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GCSE: Macbeth

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  1. Macbeth is a coward, while Lady Macbeth is brave. Personally, I do not think that this is a fair comment because Macbeth does not want to go through with killing King Duncan

    In contrast, Lady Macbeth is not brave but she is definitely determined to get what she wants. She knows that once King Duncan is brutally murdered, she and Macbeth will be crowned the King and Queen of Scotland - which is what she desires. She possesses a heart filled with pure evil and she will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. Macbeth had reasons for not wanting to go through with the murder were that firstly killing Duncan would have terrible consequences.

    • Word count: 509
  2. Letter to Lady Macbeth from her husband. Whilst Banquo and I were on a heath near Forres, we came across three, peculiar weird sisters.

    As expected, I did not shake his hand nor did I bid farewell to him. Instead, I unseamed MacDonald from the nave to the chops and I fixed his head upon our battlements to declare our righteous victory. Obviously, I did not feel an ounce of fear or nervousness because I knew I was doing the right thing. The fire of my courage and braveness shone through and it was I who succeeded in battle. Whilst Banquo and I were on a heath near Forres, we came across three, peculiar weird sisters.

    • Word count: 523
  3. How does Shakespeare present Macbeths character before the murder of Duncan?

    Therefore this sets the tone for the witches' role in the play as evil and scary characters. In the original time, it was socially unacceptable to discuss practitioners of witchcraft. Shakespeare uses this social ineptitude to shock the audience of the time as he presents witches so openly. Similarly, the first witch says that they will meet again in, 'thunder, lightening or in rain'. These weather occurrences are considered to be unpleasant although rain can bring life so the quotation can be interpreted to pinpoint the witches as crucial to the plot. In addition, the first scene portrays the witches as mischievous and frightening.

    • Word count: 1911
  4. Macbeth summarised in poetry.

    When Macbeth tells his wife about the weird sisters, she devises a scheme to help her mister. She comes up with a plan, to make her husband king of the land. She tells Macbeth they will invite the king for dinner, and kill the king but become sinners. Macbeth agrees, for it seems that he will become king at such great ease. At the final moment Macbeth backs out, which makes Lady Macbeth shout. She questions his manly hood, and says she would kill king Duncan if she could. Macbeth goes to kill Duncan while Lady Macbeth waits, to determine their fate.

    • Word count: 668
  5. The Reversal of the roles in Macbeth

    Firstly, through the structure of the dialogue, Shakespeare effectively conveys Macbeth as the more domineering and authoritative character. In Act 1 Scene 7, where Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth of his ability to murder Duncan, she is the prevailing speaker in the dialogue, and Macbeth interjects with short sentences infrequently.

    • Word count: 436
  6. What was the main cause of Macbeth's downfall?

    that will come of this gathering. In scene 5 of the same act, we see Lady Macbeth for the first time. She comes across to us as an ambitious woman, striving for greater things. To some, she appears admirable. A woman living in a time when she know that she cannot advance much higher than her current status, seizing an opportunity to better herself. Others have argued that in lady Macbeth, we possibly see a facet of the witches. It has been suggested that perhaps she is being controlled by them in the same way she manipulates her husband.

    • Word count: 1600
  7. Analyse and Evaluate the Dramatic Contribution of Lady Macbeth to the play as a whole

    This is very different to the Macbeth that the Captain describes as 'brave Macbeth'. Later in the scene, Lady Macbeth makes a powerful speech about how she wants 'evil spirits' to 'unsex' her and take away all her tenderness, love and pity, that makes her a woman, so she can murder the king. This scene is very shocking, both when the play was written, when people believed evil spirits and witches were real, and now, because it is someone wanting courage to murder. It can be interpreted in many ways. To some it may sound almost as if she is the fourth witch, already evil like them, and wanting to be more so, wanting to lose her last shred of humanity; her womanliness.

    • Word count: 1695
  8. Explain what Act 1, Scene 7 tells us about the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. What is troubling Macbeth at the beginning of the scene and how does Lady Macbeth persuade him to go through with the murder of Duncan?

    Initially it seems that Macbeth's complexity win him the audiences empathy directly after the scene, but it is likely that the majority of the audience will disagree with who to empathize with, as both characters represent different feelings and also the divide between the sexes. The play is rich in historical and social context. The play was performed not long after King James took the throne. James was known to be a firm admirer of Shakespeare's talents, and the play could, in turn, of been a mark of respect directed from Shakespeare to James.

    • Word count: 3357
  9. Discuss how Shakespeare creates tension in Act 2 Scene 2 of Macbeth.

