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Director’s Notes For Act Three, Scene Four Of Macbeth

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Director's Notes For Act Three, Scene Four Of Macbeth By Owain Bristow, 10E3 The play 'Macbeth' is about murder, betrayal, the supernatural and the psychological and real struggle between good and evil elements. Macbeth has murdered King Duncan and gained the crown for himself, but he is still fearful of enemies and trusts no one. In the preceding scene he has just had Banquo murdered because of his suspicions and he still has lingering guilt for murdering the King. This scene, scene four, act three, is important because it exposes Macbeth's weaknesses and also shows that he can experience the human qualities of fear, and remorse more so than before in the play. The events of the scene cause Macbeth to realise that this is only the beginning, there is no going back and that he must face the consequences of his actions. In the scene a banquet is being held, hosted by Macbeth, who informed by a murderer at the beginning of Banquo's murder and Fleance's escape. A ghost then appears, Banquo's ghost, which can only be seen by Macbeth. This causes him to act oddly, which makes his guests feel uncomfortable and angers his wife. In the end the feast is ended, the guests leave and Macbeth informs his wife of his fears and suspicions. The main characters involved in this scene are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and to a lesser extent Ross, Lennox and the first Murderer, with the other guests, ten to twenty, in the background. I would like to portray Macbeth as a wild person, possessed by fear and weighed down by guilt and regret, his wife a contrast being a picture of calm and apparent contentment. ...read more.


They will also be surprised that a man such as Macbeth is showing such great fear for the first time. The ghost of Banquo that Macbeth sees cannot be seen by anyone else, including the audience. This is to make Macbeth appear like a madman and to illustrate the fact that he is isolated, living in a different world from anybody else, seeing different images and hearing different voices. The ghost is something created by Macbeth's mind because of worry and fear, not a real supernatural apparition. Lady Macbeth's words: "are you a man?" line fifty eight, echo around Macbeth repeatedly, the other goings on seem to freeze except for the spot lit area containing himself and his wife, that represents their mutual isolation. All Lady Macbeth's lines are spoken slowly and cruelly, starting as a whisper and building up to a loud croak as she tries to stifle her emotion, emphasis is placed on the beginning of each line, "O proper stuff! This is the very painting of your fear;" (Line sixty-one-quieter), "You look but on a stool." (Line sixty-eight-loud croak). Lady Macbeth is very cross with her husband for on the inside, for interrupting their feast, and mystified as to why he is behaving so oddly, she can't understand the feelings on his mind. Macbeth shouts his next line, " Prithee see there! behold! look! lo! how say you?", (line sixty-nine). He continues in more subdued tones, gesturing with his hands to something he can see in front of him. As the guests and the background gradually come back into view Lady Macbeth angrily exclaims, "Fie, for shame!" ...read more.


with resignation, with a long yawn in between them, but still retain their rhyme, "Strange things I have in head that will to hand, Which must be acted ere they may be scann'd." (Lines one hundred and thirty nine and forty). They leave the stage on opposite sides emphasizing the gulf between them, as the lights dim Macbeth makes his final statement that echoes around the empty hall, "We are yet but young in the deed." (line one hundred and forty-four). The audience has seen many contrasts during this scene, order to chaos, wildness and calmness and confidence and fear. They have seen Macbeth deteriorate from a happy host to a creature possessed with mistrust and fear. They will realise that he is too far into his crime to go back and too full of suspicion to admit his guilt to anyone willingly. Lady Macbeth has not really changed in the audiences' minds, still being careful, cunning and using false charm. However, towards the end of the scene she got angrier than she had been since before Duncan's murder, so the audience will have realised that she too has weaknesses that could be further exposed. They will also be left wondering about certain things like, will Macbeth's actions raise a large amount of suspicion among the lords or will they believe his wife's story? how many more people will Macbeth have to murder to satisfy his mind?, what will the witches reveal to Macbeth?, and finally, is this the beginning of the end?, how much further will Lord and Lady Macbeth's relationship go until it breaks down completely? And, will Macbeth be overthrown? End ...read more.

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