out a clay lump and scratch at it to form the

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