    Despite the fact that the audience do not observe the murder of Duncan, a vast amount of techniques are used to dramatise tension in the scene. The scene itself is quite tensed, Macbeth returns after killing Duncan, with his weapons where Lady Macbeth get anxious with the fear of them getting caught. The weapons are then placed on the drugged guards so they are considered the culprits. The scene has the audience thinking about the consequences of this crime so it increases the amount of tension in the scene.

    • Word count: 1299
  10. In William Shakespeare's plays Hamlet and Macbeth there are many similarities, along with many differences.

    to succeed in the end. He was also a murderer, but for a different reason. Like Macbeth, a close family member led him to commit murder. But in Hamlet's case it was the ghost of his father, and revenge, not greed, was his motive. He was trying to bring justice to an unjust king, and so he was more of an avenging angel then a murderous demon, something Macbeth was likened to by his peers. But Macbeth should have known better. Macbeth was an older, wiser man who had had years of experience in a range of activities from politics to war.

    • Word count: 1247
  11. How are the concepts of evil and the supernatural shown in the play Macbeth ?

    The Jacobean audience would have believed that Macbeth was cursed as he had many hallucinations. Shakespeare was successful with his play because it was about the supernatural and in the Jacobean times many people believed in the supernatural. The story of Macbeth was an old one, but the play was new, James knew the story very well. Macbeth was said to be 'written by the best dramatist of the time, William Shakespeare,' James Sale. The play connected well with James as he believed that he was decended spiritually from the long tradition of English monarchs, and that he inherited the power of healing that Edward the Confessor possessed.

    • Word count: 1359
  12. Who is to blame for the death of King Duncan?

    The witches provided Macbeth with an insight into his future. The three witches hailed Macbeth 'Thane of Glamis', a title which Macbeth already had, followed by 'Thane of Cawdor' and ultimately 'King of Scotland'. The latter two titles are the ones that had not been awarded to Macbeth, but were the ones which had left Macbeth's conscience to lie astray. It's important to remember that the words of the witches are like an axiom, not the end product of a process of reasoning, something which Macbeth did not understand during his time of delusion.

    • Word count: 917
  13. This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen To What Extent Do You Regard This Description of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to be accurate and fair?

    After a short mention of Macbeth in the previous scene from a group almost notorious for untrustworthiness, a scene full of praise for "Bellona's bridegroom" almost smothers the idea of Macbeth's link with witchcraft. However, Duncan also hears about, and praises, Macbeth's ruthless streak in which he killed many of the enemy. During the scene the audience explores another side of Macbeth's character that leaves them asking which side can be trusted? As the audience begins to question the reliability of the witches, and whether this "brave Macbeth" could really have a connection to witchcraft, the witches appear again only this time with Macbeth.

    • Word count: 1961
  14. Macbeth Coursework

    They are tempted by the idea that Macbeth will become king. Macbeth is not sure what to do but his wife is ruthless in getting what she wants; she views her husband as a coward and appears ready to do anything. Ambition leads to evil - it makes Macbeth stronger and more determined, but then destroys his wife, consequently she goes demented. Ambition eventually kills him as well; becoming a tyrant and so loses the support of his friends. Besides that, the play is set in the 17th century, Scotland. The Globe theatre was for the people of Elizabethan London.

    • Word count: 2709
  15. Macbeth's state of mind.

    In this particular soliloquy, he appears to be reasoning with himself, weighing up both outcomes, whether he is to kill Duncan, or if he should not. It says, "This even-handed justice commends th'ingredience of our poisoned chalice to our own lips." By using the word 'justice', it suggests that whatever Macbeth does to Duncan, will eventually come to fall on himself, because justice is unbiased, equal to everyone. This is one of the main reasons why Macbeth is pondering whether to kill Duncan, because if justice catches up with Macbeth in the end, then what will be the point of killing him?

    • Word count: 1122
  16. How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to present Macbeths changing character?

    The storyline containing the death of a king is the main reason why this play would have shocked a contemporary audience; back in the early 1600's the divine rights of kings was believed in. This meant that the king was chosen by god and killing him was like killing god himself. So as witches' were also associated with disorder in nature, which contained the disruption of the rights of a king, they could have been almost 'blamed' for Duncan's death.

    • Word count: 2443
  17. Show how Shakespeare uses the witches to create a mood and effect on an audience.

    This shows that the audience would experience a scary and haunting atmosphere, here were the witches appear. This scene also has pathetic fallacy to use weather to indicate the mood of events. "Thunder and lightning" this tells us that the weather was unpleasant. Also Shakespeare begins the play with the witches because he wants the reader to experience a haunting scary and creepy atmosphere and to show that the play is about evil. When Shakespeare writes in poetry he usually says that the persons important. "Enter the three witches". This tells us that whoever Shakespeare writes about he makes them important in the play.

