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How doesShakespeare use language and staging to create dramatic interest in Act 4 scene1 of Macbeth?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use language and staging to create dramatic interest in Act 4 scene 1 of Macbeth? In 'Macbeth' William Shakespeare uses many techniques for example through the language and stage directions he uses to create dramatic interest. The play is set in Scotland and as the king himself was Scottish, he would be familiar with the places mentioned. It was first performed in 1606 in Jacobean England, at a time when both witchcraft and superstition were prevalent. I intend to show how the use of language and staging create dramatic interest in Act 4 scene 1. The scene itself is set in a 'desolate place near Forres' and begins with a roll of thunder. This creates dramatic interest through staging because when thunder rumbles before a storm, it suggests some sort of struggle will follow. A desolate place and thunder can automatically be associated with one another. The audience are engaged in the play at this point because the thunder has an effect of tension and anxiety amongst the audience. Nobody is sure as to what will happen next. Bad experiences are most frequent in desolate, cold places as no one else is around to experience the bad fortune. ...read more.

Middle

This is another example of how Shakespeare uses language to create dramatic interest. On line 44 before Shakespeare writes the stage direction ' music and a song, black spirits '. Hecate and the other three witches leave. Shakespeare uses the music and song to create suspense and tension. Depending on the effects, however both the music and song leave the audience wondering as to what may happen next. This aspect of staging creates dramatic interest because the witches are leaving, so the audience begin to ask who will come on stage next, Macbeth is alone on stage and we wait with anticipation what he will do and say. On line 46 Macbeth enters and calls the witches ' Midnight Hags! ' He exclaims it, this shows the audience is carefree; he doesn't care what the witches think even though they have more power. He is sarcastic and rude. The audience will question why he is not being cautious and fear the consequences. On line 61, the first witch asks Macbeth if he wants to hear what they have to say, either from themselves or their ' masters ', this creates excitement amongst the audience because we have not yet met the 'masters'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The language used in the apparitions creates suspense. The first warns Macbeth to beware of Macduff; the second tells him that 'none of woman born' can harm him, and the third seems to promise that Macbeth will not be defeated. Before each apparition Shakespeare has given the direction of a roll of thunder, this again is done to create suspense. It makes it a mystery as to who will follow. The apparitions lead us to remember previous acts in the play for example the death of Duncan. Before Macbeth is fully satisfied and is able to finish what he is saying, each apparition 'descends' which is leaving at a cliffhanger, and this creates dramatic interest. We can see throughout the play that Macbeth's character has changed but this is revealed to us heavily in Act 4 scene. Shakespeare has cleverly incorporated something that is popular at that time into his play to make it more interesting and create dramatic interest, and this is exactly what the witches do. Without the language and stage directions in this scene, it would not have been as dramatically interesting. This scene links to previous parts of the play, which adds to the effect, because all in all it draws our minds back to when Macbeth killed Duncan at the beginning of the play. Aina Hussain ...read more.

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