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GCSE: Macbeth

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  1. The changes in Macbeth's character

    At the start of the play Macbeth is eulogized by everyone including the King and fellow noblemen. For his bravery in the war which he fought to defend his King and country: "Brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name" Macbeth is extolled like a hero throughout the opening of the play. Also, (in the end of act 1, scene 2 and line 67): "What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won" this quote shows that Duncan rewards Macbeth for his sacrifice, bravery, patriotism and loyalty throughout the war. However, as the play progresses the audience, notice the beginnings of a slight transformation in his nature: "Stay you imperfect speakers.

    • Word count: 2743
  2. Show How Shakespeare Uses The Supernatural To Develop Macbeths Character

    When Macbeth enters the scene, he is with Banquo and they have just won in battle; we see that Macbeth is proud of victory because he didn't care that the weather is so bad - "So foul and fair a day I have not seen." Banquo realises that the witches are supernatural beings from the first moment and is wearier to trust them than Macbeth, "What are these... that do not look like th'inhabitants of o' th' earth." Macbeth realises that this must mean they do have powers of some sort and must be able to see the future.

    • Word count: 1561
  3. The Lust for Power: Moral Blindness. It is demonstrated that the uncontrollable need for power ultimately leads to Macbeths downfall through the couples foolish ambition

    The witches' predictions say "Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!" (Shakespeare I.iii.68-69) The witches' prophecy displays Macbeth's ambition; the latter is one of the main reasons he attempts to kill Banquo's son. He was ready to dispose of anybody and anything preventing him from remaining in power; this proves to be the cause of Macbeth's death. Furthermore, Macbeth's desire to remain in control of the empire turns him into a power hungry tyrant.

    • Word count: 1419
  4. Discuss What Shakespeare Conveys About Macbeth and Lady Macbeths Relationship in Act 1, Act 2 (scene2) and Act 3 (scenes 2 and 4) Through Their Speeches and Actions

    It is evident from her soliloquy that Lady Macbeth knows she can manipulate Macbeth. By "chastising" him, she believes she can push him into achieving his ambition of Kingship. It is here that we see Lady Macbeth's controlling side and the first signs of her possibly dangerous desire for power. "Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here And fill me from the crown to the toe topfull Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood... Come to my woman's breasts And take my milk for gall" By being "unsexed" Lady Macbeth is prepared to sacrifice her womanhood for the means to obtain kingship.

    • Word count: 1486
  5. EXPLORE SHAKESPEARES PRESENTATION OF LADY MACBETH IN ACT 1 SCENES 5 AND 7

    This line itself is a contradiction, an oxymoron Shakespeare uses to portray Lady Macbeth's determination of accepting evil. She doesn't want the kind milk Macbeth has in him because she doesn't want to be a coward when going through with the dark plan. "breasts" and "milk" represents her womanhood, a conveniently weak gender, but she wants to be strong and brave when going forward with the sin, so wants to be a man; this desire of hers is also shown in the symbolism "unsex me here". Lady Macbeth again doubts her husband when he returns home, further into the scene.

    • Word count: 1719
  6. Banquo's Murder from the Murderers Perspective

    That is when it all changed. At first we thought that our life had changed and we could finally quit our profession because no one liked it. It was a cruel job that made you feel guilty and the only thing that kept me going was the thought of my children starving if I didn't. Anyway we met with Macbeth and he told me he needed two people murdered. First he said that he wanted a man called Banquo killed. However I had heard that this was one of Macbeth's friends so I was curious at this point although I didn't question him.

    • Word count: 839
  7. To what extent is Macbeth influenced by Lady Macbeth and by the witches in the murder of Duncan?

    When they went to these voices they saw three old ugly women. The three ugly women and theses were witches. One of them said to Macbeth "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis". Then the second witch said, "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor". Than the third witch said "All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter".

    • Word count: 441
  8. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in Act 2, scene 2 of Macbeth?

    Macbeth stares at his bloody hands and is appalled to think what he has done. Macbeth believes that not all the oceans in the world would be able to wash away the blood from his hands; instead the blood would make the measureless seas bloody, "the multitudinous seas incarnadine". Lady Macbeth on the other hand looks quite differently on things; "a little water clears us of this deed" She is concerned only to avoid blame and regret. Lady Macbeth is a cold woman that only looks to the near future.

    • Word count: 1248
  9. With particular focus on Act 1, Scene 7, explain Lady Macbeths role in Macbeth.

    This seemed to spark Lady Macbeth?s inner ambition and greed to become powerful and also provoked her into persuading Macbeth into killing King Duncan, and she does this in a number of manipulative and calculating ways. The main way in which she does this is by mocking Macbeth and calling him a wimp, for example Lady Macbeth says, ?What beast was?t then that made you break this enterprise to me?? she is talking here of Macbeth?s refusal to murder Duncan, ?When you durst do it, then you were a man?.