    • Word count: 2301
  18. How does Shakespeare make Macbeths crisis of conscience dramatically effective in acts 1 and 2?

    Act1 Scene1 sets a dark gothic atmosphere at the start of the play. Act1 Scene2 also contains many gothic and bloody things: "reeking wounds" "he unseamed him from the nave to th'chaps" "memorise another Golgotha". When the captain talks about Golgotha, he is talking about religious Christian history and this may contrast with the witchcraft in the play because Christianity opposes witchcraft. The first time Macbeth is described, he is referred to as: "brave Macbeth". If Macbeth was often praised and described in a good way it must of affected his conscience and made him feel good about himself, it could of even made him cocky and arrogant making him think he is better than other people.

    • Word count: 1858
  19. Act 2 Scene 2 is packed with tension. Shakespeare creates this tension in a variety of ways. The first way in which Shakespeare does this is by opening the scene with Lady Macbeth's soliloquy.

    The tension increases dramatically when we see Lady Macbeth pacing about in a nervous but excited state. Towards the end of the scene Lady Macbeth takes control when she realizes Macbeth is unable to act rationally. In the 17th Century it was very unlikely for a woman to be so bold. It is quite shocking to the audience because at that time men were known to be the brave one. For example in this quote of Lady Macbeth "That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold".

    • Word count: 1151
  20. Macbeth could be seen as either a victim or a villain, as in the play events occur that could support both of these arguments.

    and 'King hereafter' or become the King of Scotland. This compels Macbeth, he asks banquo what his feelings are towards what the witches said about his descendents becoming king and starts thinking of killing King Duncan to make the prophecy come true, but then later on he hopes fate will spare him the need to kill. After Lady Macbeth receives a letter from Macbeth telling her if the three witches and what they had spoke to him about she takes them as a fact but fears Macbeth wont have the will to kill the king.

    • Word count: 1260
  21. Discuss the effectiveness of the opening three scenes of Macbeth

    They didn't have any knowledge on what was really happening so witches were an easy target to use. There were 270 witch trials during the Elizabethan times. 247 of those people were all women and only a mere 23 were men and I think this is mainly because men were known as being 'all powerful'. The people that were normally accused for being witches were the old, the unprotected, the poor and single women or widows. Elizabethan women relied on the male members of their family.

    • Word count: 2424
  22. Macbeth. The Witches help introduce the theme of fate in the play as their primary function is to entice Macbeth to pursue the throne in order to become king

    The first and second predictions came true so Macbeth was persuaded that he would become king. I feel that Shakespeare's intentions in presenting the witches in an open place was to create a visual impact and that they are not tied down to a time or place. It shows that the witches are universal. Shakespeare uses pathetic fallacy at the start of the plat because, in the era, people believed that twitches could control the weather. Shakespeare opens the play with a question.

    • Word count: 1794
  23. How does Shakespeare portray the changing character of Lady Macbeth?

    In this scene she receives a letter from her husband Macbeth telling her about the witches' prediction of him becoming King. At hearing this, her lust for power ignites and she is possessed by black and deep desires. In this scene she speaks her thoughts out loud in a soliloquy-a speech not intended by the speaker to be overheard. They are dark and frightening thoughts: they frighten us, for sinister things are on her mind. The soliloquy has a sense of verse and is intended to make Lady Macbeth seem like she is chanting a spell.

    • Word count: 1350
  24. Trace the role of Lady Macbeth throughout the play and consider whether she is anything more than a fiend-like queen.

    However, she murmurs that she knows Macbeth is ambitious, but fears he is too full of "th' milk of human kindness" to go through the steps necessary in order to become king which tells us that she knows her husband well and seems to be ambitious for him. Her relationship with Macbeth is a strong one and they have an equal relationship, something that was rare in those days as it was a male-dominated society. Macbeth calls her his "dearest partner in greatness".

    • Word count: 1397
  25. What do you think of Lady Macbeths behaviour in Macbeth?

    A good example of this is when Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth their plan and Macbeth questions what if they were to fail, Lady Macbeth then replies "We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place and we'll not fail". These words are as if to say we will not fail and they are quite aggressive towards Macbeth as if Lady Macbeth is annoyed with Macbeth for questioning her plan but then having a conscience "we will proceed no further in this matter". The question mark in "we fail?" makes the words become more surprised that Macbeth asked that question.

    • Word count: 1366

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