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

At the start of the play, King Duncan refers to Macbeth as ‘worthy gentleman’. But at the end, he has become a ‘dead butcher’.Who is to blame for this decline?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Macbeth Coursework James Birchall 10G At the start of the play, King Duncan refers to Macbeth as 'worthy gentleman'. But at the end, he has become a 'dead butcher'. Who is to blame for this decline? A) Witches B) Lady Macbeth C) The man himself Background Shakespeare is based in the early 17th century. There are many features of the play, which are different to the modern day. Lady Macbeth is a classic example as she is described as pure evil and the most villainess ever written in English literature. This view is totally opposite to present day as she is described as a very confident individual who many of the feminists of the modern day would admire and look up to. She is described as evil, then, because she is confident and knows her aims in life (Queen of Scotland) and she would do anything to get to where she wants to go. Another example is the witches, they are described as evil that possesses incredible powers, and the people feared them then, as they were very superstitious. The modern day witches don't exist as they are now only described in fairy tales. Witches The prophecies that were told by the witches were one of the factors, which contributed to this decline. Even though the witches were only in the play for 3 scenes they still play a major role in the decline of Macbeth. Witches during the 17th century were taken very seriously, unlike nowadays. They were seen as agents of the Devil, as they had an array of mysteriously powers, e.g. to curse and to levitate. However, they did not actually commit any murders in the play. In the modern day witches are recognised as old myths and many people have used this to benefit themselves, by putting them in movies and T.V shows etc., and they are viewed as fictional characters, much like vampires. ...read more.

Middle

Even till destruction sicken, answer me To what I ask you." Macbeth is more evil than before at the point of the third and final encounter with the witches. They visualise and conjure up images of Macduff, saying that he is a threat to Macbeth. They also prophesise that "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth". This meeting inspires him to kill the Macduff family. I feel that the witches promote evil and treat everybody with cruelty and brutality. However they do not suggest to Macbeth to kill Duncan, but they spark off a reaction in Macbeth. Banquo sees the witches for what they are. They cause Macbeth to stumble along his disires (King of Scotland). They achieve what they want by tempting him with their prophecies and the witches cleverly outwit him at every step. All the Witches ever wanted to do is tell the truth, Macbeth hears what he wants to hear, the witches give Macbeth a false security. At the end of the banquet scene he is going to find the witches, this is the turning point, he has lost all fear. The witches acknowledges that he is wicked. They create the climate for evil but don't carry out the deeds. Lady Macbeth Lady Macbeth is described to be the most famous villainess in English literature, seen in Shakespeare's day as pure evil. If we described Lady Macbeth in the 21st century, she is totally the opposite, and can be described as a very confident and she knows her aims in life (wants the best for her and her husband). A typical woman in the 17th century can be described as a housewife and a very supportive to the husband i.e. Lady Macduff would be seen as a 'good' woman, trying to protect her children, Lady Macduff: "the poor wren, the diminutive of birds, will fight, her young ones in her nest, against the owl". ...read more.

Conclusion

This must have annoyed Macbeth as he was hoping for the crown and so this would have shocked him to do something irrational. Macbeth needs the public acclaim and popularity, which he feels he deserves for saving Scotland. Macbeth: "I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people" :His wife. After killing Duncan, Macbeth feels a sense of insecurity and so kills the two grooms. Macbeth is very superstitious and this is shown when he believes the prophecy the witches told him that Banquo's offspring would become kings. Macbeth doesn't even tell his wife his wife that he has sent murderers to kill Banquo, he does this by himself and he wasn't advised in any way. As we see the play progress, Macbeth begins to take control and he has a lot more confidence, such as being very dominating even with the witches. His aggression is very high and this is why he has declined to a 'dead butcher'. His aggression is high because of the fact that he can't do anything about what he has done and he knows that he will die. This aggression comes from the fact that he doesn't have control like last time, as he was very confident that know one will kill him. His aggression is from the pity he is feeling over himself, that he can't do anything about what becomes of him. The murders, which occurred, were due to Macbeth's insecurity (two grooms), ambition to be king (Duncan) and because there was evidence to point the finger at Macbeth for these murders, he kills Banquo. Conclusion Looking at the possibilities of whom to blame for the decline of Macbeth, it is inconclusive due to joint blame of the decline of Macbeth. The witches started off as they predicted that they would be Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. Then Lady Macbeth pursued Macbeth to carry out the killing of Duncan, and Macbeth continued the massacre by killing the two grooms and ordering the kill of Banquo and Lady Macduff and her children. ...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 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 Macbeth essays

  1. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal, valiant warrior ...

    The witches' prophecy is underway. Macbeth is clearly shocked and so protests to the title by saying "why do you dress me in borrowed robes?" which reveals he senses he doesn't belong in that role. It never even crossed his mind, as he doesn't think he deserves the role which shows his modesty.

  2. Does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as good or evil?

    What we have to remember is that people in Shakespearean times were very superstitious and whatever that they thought was evil, would have to be abolished as shown with the witch trials which were very common at the time. Therefore the scene in which we meet Lady Macbeth wouldn't be

  1. Discuss the role of Lady Macbeth in the play. Is it Lady Macbeth or ...

    Lady Macbeth replies, 'Know you not he has?' I believe she would ask this question quite firmly; she wants Duncan to be oblivious to any negative feelings Macbeth may have. Macbeth goes straight to the point and out lines his reasons, 'We will proceed no further in this business'; 'He

  2. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    This most certainly would have delighted King James I, as this ties in with the theme of the Divine Right of Kings doctrine by which James ruled. The single line that encapsulates Macbeth's personality on the battlefield and the audience's perception of Macbeth is "Till he unseamed him from the

  1. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    The single line that encapsulates Macbeth's personality on the battlefield and the audience's perception of Macbeth is "Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chaps And fixed his head upon our battlements." The first part of this line ("Till...Chaps")

  2. At the end of the play, Malcolm calls Macbeth a butcher and Lady Macbeth ...

    by what has happened he says, "They pluck out mine eyes," this quote shows that Macbeth's eyes are almost falling out of his head at the sight of his bloody hands and he is emotionally scared by seeing all blood.

  1. What contribution do the Witches make to the play Macbeth?

    It is here we notice that the Witches have infected him as he says `nature seems dead' and uses evil images and words such as `witchcraft' `wicked' and `howl'. The witches also have a major contribution to Banquo's death as Macbeth remembers that they `hailed him father to a line of kings'.

  2. What factors lead Macbeth to kill Duncan?

    She is also very unfeminine - almost all wives at the time of Macbeth would just stay home and keep house, yet she is brutal when she talks about how she would have "dashed the brains" out of her infant.

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