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Choose an important scene from MacBeth. By close reference to the text show how this scene was a turning point in the play.

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Introduction

Choose an important scene from MacBeth. By close reference to the text show how this scene was a turning point in the play. In the play MacBeth, Act 3, Scene 4 is a major turning point in the ploy. This scene, a banquet in the palace, is celebrating his coronation as King. The events in this scene form a turning point for MacBeth, Lady MacBeth and the Lords. In addition, this scene sets in motion the subsequent events that will lead to the deaths of the protagonists and restorations of order in Scotland. Once the guests arrive, they take their places and it appears initially that the banquet will run smoothly throughout. However, the murderer arrived and quietly informed MacBeth that Banquo has been murdered, "My Lord, his throat is cut. That I did for him". MacBeth's joy is short lived as next the murderer tell him that Fleance who was Banquo's son escaped before they were able to kill him, "Most royal sir, Fleance is 'scaped". MacBeth realises that Fleance will want revenge against him for killing Banquo. ...read more.

Middle

MacBeth thinks initially that the ghost is a hoax set up by the others there, but then he realises that it is not. MacBeth shakes his fist at it. As the guests realise that there is something very wrong with MacBeth, Lady MacBeth lies to cover for her husband in the hope that no one will realise what is really the matter. She tells them that MacBeth always got like this from time to time and that there is nothing to worry about. The king points at the apparition in horror and accuses his guests by asking, "Which of you have done this?" He then incriminates himself publicly by denying any wrongdoing: "Thou canst not say I did it." The irony of the moment lies in the fact that none of the other guests, not even Lady MacBeth, can see the ghost; neither do any of them know about Banquo's murder. They can only assume he is referring to Duncan's recent execution, and at this point in time the common belief is that it was accomplished at the hand of Malcolm and Donaldbain. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Act 3, scene 4 MacBeth realises that he has done wrong and his conscience starts to get the better of him, hence the ghost of Banquo which he thinks he sees. This conscience and MacBeth trying to rid himself of evil influences such, as the witches and Lady MacBeth are central to the development of his character. Banquo's ghost is also very symbolic. MacBeth had already "murdered" sleep when he murdered the sleeping Duncan, but until the appearance of Banquo's ghost, he had thought that the dead slept well for eternity, but now he has discovered for himself that they can rise again. This destroys MacBeth's sense of security as he fears that he will not be able to hide from his treacherous deeds even when he is dead. Lady MacBeth tells him that he needs lots of sleep but MacBeth is now scared of it. The supernatural element of the scene could also be a symbol of evil. The panic that MacBeth causes in the scene is similar to the disaster that his reign will turn out to be. MacBeth is not an evil person, but his surroundings and ambition can cause him to engage in evil acts. ...read more.

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