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"Examine carefully the ways in which the different Characters in this Passage react to the murder of Duncan"

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Introduction

"Examine carefully the ways in which the different Characters in this Passage react to the murder of Duncan" Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare, the passage of the play which I will be speaking of is Act 2 scene 3, lines 42-144. In this passage the King of Scotland, Duncan is brutally murdered by Macbeth, who is a successful general and respected by the King. His wife, Lady Macbeth, leads Macbeth to murder the King and he has been told by three witches that he will be the next King of Scotland. After Macbeth had finished leading Scotland to victory in battle he is named as Thane of Cawdor by the King, in fact so pleased is Duncan with Macbeth that he accepts Macbeth's invitation to spend a night in his castle and dine with him. Lady Macbeth sees this as the perfect time to eliminate the king for good so that Macbeth could be crowned King of Scotland. Macbeth has killed King Duncan and therefore he's in a mood of great tension but is really trying to shake it off. The actor playing Macbeth in the theatre would be sweating and fiddling around with his hands, just generally acting very nervous and anxious. Macbeth is very curt in his sentences and is speaking in pre-prepared proverbs; he's just too tense and nervous to speak normally. ...read more.

Middle

"The wine of the life is drawn, and the mere lees is left", Macbeth uses a metaphor by comparing wine to life. He says that all that is left are the lees at the bottom of the bottle, and that all the good wine has been drawn away. He is implying that while the King was alive, he was drinking wonderful wine, but that after the King was killed, there was nothing to live for, from great wine to lees. Again, Macbeth uses metaphors, "the fountain of your blood is stopped", he says this to Malcolm comparing his father, Duncan, with a fountain that is no longer working. Macbeth continues speaking in metaphors and his speeches sound unnatural. He asks rhetorical questions, "Loyal and neutral in a moment? No man", Macbeth says this after he kills the guards believed to be responsible for the kings murder, he says that how could anyone control themselves when these guards have carried out such a terrible atrocity. "His sliver skin laced with his golden blood", another metaphor is used by Macbeth, he over praises the King referring to precious materials saying that his skin is silver and his blood is golden, Macbeth gives the King a high value. Macduff is one of the few characters who instantly believe Macbeth to be Duncan's murderer. "O horror, horror, horror", this is what Maduff cried when he found the King dead, it has dramatic impact and he says it to all three sides of the theatre. ...read more.

Conclusion

As soon as Lady Macbeth faints Macduff immediately says "Look to the Lady", Macduff is the one helping Lady Macbeth when really Macbeth should be the person doing that, this shows that Macbeth is very apprehensive. Banquo is quite saddened at hearing the news of the Kings death. He does not say much and is clearly in shock. Banquo is suspicious of Macbeth because he notices that he seems rather twitchy and Banquo remembers that Macbeth along with Lady Macbeth were up very late the previous night wandering around the castle. "I fight of treasonous malice", Banquo knows that the murder was carried out with intent, and he says that he will stand and fight against such "treasonous malice". Donalbain and Malcolm are very shocked at the death of their father and fear that they might be next. "There's a dagger in men's smiles". Donalbain leaves with a telling remark about how there are "daggers in men's smiles" all around them. This echoes the "fair is foul" theme of the play and shows a level of perception on his part. Malcolm, who was the heir to the throne, flees to England, and Donalbain flees to Ireland. It makes us wonder if he saw through Macbeth's act. Certainly it would be hard for Macbeth to maintain the impression that he is a good reasonable man, having just admitted to a frenzied killing of two sleeping guards. ?? ?? ?? ?? Thomas Rutland Poetry 2005-06 Macbeth coursework 1 ...read more.

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