    • Word count: 1258
  10. Compare and contrast Lady Macbeths language, style and tone throughout Macbeth

    In the play Macbeth, the wife of Macbeth, who throughout the play is referred to simply as 'Lady Macbeth'. This character has characteristics about her that is very different to the patriarchal society where women would have never spoken up and would do whatever their husbands told them to do, and seen as being very weak. But Lady Macbeth is quite a contrast since she is a very strong independent woman and also takes control of things, which is very different to the average women in a patriarchal society because she wears the trousers between the two.

    • Word count: 1109
  11. Look like the innocent flower, but be a serpent undert How does Shakespeare use theme of appearance and reality in Macbeth?

    It also portrays that if one's actions are grateful it will appear to be wicked, however, if ones actions are sinful it will appear to be good. This clashes in with the theme of appearance and reality, where if one's motives are grateful it will appear to be unappreciative and vice versa. Shakespeare was creating this to attract the audience's attention, this is an interesting quote as it is a paradox where the quote contradicts itself, and also the quote makes the audience interpret it in different ways.

    • Word count: 1234
  12. Explore The Ways In Which Shakespeare Makes Act III Scene 4 Lines 60 116 Such A Dramatic And Significant Moment In Macbeth.

    After Banquo's murder, he returns as a ghost to haunt Macbeth. This is showed by stage directions; where the ghost enters and exits throughout the scene. Shakespeare does this to scare Macbeth and make him suffer the consequence of killing him. The themes are also in contrast to the previous scenes, where Macbeth is feeling confident. When Banquo is killed, there is an action scene with a triumphant theme. This shows that a contrast of fixed themes can really express a scene with a lot more drama and interest than a scene where there is no emotion, when it follows a scene of importance.

    • Word count: 854
  13. How is the character Macbeth presented in Shakespeares' play Macbeth

    Also the play includes the three witches and James I wrote a book about witchcraft. Lastly, the murder of King Duncan was critical aspect of he play and murder was also important in King James's rule, as Guy Fawkes's Gunpowder plot was aimed to kill the King. Shakespeare used Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1587) as a source of historical information, though the characters and events differ quite a lot from Shakespeare's play. The play shows a time in Scotland where there were great brutalities and upheavals in society, and Shakespeare uses this to show how the brutalities and upheavals can lead to events which break loyalty and create mistrust between households in Scotland.

    • Word count: 1829
  14. In Shakespeare's "Macbeth", which character or characters bear most responsibility for the death of Duncan? Discuss

    In his treatise "Daemonologie" (1597) he wrote of them as demonic supernatural beings who served a purpose as tempters. According to him, their purpose was the damnation of their victim's soul. Their role as tempters in the play relates to James' belief that God may test people, even the "best" ("God will permit so to be tempted or troubled"), and this demonstrates that the witches' motives for targeting Macbeth was not merely a cruel trick but may be seen as part of a greater design in which he is to be tested by God.

    • Word count: 1791
  15. Analyse Shakespeares presentation of Lady Macbeth in Act 2 Scene 2 and Act 5 Scene 1. Using your knowledge of the play explore the reasons for her eventual breakdown.

    In her soliloquy she uses very dark and evil language for example "The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms. Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged their possets, That death and nature do contend about them, whether they live, or die." The soliloquy shows that she is a complex character because she says she has drugged them but doesn't care if they die or not. Lady Macbeths part in this plot at this stage is to keep Macbeth sane and to stop people disturbing them whilst doing the evil deed.

    • Word count: 1955
  16. Trace the development and disintegration of Macbeths Character in acts one and two. You must make detailed references to language, themes, structure, and linguistic devices and social historical context.

    One of the main themes in Macbeth is supernatural forces, this theme is performed by the three witches when they perform a spell, part of the spell is used as a quote in Macbeth 'fair is foul and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air' this quote represents the witches supernatural being, and sets an uneasy mood. Another important theme of Macbeth is ambition, this is set by Macbeth, as the first prediction came true, and he started to believe in the prophecies.

    • Word count: 906
  17. Examine the deterioration of Lady Macbeth over the course of the play 'Macbeth'

    Again this demonstrates her character as a woman who leaves nothing to chance and thinks things through to the end before taking any sort of action. The second audience is Macbeth; she is speaking as if he was standing with her, however, she is rehearsing what she will say to him and also what she will do: "And chastise with the valour of tongue / All that impedes thee from the golden round". The third audience is the actual audience watching the play while she is not speaking directly to them she is, in a sense intentionally showing them what

    • Word count: 2294
  18. Macbeth: Critical Essay. Whether we should or shouldnt sympathize for Macbeth will be the topic of my essay.

