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Analysis of language in Shakespeare: Macbeth.

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Introduction

Analysis of language in Shakespeare: Macbeth Throughout his writings William Shakespeare cleverly uses language and structure to manipulate the minds of the audience and to create effect. Throughout act one of Macbeth, Shakespeare uses rhythm to create spell like dialogue and soliloquies. Shakespeare begins the play with a meeting between the three witches, people who are always associated with evil doings involving magic and spells. In the time that Macbeth was written there was a huge fascination with the practice of witchcraft throughout Europe; witches were feared and there were many theories about how they met and what their spells were. Spells were popularly believed to be set in a rhythm and in rhyme. Shakespeare uses both these characteristics in the dialogue between the first two witches, even though this is not a spell. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare takes the first soliloquy of the play to introduce the audience to the character of Lady Macbeth. The lady has received word that her husband has been made Thane of Cawdor. She is also somehow aware of the witches prophecy - be it through her husband or black magic - and is determined to make sure it is carried out. This soliloquy is very prayer like. The lady keeps willing the evil forces to come forth and pluck her femininity from her. She prays to them to remove all things required to be a mother and requests that she is no longer charitable. This gives us an initial impression that Lady Macbeth is a dark, evil and angry character - something that the audience will carry throughout the entire play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Initially Macbeth comes across as an 'arse kisser' towards King Duncan and Malcolm. Once Macbeth learns that Malcolm will be the next King we learn how he really feels in a brief soliloquy. In this soliloquy Shakespeare uses a rhyme and rhythm pattern again. This may be an attempt by Shakespeare to give the audience the impression that Macbeth has been 'possessed' by the witches' spell. It is also a complete contrast to what Macbeth has been saying to the King and the Prince of Cumberland moments before. It is the beginning of Macbeth's scheming and working out what he has to do to become King, not congratulating Malcolm as he had been. It shows how two faced Macbeth is - something which occurs throughout the play. Shakespeare uses language to manipulate the audience in many ways; to plant ideas in their minds; to subtlety give character profiles to the audience and to disclose the true characters - especially with Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. I ...read more.

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