• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How effective is Shakespeare in holding the audience's attention in the Banquet Scene? Introduction

Extracts from this document...


English Coursework on "Macbeth" How effective is Shakespeare in holding the audience's attention in the Banquet Scene? Introduction Shakespeare, although a superb storyteller, was not a historian but he did realise that historical events could provide very good material for plays. Macbeth was a real Scottish Lord who was born in 1005 and elected King of Scotland. Shakespeare used this character on which to base his play. However, Shakespeare also changed the story line of his play to make it more appealing to his audience. He made Macbeth into an ambitious warlord who kills a good King in order to gain power. He also includes the character of Banquo in the play, again another real Scottish Lord from whom James I, King of Scotland and England at the time Shakespeare wrote the play, was supposed to be descended. So Shakespeare immediately has made his play appealing to royalty and Jacobean audiences who were very interested in the role of their King, who had not long ascended to the throne of England when the play was written. ...read more.


However, it is not long before he brings on the First Murderer to tell Macbeth that Banquo has been killed, but Fleance has escaped. Macbeth has to step aside from his guests to speak to him. This event is the start of the build up of dramatic tension in the scene. The appearance of the murderer would shock the audience as it would be odd for this to happen in real life and it shows that Macbeth is ruthless enough to risk being seen with such a character. Shakespeare builds the tension and excites the audience even more by introducing the supernatural into the scene: 'Enter the GHOST OF BANQUO and sits in Macbeth's place.' The audience have just been shown that Banquo has been murdered. Imagine their shock when the character reappears as a ghost. Shakespeare also uses this appearance to change Macbeth's character dramatically. Up until that point Macbeth had been strong but when Banquo's ghost appears he weakens, but this is also when Lady Macbeth's character grows stronger. ...read more.


The beginning is where Macbeth is trying to impress in his new role and create order and stability. The middle is where the ghost appears and he loses control, and the end is where the Banquet breaks down in chaos and Macbeth admits to being so evil that he can never go back. 'I am in blood Stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o'er.' This is a very strong statement from Macbeth, admitting that he has shed so much blood that it is easier to carry on doing so rather than stop and turn around. By contrast, Lady Macbeth is showing signs of the strain. Her sentences become shorter and she admits that she does not know what is night or day, what is right or wrong. 'What is the night?' 'Almost at odds with morning, which is which.' In conclusion, Shakespeare uses a variety of methods to hold his audience's attention effectively. These range from the use of the supernatural, topical events and historical characters to using Jacobean society's beliefs in a scene packed with action and excitement. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Macbeth (Analysis of The Banquet Scene)

    If he was in full view of the guests that would make the guests suspicious to why a man with blood has just turned up at that their formal occasion, which is not what Macbeth and Lady Macbeth would have wanted.

  2. How does Shakespeare make the banquet scene dramatic for the audience?

    It is clear that the Macbeth's are trying to act as normal and gracious as humanly possible at the beginning of the scene, which increases the drama by the misconception of their act. They clearly want to come across as generous people - the right people to lead the country in the absence of Duncan.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work