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Discuss the dramatic effects achieved in this extract, and comment on its importance to the play.

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Introduction

Discuss the dramatic effects achieved in this extract, and comment on its importance to the play. This extract is located in the scene where it dramatises a feast, which is the first formal and community occasion of Macbeth's reign. It is also the famous ghost scene and is one of the most dramatic scenes in the play. Onstage stands a table heaped with a feast. This extract started by the ghost of Banquo enters anew. This extract can be divided to two halves: the return of the ghost again and when all the nobles have left, the conversation Macbeth had with Lady Macbeth. The first part of the extract is the banquet that is going on and is when the ghost reappear. At the beginning of the banquet we expect a harmony as a feast like this shall express the harmony between the king and his subjects. But by now Macbeth has violated this, and as Banquo's spectre reappears and it shocks Macbeth into further reckless outbursts. In the BBC Video Version of Macbeth, we start to see there is this sudden physical separation between Macbeth and the nobles. While Macbeth talks in great horror and bursts into madness at an empty seat, the nobles watch in great horror and are quite surprised as they can't see the ghost. ...read more.

Middle

[From Sparks Note] Here, the appearance of Banquo's silent ghost and later in the play the reappearance of the witches all symbolize the corruption of Scotland's political and moral health. In place of the dramatization of Macbeth's acts of despotism, Shakespeare uses the scenes involving supernatural elements to increase the audience's sense of foreboding and ill omen. When Macbeth's political transgressions are revealed, Scotland's dire situation immediately registers, because the transgressions of state have been predicted by the disturbances in nature. In Macbeth's moral landscape, loyalty, honor, and virtue serve as weak or nonexistent constraints against ambition and the lust for power. In the physical landscape that surrounds him, the normal rules of nature serve as weak constraints against the horrific ghost of Banquo and the grotesqueries of the witches. Also given the role that Banquo's character plays in Macbeth, it is appropriate that he and not Duncan should haunt Macbeth. Like Macbeth, Banquo heard the witches' prophecies and entertained ambitions. But, unlike Macbeth, Banquo took no criminal action. His actions stand as a rebuke to Macbeth's behaviour and represent a path taken, in which ambition need not beget bloodshed. The second part of this extract is the conversation that Macbeth had with Lady Macbeth when all the nobles have left. ...read more.

Conclusion

His only choice, he claims, is to continue his violence and his tyranny. So it seems to have only taken a matter of days for peace under Macbeth's rule to disintegrate. This extract is very important in the play, we now have a full idea of what the royal couples are really like. We see from this passage how quickly Macbeth can change. As the ghost reappear, we see there is great disturbance in Macbeth's state of mind, so from here we see the coward side of him. But just like before the horror that exist in his heart will quickly disappear. And he knows, he has already given himself to the devil. Lady Macbeth on the other hand, also changes, her boldness started to decline every day, and she can't depend on Macbeth as Macbeth no longer needs her anymore. It looks like that Macbeth has gained all Lady Macbeth's strong characteristics, and gives all his cowardice to her. So Lady Macbeth from here on is haunted daily by the murders they committed, eventually her conscience makes her mad and drives her to suicide. Also from this scene we start to see the collapse of Macbeth reign - his disorder is now spread all around Scotland, this is very important, as this plays suggests to us that only a good king will able to rule a country well. ...read more.

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