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GCSE Macbeth essay

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Introduction

GCSE Macbeth essay In this essay I am going to explicate how Shakespeare makes the death of king Duncan dramatic even though it is not on stage and I will use evidence & quotes to back up my statement. We all know that Macbeth went off to kill king Duncan at the end of act 2 scene 1 & Lady Macbeth is waiting for Macbeth to come back from the murder at act2 scene 2. The first thing that we notice which reflects what's happening off stage is through Shakespeare's use of language. In Lady Macbeths speeches, she reflects the murder by using language such as "owl shrieking," back then, the word owl was a reference to death & "fatal bellman," the fatal bellman is someone who rang the bell before an execution, this gives a signal on what is about to happen to king Duncan & also the word fatal means deadly. At the beginning of the scene we know that Lady Macbeth has been drinking in order to cool her nerves. The drink she has given the guards has given her confident, " bold & fire," but really she is nervous underneath because when the owl shrieks, she jumps which proves she isn't so confident after all. ...read more.

Middle

They must lie there. Go carry them & smear the sleepy grooms with blood." Macbeth is being told to take the daggers back to Duncan's room but he refuses to go as he feels guilty & scared of what he has done, "I'll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on't again, I dare not." Lady Macbeth seizes the daggers from Macbeth when he refuses to return to the brutal murder scene, this dramatically represents that Lady Macbeth is clearly in control of the situation, even though men back then were more in control this is proven wrong in this case as Lady Macbeth is the strong character from when we met her at the beginning & still is. Women back then use to do what they were suppose to do but here the tables are turned, at one time earlier on at the beginning of the play, she mocks Macbeths masculinity, we also know that she is a cold-blooded person but near the beginning of this scene Lady Macbeth reveals her feminine side when she says she couldn't kill Duncan herself because he looked like her dad when he was asleep, " He could not miss 'em. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is to make it appear that the guards did it but in reality they are innocent. Lady Macbeth also appears to be feminine & loyal when Duncan arrives by welcoming him into her home but she is really plotting on killing him. When Macbeth has committed the murder they both wash their hands in order to make themselves look innocent, "A little water clears us of this deed." They also get dressed into their night clothes to make it appear as though they had been sleep the whole time whilst Duncan was murdered. Another way in which Shakespeare makes the scene look theatrical is by the structure of the scene. The audience is expecting to see the murder but instead we see Lady Macbeth on stage alone making references to death in order to reflect on what's happening off-stage. When she goes off-stage to place the daggers to the murder scene even though she's not on stage she is still in control of the scene, Macbeth in this case is shown as the weak one. Lady Macbeth states, " my hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white," she is again mocking his manhood & this is the turning point of the scene she clearly becomes the strongest character. ...read more.

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