• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the effectiveness of the opening three scenes of Macbeth

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the effectiveness of the opening three scenes of 'Macbeth' Macbeth is a thrilling tragedy based on a mans lack of control over greed. A play that shows his downfall from being a noble lord who was in a close circle with the king, to losing all his morals. This escalated into his death. Its set in Scotland as it is somewhat known to be a nation of things such as blood feuds. Macbeth is a play associated with the supernatural. It is a theme throughout the play because it has reoccurrences from beginning to end. Examples of this would be the three witches. They appear right at the start where Macbeth is first mentioned. They have visions and further on tell Macbeth he will become thane of Cawdor and then king. This triggers off his arrogance. They then reappear to tell him that he will not die from anything human. The audience are repeatedly getting reminded that the play has a supernatural theme to it. A flying dagger also appears along with all of Macbeths strange hallucinations. Macbeth was written during the Elizabethan era. At that period of time the society had a very strong belief that witches and witchcraft was in existence. People would blame unexplainable events on witchcraft. These things would often include when people died from terrible diseases, an animals death, bad harvesting, and houses burnt down in fires. ...read more.

Middle

In Act one Scene two there is a dramatic contrast to the opening scene. In the first scene there is a mysterious and quite a scary theme but in scene two it turns cheerful. The witches are gone and no elements of the supernatural are now presented. It seems like they have skipped a few scenes as it goes from the three witches riddle to then after the battle. There is no information about the battle except from this scene where they are only talking about its past events. The good king Duncan hears the news on how the battle went in this scene. He gets told how heroically Macbeth and Banquo have fought against Macdonwald and his band of rebels; and then against the Norwegians and the Scottish traitor. King Duncan, Sergeant and Ross now views Macbeth as a brave warrior. 'For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name' is how the sergeant describes him to be. This shows the respect and appreciation they have for him. They now portray Macbeth to be a noble gentleman and an idol that should be looked up to. At this point in the play the audience will also think highly of Macbeth by his description without even laying eyes on him yet. Whilst the sergeant carries on talking about Macbeth he then says 'Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, till he unseam'd him from nave to the chaps'. ...read more.

Conclusion

In my opinion the first three scenes of Macbeth are very effective as an opening to the play. It has already showcased the main points of the play with not giving away too much information to make it predictable. It leaves the audience to ask questions to themselves to query what is going to happen next. The theme has been shown in the play by mixing the supernatural and the not. It is also showing how the play is all about power and the hierarchy that Macbeth is climbing up on. Then telling the audience that battles are something that's going to occur throughout this play by having the first three scenes based around one. The opening would have been more effective to an Elizabethan audience as opposed to a modern audience. The modern audience would find it a lot harder to understand the language that's being used as it has changed from when the play was written. The Elizabethan audience believed in the supernatural so it would have been more intense to watch. The play is based around things that might of happened around the Elizabethan era. They can relate the play more to their real lives. Whereas for a modern day audience, witches are not something that we talk about in our everyday lives so we cannot relate the play to our own experience. This might make the Elizabethan audience understand the play more. By Cat Malcolm ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. The Doctor's journal

    When the servant came to warn Macbeth of the approaching soldiers, he called him a 'lily-liver'd boy', for no apparent reason, and I found this quite distressing, as when King Duncan was around he wouldn't curse his servants, he would speak to them with respect and dignity.

  2. Explore and evaluate Shakespeare's use of the supernatural in Macbeth, supporting your answer with ...

    The supernatural also adds to Macbeth on a dramatic level, and is used to create suspense, embellish themes of the play and to accentuate the characters personalities, amongst other things. As previously mentioned, the supernatural encompasses hallucinations, and Macbeth's hallucination of a dagger is a great dramatic device to give the audience the full, haunting extent of Macbeth's inner turmoil.

  1. Macbeth - discuss the first four scenes.

    I think the witches are evil, as in act 1, scene 3, on the second line, it says that they have been "killing swine." This implies they kill for fun. It also sounds as if she was boasting to her companions as if it was a competition.

  2. Illustrate How The Play Develops As A Tragedy And Analyse The Relative Elements In ...

    Having said that, what is certain though is although he has committed several brutal murders, Macbeth's sense of guilt also illustrates he is not pure evil, because his guilt expresses, in one form, his regret. Whilst exploring these flaws, Shakespeare carefully manipulates the audience to achieve very precise reactions, though

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work