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How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to reveal the duality of Macbeth in Act one to the audience?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to reveal the duality of Macbeth in Act one to the audience? In Macbeth Shakespeare presents the themes of illusion and reality by using language and a wide variety of devices. In the play Macbeth is portrayed as both Good and Evil and Shakespeare uses a number of language and dramatical devices to convey this to the audience. In this essay I will explore how the devices are used to show the duality of Macbeth and how this affects the audience. Firstly in Act 1 Scene 7 during the soliloquy Macbeth shows his good side by giving many reasons not to kill Duncan. One example of this is lines 13-14 First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then his, as his host The word kinsmen shows that Macbeth cannot kill the king because he is his Family and to kill a family member would ruin all of the good opinions of Macbeth and he would be shunned by society. This would then strip him of his titles such as The Thane of Cawdor and the prestige's which go with them, therefore resulting in Macbeth never being able to become king. Another reason why Macbeth would not kill the king is vengeance. "Bloody instructions, which being taught, return To plague th'inventor" the adjective bloody describes the brutality of murder which adds to the sinister thoughts of whether to kill the king in Macbeth's soliloquy. ...read more.

Middle

This would make the contemporary audience feel scared of Lady Macbeth because which craft was seen to be work of the devil. And almost everyone in the 1600's was religious and everybody feared the devil and they would kill anybody who had any association with it. At the time the play was written Scotland were at war with Norway. In Act 1 Scene 2 the captain and Duncan praise Macbeth and Banquo for their brave and valiant fighting against fresh Norwegian soldiers. For example "like valour's minion carved out his passage till he face the slave" Valour's minion means bravery's favorite therefore Macbeth is the bravest soldier out there. The word "carved" suggests that Macbeth chopped and sliced his enemies without letting any get away. This shows that Macbeth is a brave and noble fighter, because he is protecting his country from attackers and he is prepared to risk his life to serve his king. The captain also emphasizes Macbeth's character on the battle field by saying "brave Macbeth" - "well he deserves that name" - "disdaining fortune with his brandished steel" These quotations show that Macbeth is very enthusiastic and confident in battle because he wavers his sword into the air in triumph over the defeat of his enemies. This shows that Macbeth is a confident and strong character during war surroundings but later shows his weaknesses in different circumstances with Lady Macbeth. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth also uses violent imagery to emphasize her point. From lines 54 to 59 Lady Macbeth says that she would "tear a child from her own breasts" and "smash its brains out" if she had promised to her husband that she would do something for her. This dramatical device shows how cruel and manipulative Lady Macbeth can be to get what she wants. This violent image is the final twist which makes Macbeth surcome to his wife's brutal demands. And in line the 79 Macbeth confirms that he will kill Duncan making a voe to hid wife Tis settled. The final line of Act 1 sums up Macbeth's character "False face must hide what the false heart doth know" This quote links back to what Lady Macbeth has already said. So, this could show that Macbeth is becoming like her because he begins to repeat what she has already said in the previous scene. From this point on Macbeth begins to carry out his evil plot to kill Duncan so one could argue that Macbeth has started to become like Lady Macbeth by acting in his sinister ways like her. So in conclusion a believe Macbeth is a victim of the torment of his wife's demands and of the possibility that he may have been under a spell. However Macbeth should have stood up to his wife and told her that killing the king is wrong but he does not he is too weak so this is the reason for his downfall later on in the play. ...read more.

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