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How does Shakespeare create sympathy for Macbeth in the 1st two acts of the play?

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How does Shakespeare create sympathy for Macbeth in the 1st two acts of the play? In a tragedy it is essential for the audience to feel a sense of loss or waste of human potential. How does Shakespeare ensure the audience has sympathy with Macbeth at the beginning of the play? Act one, scene two reveals Macbeth's greatness, potential, courage and most of all his loyalty to Scotland. The sergeant had just brought the news that Macbeth had killed the 'disloyal traitor,' the Thane of Cawdor in battle. The sergeant speaks of Macbeth as 'brave' and he also say 'well he deserves that name.' This shows that Macbeth has a good name within Scotland by the people and he is well respected. The king himself calls Macbeth 'noble' and gives him the title of Thane of Cawdor. This shows the trust and reliance that the king has for Macbeth because the previous Thane of Cawdor was murdered because he was a 'disloyal traitor' so this obviously means that the king has now given this title to someone (Macbeth) who he thinks is worthy. This all shows that Macbeth is a man of potential for greatness but somehow takes the wrong path and ends up having a blackened name. ...read more.


When Macbeth comes back from battle to see Lady Macbeth he calls her 'My dearest love' and asks her to get everything sorted for the King. This shows that he has a lot of affection for his wife which is probably a reason to why he listened and trusted her for the murder of Duncan. However, when he comes in, she reminds him about being thane 'my thane.' She provokes him as she reminds him about the 'ambition.' She asks him to be the hospitable host to the king 'Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under't.' This shows that she's given a lot of thought to it all and has it all sorted out but Macbeth tries to put her off the idea 'We will speak further' This shows Macbeth's hesitation and that he's not as desperate as she is. If Lady Macbeth had not brought the issue up and let Macbeth to deal with the situation none of this would have happened. Macbeth's soliloquy in scene 7 is also again helpful for the audience to realise what Macbeth is really thinking at that specific point of the play. It also shows the good nature of Macbeth because instead of thinking of reasons to kill Duncan, he thinks of reasons of why he should not kill the king. ...read more.


Macbeth's disturbed character is visible after the murder of Duncan. Macbeth being a brave soldier should not be scared of blood but he was very scared this time after killing Duncan. He was so scared 'I could not say 'Amen'' showing the contrast from what he used to be. It creates sympathy because such a good man has changed so dramatically in a wrong way because he was forced to do things against his conscience. Macbeth says what will happen to him in the future but is unaware at the time 'Me thought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep.' Macbeth is obsessed with the blood on his hand 'No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.' This shows how guilty he feels because his exaggerated imagery shows how bad he thinks the deed was. Macbeth wishes that Duncan would wake up but he can't 'Wake Duncan with thy knocking!' this also creates sympathy because it's basically a plea from Macbeth to Duncan to wake up but he knows he can't. The whole process of killing Duncan has been very painful for Macbeth and he's agitated and disturbed but it hasn't been easy for him and this creates sympathy for him because he does have some goodness still left in him. Vallee Nadarajasuntharam ...read more.

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