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Examine some of the Ways in Which Shakespeare Portrays an atmosphere of Evil In Macbeth

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Examine some of the Ways in Which Shakespeare Portrays an atmosphere of Evil In Macbeth Macbeth is renowned as playwright Shakespeare's, most famous and bloodiest tragedy ever written. Within the tragedy are elements of various themes, such as love, ambition and power, combining to make Macbeth a very engaging play which is most satisfying to the audience. The play revolves around an ambitious Scottish warrior, who great ambition causes him to make decision which trigger and unwelcome chain reaction, leading ultimately to his fate in the final act. Maintaining an atmosphere of evil is done in many ways in this play. One of the main themes is that of witchcraft. This is an effective means of maintaining the evil atmosphere, as to the intended Jacobean audience, witchcraft was an off-putting and worrying concept. Various rudiments of witchcraft are taken and used very effectively. For example, in the witches' second appearance in the play, Macbeth goes to them for a further set of predictions, as he is worried for his future. They appear to be making some form of potion, into which some of the ingredients that go are considered quite distasteful, to audiences of today and of the eighteenth century. Some of the more grotesque examples include "Finger of birth-strangled babe" which has very strong connotations, as images of helpless beings strangled cruelly at birth appear in one's mind. ...read more.


In the soliloquy, her hugely evil desires are made very clear. "Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top full of dirtiest cruelty" What she says here suggests that in some way she is contacting spirits, in order to make her evil enough to commit these crimes, and interfere with the chain of being. Though she isn't a witch, the fact that she refers to spirits and wishes to be made evil is quite disturbing. This is especially the case to a Jacobean audience, as she is a woman, and also as they were very superstitious. Again, there are links to darkness and its power to cover evil as she says "Come thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell"This description of the darkness, which she wants to cover her desire, is quite vivid, and conveys well how passionate and ambitious she really is, on the other side of her gentle womanly nature. There are countless examples of this, but the recurring theme of appearance and reality and of darkness is effective in creating a rather evil and sinister atmosphere, around Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. There is dramatic irony in this, as she later craves for light back, as she feels to guilt to cope any longer. This guild eventually leads to her fate, even though she was the manly driving force of Macbeth's doings. ...read more.


For example "Devilish Macbeth" &"untitled tyrant bloody sceptred", shows that they feel he is not the rightful king and he became king only by bloodshed. Other than the fact that he is a cruel person, the fact he interferes with the chain of being by treason (a hierarchy of all beings), may also have something to do with him being compared to the devil, as the devil is lowest in the chain. They reflect upon the result of Macbeths rule and how it has affected Scotland; '...it weeps, it bleeds, and each new day, a gash is added to her wounds'. This is effective as they have empathized with Scotland, though the use of personification which gives greater impact due to the blood imagery and reference to "her". It is important that the audience share these views too, as they have witnessed his evil dealings. This leaves them anxious to find out the consequence of his actions. Creating an atmosphere of evil is done by the use of an amalgam of techniques discussed previously. The use of blood imagery in combination with some strongly crafted language means constant emphasis is made in evoking feelings in the audiences mind. The use of symbolism and reference to a supernatural side of the world through the witches is also effective and aids the sustaining of disgust in the audience, aswell as an evil and ominous ambience in the theatre. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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