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Compare and Contrast Shakespeare's Presentation of The Character of Macbeth Through The Use of Soliloquy In Act 1 Scene 7 and Act 2 Scene 1.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast Shakespeare's Presentation of The Character of Macbeth Through The Use of Soliloquy In Act 1 Scene 7 and Act 2 Scene 1 So far in Macbeth the Scots have defeated the Norwegians and Macbeth has his prophecy told by three witches. They said that he would become Thane of Cawdor and then king. The king then tells him that due to his bravery he will become Thane of Cawdor. The king also announces that his sons Malcolm and Donalbain will become his heir to the throne. My first impressions of Macbeth were that he was a brave soldier fighting for his country but was twisted more and more as the scene went on by the words of both the three witches and lady Macbeth. When the king told him he would become Thane of Cawdor he seemed to get more excited and he began to think the prospect of becoming king was a reality. You could tell that he wanted to be king because he got very angry when the king announced that his heirs would be his children. I noticed that Macbeth was also quite easily influenced, as both his wife and the witches persuaded him to be more ruthless. ...read more.

Middle

You then see how much Macbeth wants to be king when he says that he would risk his afterlife to be king. This is backed up at the end when he says he has a vaulting ambition to become king. In Macbeth's second soliloquy he is about to go through with the murder and the first thing he says, "Is this a dagger which I see before me". He is hallucinating here and is showing signs of delirium. He then says, "Art though not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight." This means that he wanted to know whether he could touch the dagger as he could see it. He then realises that the dagger was a false creation and pulled out his own. When he says, "Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses, or else worth the rest", Macbeth is trying to work out whether what he is seeing is real. Macbeth then says, "And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood." He is thinking about the murder and all the blood on the dagger. He also pre-empts the murder when he says, "The curtained sleep" which gives a clue to how the murder will be conducted. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another reason is so Shakespeare would be able to create dramatic irony, as the audience already know certain things. The first soliloquy is situated in the castle and what Macbeth is saying is "aside" so nobody else can hear it. The soliloquy takes place after Duncan enters and after Lady Macbeth greets him. The last line before Macbeth's soliloquy is Duncan saying, "Conduct me to mine host: we love him highly, and shall continue our graces towards him." This has been put there because the next line is Macbeth plotting to kill Duncan and this creates a dramatic irony. Between the first and the second soliloquy Lady Macbeth is persuading Macbeth to go through with the murder by first calling him cowardly, and by then reassuring him that nothing will go wrong. This is why Macbeth's mind is made up by the time he starts his second soliloquy. Also between the 2 soliloquy's Macbeth meets Banquo. Banquo starts talking about the 3 witches but Macbeth didn't want to talk about them and after a brief conversation Banquo goes. Shakespeare has put the soliloquy during the murder so the audience knows exactly what is going on in Macbeth's mind before the murder. It also allows for the audience to know exactly when the murder takes place. ...read more.

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