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Compare and contrast Shakespeare's presentation of the character of Macbeth through the use of soliloquy in Act 1 scene7 and Act 2 scene 1 of

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Introduction

Compare and contrast Shakespeare's presentation of the character of Macbeth through the use of soliloquy in Act 1 scene7 and Act 2 scene 1 of "Macbeth" Soliloquies are frequently used in many places as a dramatic device. A soliloquy is when, in a play for example, the speaker speaks to himself and the audience while those in the background either freeze or continue on as if the speaker isn't speaking at all. The soliloquy is used so the speaker ca put across his thoughts, like freezing a play in the middle of an act to confide in the audience his or her feelings. The first soliloquy in "Macbeth" for instance tells you his feelings and perspective on the upcoming events. Soliloquies are used to the audience can see what is going on in the speakers mind. Often the speaker will give a running commentary if he is in the process of doing something. Macbeth's character changes a lot in the duration of the play, and you can see him slowly changing throughout. At the start of the play, we first hear of Macbeth as the witches speak. Now the audience know that he is the main character and we hear his name mentioned. As witches are seen as ugly, evil creatures, we can gather from this that something bad could be happening soon. Witches aren't associated with good or happy things so the audience would be expecting something sinister to happen. Next it cuts to a battlefield where the King meets with a wounded captain, who then speaks extremely highly of Macbeth in this battle that has been fought. He is described as "brave Macbeth" and we are told, "he well deserves that name." So we know that Macbeth must be fairly important, as the King obviously knows of him, he is a captain and he is renowned on the battlefield. As the witches reappear in front of Macbeth and his friend Banquo in the next scene, they hail him Thane of Glamis, Cawdor and King. ...read more.

Middle

is merely Macbeth thinking aloud. He tries to grab the dagger but cannot. He says, " I have thee not, yet I see thee still" He seems remarkably calm at seeing a dagger in the air, it's not exactly expected of Macbeth after seeing him being quite unstable in the first soliloquy. Next he talks to the dagger, interrogating it almost: "art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight?" This is more of Macbeth really thinking aloud, providing a commentary in a way. It's effective as it shows how calm he is as he just questions the dagger. Here he asks it if it is sensitive to touch as well as to sight. He also calls it a fatal vision, firstly because he knows he can only see it, not touch it and because he may be thinking it could hurt him but probably because dagger can be fatal. He then wonders if it's just "a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain." Now he wonders whether it is just a hallucination, a false creation as he says. Heat-oppressed brain is used to say that perhaps it has been created because Macbeth is feverish as he explores all possibilities here. He then says he sees the dagger "in form as palpable as this which I now draw." As he says this he draws his own dagger and compares it to the dagger he sees. He finds it is a replica of his own. When he says palpable he means that the dagger he sees is very lifelike, but it can't be touched, much like a hallucination. He goes on to say, "thou marshall'st me the way that I was going; and such an instrument I was to use." Here he is saying that the dagger was leading him in the direction that he was going, and it was an instrument he was going to use. ...read more.

Conclusion

soliloquy going through reasons not to is because I think that he subconsciously feels that he has to do this, of course I doubt that he'd think about that idea himself because of his loyalty to his wife. The second soliloquy is different though, as he is much more confident on the idea, yet you get the feeling that he still isn't too sure. He talks of murder pretty confidently but you get the feeling that he does it to reassure himself. For example he says, "Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives", this meaning he doesn't want to talk of it any more because he will lose his nerve, showing signs that he is only saying this to convince himself more, indicating that he still is unsure so he has to still convince himself. To me, it seems that he is convincing himself because of that fact he feels that he has to do this. I think that with the 1st one, it would change more of the audiences views because it is, in my opinion more dramatic, and a bit easier to understand, and his emotions would show what he is going through, yet in the 2nd I think less would have their opinions changed because he seems a lot calmer and more confident and I feel that those more confident with their understanding of the play would have a deeper understanding of how Macbeth is actually changing underneath the surface, while others may just see it as him being more confident and him changing for the better. It shows the different ways Macbeth can be interpreted, either as him being pushed into this, perhaps having an effect on him later on, the dagger illusion being just the start while it could be interpreted as Macbeth becoming more confident of himself, and slowly losing his emotion of guilt. It could be interpreted that this was the first step to him becoming the cruel and unforgiving character he later becomes. ...read more.

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