    This shows us that Macbeth is a dedicated soldier who fights to serve his king and is willing to place his life on the line to achieve this. His intentions are good at this point. This saddens me to think such a good, loyal man becomes ensnarled in the witches' fun. Macbeth and Banquo are reflecting on the day's battle in Act 1, Scene 2, when they encounter the witches. The three witches greet Macbeth with the titles: Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King.

    • Word count: 1795
  19. Who is most responsible for the death of King Duncan and how would you stage his demise?

    Hail to thee thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter." Macbeth and Banquo seemed hesitant to believe these prophecies at first, but when two noblemen arrived, (Ross and Angus) declaring that Macbeth would become thane of Cawdor, it all started to change: "What, can the devil speak true?" This is a crucial part of the play, as from that moment onwards there was a definite feeling of uncertainty hovering in the air - Macbeth was unsure what exactly the future may have held.

    • Word count: 1828
  20. Lady Macbeth manipulates and emasculates her husband

    His outcome shows who is in control and how much power and control she has over him. She also uses emotional blackmail to her advantage she begins to question whether he loves her or not ; " such I account thy love". lady Macbeth is very devious and exceedingly manipulative in this scene but Macbeth is still unconvinced and not sure that the plan would work " if we should fail". Lady Macbeth is sure that they will not fail, she even gives Macbeth instruction of how to carry out the murder "when Duncan is asleep..."

    • Word count: 665
  21. Macbeth. How does Shakespeare use language, structure and dramatic devices to create drama in Act I scene VII and Act II scene II?

    A soliloquy also creates a better audience-character bond and increases the emotional attachment felt by the audience for the character. In the soliloquy we are given several reasons as to why Macbeth is averse to committing regicide; one being his blood-relation with the King and his position as the King's subject: "First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed", he himself clarifying the two relations to be "strong" reasons against the potential act. Another is his description of such an act metaphorically as digging one's own grave: "Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice To our own lips" foreseeing the potential consequences of his actions as being potentially fatal.

    • Word count: 1172
  22. What influences Macbeth to make the decision to kill Duncan in Act 1?

    The sudden introduction of witchcraft would have unsettled both James and the audience and created an omen of things to come. The violent nature of the surroundings 'a desolate place' again emphasises how destructive the witches are as a stereotypical location is suggested. The opening lines give the impression that the witches have control of the weather 'when the hurly-burly's done' the wish to summon a storm to cover up their evil intentions. From the start you can tell that this play is about evil, obsession of glory and betrayal.

    • Word count: 3488
  23. At the end of the play, Malcolm calls Macbeth a butcher and Lady Macbeth his fiend-like queen. How far do you agree with this assessment of their characters?

    Macbeth thinks that the supernatural powers of the witches will help him but instead they lead him to ruin. The witches are evil incarnate they are spiteful, destructive and deceptive. They trick Macbeth with half-truths rather than lies. Macbeth commands the witches to reveal the future. In response they show him a series of a sprit apparitions, which trick him into believing, he is indestructible. The prophecies foreshadow what will happen to Macbeth in the tale they also foreshadow Macbeth's fate. The witches convince Macbeth they have supernatural powers, this is evident in the quote, "I myself have all the other; and the very ports they below."

    • Word count: 3642
  24. Macbeth. With Direct Reference to Shakespeares Language, Discuss How You Might Stage Act One Scene Three with the Aim of Creating Suspense and An Unsettled Atmosphere

    This creates suspense and introduces eth audience to the plot and main themes associated with the play. Additional suspense is created by the actor's behaviour on stage and the use of lighting and scenery. William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth to flatter King James I between 1603 and 1607. King James I was a profound witch hunter and was considered an expert in witches and the supernatural. In the Jacobean era people were very frightened of witches: they were indeed thought to be 'not like the th'inhabitants o'th 'earth. 'Macbeth would have been performed at the Globe Theatre, because it is an open theatre it would have to be performed in daylight; this meant language and acting would have to be used to create suspense.

    • Word count: 1527
  25. Macbeth: Act 7. When Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband relaying the story of the witches and their prophecy, she fears that Macbeth will be too loyal and good natured to murder King Duncan.

    Banquo is then told that his sons will become kings. Macbeth demands to know more but the witches disappear. Soon after, Macbeth is met by Ross - a messenger from the king - and he learns that he has become the new Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is both amazed and frightened that the prediction made by the witches has come true. Banquo has an idea that the witches may have been evil.

    • Word count: 507

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