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How has Shakespeare created a sense of growing evil by the end of Act 1 of Macbeth?

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How has Shakespeare created a sense of growing evil by the end of Act 1 of Macbeth? Macbeth is a Shakespearean book on the theme of supernatural and in some sense horror. Throughout the book, you sense the evidence of evil growing, with it becoming more powerful and overpowering the good until the final battle. The bulk of the transformation from good to evil occurs in the first act, when both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are enticed with evil spirits. My essay will explain how evil is growing and becoming more influential in Act 1 especially in terms of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth paying special attention to the symbolism used. The opening of Macbeth instantly starts with the spur of evil. The setting of the witches in the dark heath with the bad weather gives you the impression of evilness growing as they stir up their soup of words. It's a supernatural introduction to the book, which as all books, is the most important part as it sets the storyline of the book and gives the reader a natural sense of the book. It's an omen to the book. The fact that the sun is setting and that light is vanishing and that dark is beginning to peak and 'grow' shows the introduction of the metamorphosis. This second scene shows the introduction of the king, Macbeth and the other 'noble' warriors. ...read more.


Macbeth's confusion was rendered symbolically by the fog on the heath, which is seen as the prime of evil. Another case of equivocation was when the phrase 'sounds so fair'. The word 'sounds' makes it unclear and extremely bewildering. Another example of unnatural work alongside the witches with beards and the phrase 'foul is fair and fair is foul' is the role of women. In this book, women are the powerful gender controlling and dictating the men especially in the case of Lady Macbeth dominating Macbeth. This intensifies the unnaturalness of the Macbeth family. The division between evil and good began to evolve. We can begin to see Macbeth beginning to be influenced by the witches and slowly taking the path towards evil along with Lady Macbeth whom learns to exercise her evilness. We can obviously see Banquo and King Duncan not being influenced and always remaining on the good side. This is ironic, as it's them two who get killed first. This goodness is expressed by Banquo's imagery of him imagining seeds, grain and growing. Macbeth also starts to use asides, which shows him as being devious and secretive. He's learning to exercise his evil roots. This scene triggers Macbeth's evilness in the terms of the witches persuading him. Macbeth however has still not been completely influenced as we see in his second aside. ...read more.


They're still not fully bad as they still show some indecisive thoughts as we see from the phrase 'we will speak later'. This shows evil is still growing. Finally, this evil scene is long showing evilness growing against goodness. This scene shows the couple as being extremely artificial making the comment's that King Duncan makes very ironic. Phrases including words like warm and welcoming is ironic, as it's the final place he'll be seeing as he meets his death. Phrases from Duncan using the title 'Thane of Cawdor' as a compliment agitates Macbeth (who wanted to be the next king) which only increases the use of his evil potential. This again is evil growing. In this final scene of this act, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plan out how they are going to kill Duncan. By now Lady Macbeth is fully evil but Macbeth is still indecisive. Again she challenges his manhood by saying he has no guts and she uses her maternal instincts to corrupt him especially with the fact that she has a boy from another man. He then questions her by saying 'if we fail' but she replies it's impossible again showing her dominance. We can see the final transformation to complete evil during Macbeth's soliloquy when he goes from if to when and when he says to his wife that you may only have boys showing his dominance building. That's when they have both become fully evil being triggered by the witches and that Lady Macbeth was the catalyst in persuading Macbeth. ...read more.

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