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

Examine Act Three Scene four of Macbeth. Explore how Shakespeare presents the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth through language and action. Comment on the dramatic significance of the scene and audience response to the themes of the play as sh

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Justine Ryles Friday 1st January 2010 Macbeth Task- Examine Act Three Scene four of "Macbeth". Explore how Shakespeare presents the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth through language and action. Comment on the dramatic significance of the scene and audience response to the themes of the play as shown in the whole text. (intro) Shakespeare presents the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth through language and action. "You know your own degrees" is the opening line of Act 3, scene 4. From this, the audience can see that the mood is formal. It also suggests that the guests at the banqueting hall have to sit in order of importance which emphasises the idea of hierarchy and the concept of the Divine Right that the King is appointed by God. Later in this scene, the audience would be terrified by Macbeth's crimes and the consequences for him. He is the central character and is formal but not to serious with the guests. He "will mingle with society" which hints that he will talk to all of the guests and be a "humble host". Lady Macbeth is then introduced in the scene and imitates the acts of Macbeth by welcoming the guests and making them feel welcome in their home. ...read more.

Middle

The audience however know the truth about Banquo so the action in the scene makes it intense. A key stage direction is used in the play to show "The ghost of Banquo" entering the banqueting hall. The guests are asking Macbeth to sit down with them, but Macbeth sees no empty chair, as the ghost is sitting there. "Here is a place reserv'd, sir" "...Where" describes the confusion between the characters. The mood and atmosphere suddenly changes when Macbeth becomes angry with the ghost "Thou canst not say I did it" this clearly highlights the guilt that Macbeth has, but would also raise suspicion amongst the guests. This would clearly disturb the others, a feeling reflected in the audience, and they would begin to suspect him. Lady Macbeth quickly commands the people to stay calm, and stay in their seats. She reassures the guests that there is nothing to worry about and that Macbeth's "fit is momentary". Clearly the audience can see Lady Macbeth is devious and quick-witted to think of something that would get Macbeth out of trouble. Lady Macbeth is a strong character and challenges Macbeths' manhood. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Almost at odds with morning, which is which" time no longer has any meaning for her as she is becoming confused and is showing signs of insanity. The audience may suspect that this is from all the guilt and now the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have changed as she used to be the stronger character. Macbeth says that he must return to the "weird sisters" as they will tell him what the future holds for him. This contains some irony from Macbeth as he was afraid of the supernatural but now relies on the agents of evil that led him down this path in the first place. As the scene concludes, the audience can clearly see the murderous nature of Macbeth and how he has grow stronger throughout the act. He feels that he no longer needs Lady Macbeth but before she protected him from failure. "My strange and self-abuse is the initiate fear that wants hard use: we are yet but young indeed" explains how Macbeth feels pain and guilt because of the murders but more shockingly says that to stop this feeling he must practise more murders. In conclusion, Shakespeare effectively presents the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth successfully. They successfully create dramatic scenes for the audience and highlight important themes throughout Act Three Scene four. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    In what ways does Shakespeare make the Banqueting scene dramatic?

    3 star(s)

    This is because; this would firstly, portray an evil appearance of Macbeth, and secondly, would convey how Macbeth is gentle hearted. The fact, that Macbeth was affected by the witches' prophecies and reacted quickly to the situation: in terms of how his thoughts rapidly changed for the bad, determines how easily he can be influenced.

  2. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    daggers ready", so the question arises why did she not commit the murder herself? The answer that Shakespeare gives creates much room for speculation~ "had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't". Apart from showing that Lady Macbeth had obvious respect for her father and was

  1. Macbeth - How Shakespeare presents the characters in Act 3 Scene 1

    Shakespeare made Macbeth solely responsible for Duncan's murder when actually Banquo was an accomplice to the murder. Proud to be in their new role, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth greet Banquo very majestically, 'here's our chief guest. ' Shrewdly, they attempt to make Banquo feel important and well appreciated, 'If he

  2. Discuss how Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth and how her character develops during the play

    The way Lady Macbeth criticises her husband is very harsh and would have been thought unbecoming of a woman in the 17th century. Yet the way she speaks of Macbeth '...thy nature is too full o' th' milk of human kindness' shows she knows her husband well - his strengths, weaknesses and desires and she understands how to manipulate them.

  1. Personal Response to Macbeth as a Character.

    In Act One Scene Four, Macbeth hears that Malcolm is the successor to the throne. In Macbeth's first major soliloquy, we see that he is capable of hiding his devastation to deceive the king - "Stars hide your fires let not light see my black and deep desires."

  2. Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1~2, How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    Almost immediately after Macbeth's soliloquy and departure, Lady Macbeth appears on stage by herself. With no other characters on stage, it can be deduced that Shakespeare wants the audience to concentrate on her, instead of their minds wandering to what is happening off-stage, namely the murder.

  1. How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to present Macbeths changing character?

    Ross tells Macbeth that the king has made him thane of Cawdor (as the former thane is to be executed for treason). Macbeth, amazed that the witches' prophecy has come true, begins to ponder. He wonders whether the reign will simply fall to him or whether he will have to

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    Act V, Scene i - Lady Macbeth shows the most vivid example of guilt with the use of the imagery of blood, in the scene that she walks in her sleep. She says: "Out damned spot! Out I say! One: two: why then 'tis time to do't: hell is murky.

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