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Examine some of the ways in which Shakespeare makes the portrayal of Macbeth's downfall dramatically effective.

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Examine some of the ways in which Shakespeare makes the portrayal of Macbeth's downfall dramatically effective. By Adil Naeem Shakespeare makes the downfall of Macbeth dramatically effective by looking at his actions and surrounding characters, by looking at the atmosphere and in particular the emphasis on darkness, looking at the language of Macbeth and other characters, and finally putting emphasis on the witches .He creates this noble and great warrior to an obsessed, out of control and insecure human being, though this however doesn't happen straight away and his downfall increases stage by stage as the play progresses. Shakespeare makes Macbeth more ambitious in the play, he makes him more greedy and turns him into a person who is never satisfied with what he is given, this is shown particularly when he is given the position of Thane of Cawdor, but still wants to be King. The murders which Macbeth performs make his downfall progressively worse: after he murders somebody, he has to murder another to cover up the first one. Murder itself is one the most horrendous deeds a man can ever do, so after the first murder Macbeth can never go back and will always go down. To look at the downfall of Macbeth I must first look at where he has fallen from. He has been portrayed, particularly in Act 1 Sc 2, as a noble gallant warrior who shows great respect to the King, "brave Macbeth, "worthy gentlemen" , "noble Macbeth , "valiant cousin" - these are all the descriptions given to Macbeth by his peers, in this scene. ...read more.


Shakespeare makes this scene dramatically effective by using atmosphere/darkness, and language. In the build up before the actual murder of Duncan, Shakespeare makes the reader think that Macbeth will actually now go ahead with the murder. Between line 30-64, Macbeth is on his own and he is without direction, up till this time Lady Macbeth has been telling Macbeth what to do and has been leading the way, though now he is on his own there is time to reflect on whether he should commit this deed. It is dark and this is where the atmosphere aspect which Shakespeare uses comes into action, he visualises a dagger. The creation of the dagger in Macbeth's mind, line 38, "a dagger of the mind, a false creation", - emphasizes my point that Macbeth is picturing a dagger in his mind. "Come let me clutch thee", line 34, is a reference to the desperate and devastating effect of Macbeth which has been emphasized. Macbeth is so disillusioned by fear, anxiety and greed that he visually pictures a dagger, Shakespeare uses the dagger to emphasize to the audience Macbeth's desperate state. The dagger itself has connotations to murder, evil, blood and darkness. The dagger is preparing Macbeth for the murder, the dagger itself is an evil weapon and will bring blood to its tip. Macbeth seems connect with this awful weapon, line 34, "the handle towards my hand", Shakespeare makes Macbeth connected with a weapon of evil and darkness to emphasize his downfall to the audience, the dagger has a sense of evil with it, and with Macbeth wanting this dagger there seems to be a link with an evil which will inevitably end with murder. ...read more.


Before, Lady Macbeth had led Macbeth and told him what to do, she gave him instructions but the relationship is now changing. She begins to waver and now is not in the lead, she now is accepting the feminine role which she had previously rejected. This can be seen by her reaction to Macbeth wanting to kill Banquo, line 36 "you must leave this". In previous scenes Shakespeare made Macbeth nervous and made him question his actions before he went and did them, as with the killing of Duncan. Now, he has no doubts, there isn't any uncertainty in his mind and his full of pure evil. Macbeth has now fallen to the lowest position he can go; he has no consideration for others and he rejects his wife's advice in which before he needed. This is shown on line 43-44 "there shall be done a deed of dreadful note". Macbeth is now the strong masculine figure, and is now comforting his insecure wife by leaving her out of his plans to murder Banquo, line 45 "Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck." In conclusion, I can say that Shakespeare cleverly uses a variety of techniques to portray Macbeth's downfall effectively. As you can see from the scenes that I have selected these techniques have been used well and help in showing Macbeth's destruction. Shakespeare does this in stages in each scene and makes it clear that Macbeth can never go back. Macbeth goes from order to disorder and breaks down from a respected warrior to an obsessive monster. Shakespeare doesn't use any real action or violence to make the scenes dramatically effective, he cleverly uses a combination of atmosphere, language and tension to make and portray his point which he has done very well. ...read more.

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