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Choose three scenes from Macbeth and show how Shakespeare uses them for dramatic effects and how they reflect the social and historical attitude of the period.

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Introduction

MACBETH BY: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE NAME: Jananie Nandapalan TITLE: Choose three scenes from Macbeth and show how Shakespeare uses them for dramatic effects and how they reflect the social and historical attitude of the period. ASSIGNMENT NUMBER: 5 (M.T) CENTRE: The Holy Cross School CENTRE NUMBER: 14411 Macbeth is one of the most dramatic plays ever written. It opens with witches, encompasses the murder of a king and the appearance of a ghost, and ends in madness, despair and death. The use of supernatural in the script, the witches, the visions, the ghost of Banquo, and the apparition are the key elements, which makes the play more dramatic. Macbeth was written between 1603 and 1606, after the death of Queen Elizabeth-I. On her deathbed, the unmarried and childless queen named James-VI of Scotland as her Successor. He became James-I of England. There is strong evidence that Shakespeare wrote the play with James-I in mind. James-1 and his subjects believed in the Divine Rights of Kings. Shakespeare believed that James-1 was also descended from Banquo and would have wanted to please him. The strong message to everyone would be that the murder of a King is evil and against God and they will be punished. James-I was also interested in the subject of evil sprits, in the possession by sprits and in the power of witchcraft. He wrote a book about it Demonology. Shakespeare's audience were interested in these and most believed in them. The basic story of Macbeth was come from the Chronicles of Scotland by Raphael Holinshed, but Shakespeare changed a lot of details. Macbeth ruled for seventeen years, but in the play the events cover a few months. ...read more.

Middle

The scene is highly dramatic and would have left the audience very excited and tense. The witches know so much about Macbeth. They even know that Duncan has decided to give Macbeth the 'Thane of Cawdor' title. The audience love such dramatic scenes. The thunder and lightening add to the drama of the scene and is the kind of effect, which would have pleased the audience. The witches also disappear at the end. This sudden action creates a great dramatic weather chance, with sudden appearance and disappearance. Macbeth has believed the witches, perhaps because it suited him to do so. The backing of such supernatural creatures gives him the assurance that his ambition to be king is possible after all, if he does but put aside his conscience and bring about the king's death. He struggles against the temptation, but Lady Macbeth's ambition is far more intense than his and she shames him as a coward and by the force of her arguments sways him to agree to her plan to murder Duncan. Macbeth, up to this point, is almost drunk with his own power and ambition. He does not even hesitate to make rash decisions. He is obsessed with reigning as king, but does not realize that what he is doing to make himself more powerful is actually leading him to a tragic and fatal downfall. He is only interested in himself and his power, but does not even take into consideration that his actions are causing him to be less powerful. Macbeth, while trying to stay powerful, also becomes paranoid. He never feels like he is at his height of power, and therefore feels like others were out to take his power away from him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth's ambition is what allowed him to become powerful. Without ambition, it is impossible to achieve goals. Therefore, ambition is what allowed Macbeth to overcome his barrier and come closer to his final goals. As soon as he developed the trait of vaulting ambition, Macbeth is able to make his life fall into place exactly the way he wants it to. He first murders Duncan so that he will become king. Macbeth's ambition is directly the cause of this tragic incident. This murder is in cold evil blood by Macbeth's own hand. Then he ventures on even farther to protect his crown. He proceeds in his evil plans by killing Banquo. This is the climax of the play as well as the height of Macbeth's vaulting ambition. The supernatural atmosphere is charged with evil. In all the supernatural scenes Shakespeare makes the plot move forward, but he always shows that the witches wield the power of evil by speaking in riddles and Macbeth believes what he wants to believe. He interprets their words to suit his witches and in this way evil takes over completely. In my opinion Macbeth becomes a butcher killing all those he suspects of standing in his way. Unfortunately his great ambition destroyed him and his relationship between his wife, friends (Banquo) and King Duncan. He was simply tempted by the witches to commit these acts with the only motive being personal glory and achievements. Only at the end does he realise that the supernatural has deceived him and led him to his doom. "Accursed be that tells me so, For it hath cowed my better part of man. And be these juggling fiends no more believed, That palter with us in a double sense; That keep the word of promise to our ear, And break it to our hope." - Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 8 ...read more.

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