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Discuss what is interesting and significant about Act Three Scene Four of Macbeth in the careers and relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

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Introduction

Discuss what is interesting and significant about Act Three Scene Four of Macbeth in the careers and relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. One of the most significant scenes of the play Macbeth is act three scene four, at which point we see the first public event where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are seen as King and Queen amongst Lords, the most vitally important of their subjects that they need to impress. This scene is a major turning point in the play because it shows an important point in the Macbeths' careers as well as in their relationship. When Macbeth starts to see the ghost of Banquo, this shows Macbeth's guilt and the belief of the supernatural in that period. This and the appearance of the murderer are the two interruptions in the scene that spoil the banquet. These interruptions and Macbeth's strange behaviour and speech of seeing Banquo make the Lords slightly suspicious and force Lady Macbeth to cover up for him. The end of the scene is the pivotal moment in the play in which we witness a reversal in their relationship. In this scene Macbeth, the new King, hosts a banquet to show his eminence. At the beginning of the scene Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are in state as King and Queen and appear equal in their relationship. They have succeeded in their joint career and they feel that their throne is secure. ...read more.

Middle

For example 'thou canst not say I did it', could make the lords suspicious as he says it as if he's hiding his guilt. However at this point I don't think the Lords notice what he is saying and just think he is unwell or mentally unstable. Lady Macbeth quickly starts to cover for Macbeth saying: 'Sit worthy friends. My lord is often thus; and hath been from his youth. Pray you keep seat.' This shows her pretending that Macbeth often has fits and that nothing is wrong and that the guests should stay sat down and not come over to him. She probably doesn't want the Lords to hear what Macbeth is saying in case he gives something away. This is in context with a theme of the play which is covering up and pretence. Another example of this is 'and make our faces vizards to our hearts' for instance said by Macbeth in act three scene two. I think this means that their faces must mask their hearts, or, in other words, they must hide their true feelings. I think that Macbeth says this to Lady Macbeth so that they can hide the murder they have done. However, when Macbeth says: 'if charnel-houses and our graves must send those that we bury, back, our monuments shall be the maws of kites.' ...read more.

Conclusion

However, unlike the ghost that Hamlet and his friends see at the beginning of 'Hamlet', (another one of Shakespeare's plays,) only Macbeth can see Banquo's ghost so it is a ghost in Macbeth's imagination. (From 'York Notes Advanced - Macbeth') To summarize the effects of this short but dense scene, we see, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, at the beginning of the scene, appearing to be strong and successful in their joint career. However, by the end of the scene, Lady Macbeth is having doubts about her husband's ability to carry off the murders and the audience at this point can foresee Macbeth's downfall. This is significant because of the Divine Right of Kings' speech (James I) suggesting that the King is appointed by God. Therefore, as Macbeth should not really be king he cannot succeed. This scene is interesting and a significant part of the play because it is a pivotal moment for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The scene starts with them showing off their achievements at their feast and ends with the guests hurriedly being asked to leave. Also, by the end of the scene, the Lords feel a bit suspicious about Macbeth. As well as Macbeth getting stronger towards the end of the scene and Lady Macbeth getting weaker towards the end, a reversal in their career and relationship, they are also starting to drift apart as Macbeth starts to plot without her. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alexandra Mente Imberhorne 65217 April 2008 4153 Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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