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How does Shakespeare create sympathy for Macbeth in act five?

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How does Shakespeare create sympathy for Macbeth in act five? Macbeth is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare (in 1606) at the beginning of the 17th century, for King James 1st. At this time the Elizabethan's believed that witches were real and actually did these evil deeds. At the time when the play was written the "Divine right of Kings" was written to protect the Kings of England from being killed. If a King (or Queen) was killed it was thought that it had disturbed the natural order. This effects the play greatly. The play is set in the highlands of Scotland, where a war has just ended. The main character "Macbeth" met with some witches on the moors after battle, who predicted that he would become Thane of Glamis and King of Scotland. Macbeth was appointed Thane of Glamis for his bravery as a soldier in the war. The next prediction then came true by Macbeth being forced by his wife Lady Macbeth to murder his King. Macbeth was then appointed King of Scotland. His best friend Banquo also received a prediction from the witches but chose to ignore it. Macbeth not wanting the prediction to come true murdered Banquo for his own personal gain. At the end of act four Macbeth is in our lowest estimations as he has just murdered Macduff's innocent wife and children, as well as his King and his best friend. ...read more.


The play Macbeth is a tragedy, and the tragic character is Macbeth, his tragic flaw is his ambition that he wants to be the best for himself and his wife. The fact that Macbeth is a good soldier makes us feel slightly upset that he has followed the witches predictions and murdered his King, and his best friend, because if he did not do these things he could have been one of the best soldiers of the Scottish army. This creates sympathy by knowing that Macbeth could have been better, but was wasted by his gullibility of the witches predictions, and his ambition. His ambition blinded his common knowledge to make him believe the witches evil intents. The audience realises that the witches are evil and that they purposely tricked Macbeth into believing that he is invincible, " none of woman born shall harm Macbeth ", this gives Macbeth a sense of invincibility, the witches have given him unreal confidence. This makes the audience feel pity for Macbeth because he got mixed up in the witches games. The witches betrayed Macbeth by tricking him into believing that it will be very difficult to defeat Macbeth, " Macbeth shall never be vanquish'd be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him ", this seems to mean that when Birnam Wood comes to Macbeth's castle. ...read more.


In the ending scenes of the play the scenes become very short, but give an impact of something exciting happening, building up the end of the play. Making an impact on the coming scenes. At the time when the play was written the Elizabethan belief was that witches really existed and could play evil tricks like this on someone. This is the main focus around the play, the witches put pressure on Macbeth to do these evil deeds, without Macbeth realising this. Macbeth seems dependant of the witches to tell him his future, but the witches trick him into thinking unholy thoughts and this leads Macbeth to the murder of his King, his best friend and Macduff's wife and children. The witches play a significant part in the downfall of Macbeth as they manipulate him and his thinking so that they can have a little fun in ruining someone's life. Yet the witches did not succeed, Macbeth died as a tragic hero not the evil King that the witches wanted him to be.s The Elizabethan Belief of the "Divine Right of Kings" is also an important factor of the play as Macbeth disturbed the natural order of the country. Yet eventually everything was set right and the rightful King Malcolm came to the throne. Overall, Macbeth made a terrible mistake in believing the witches prophecies, but we do feel sympathy for him as he does realise this moments before he dies and reawakens the brave heroic soldier that he originally was. Nicki Deane ...read more.

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