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

Illustrate How The Play Develops As A Tragedy And Analyse The Relative Elements In Three Scenes

Extracts from this document...


Macbeth Illustrate How The Play Develops As A Tragedy And Analyse The Relative Elements In Three Scenes The tragedy of Macbeth, authored by Shakespeare, is a play that concentrates on the characteristic flaws in the noble hero, Macbeth, which lead to pitiful consequences. The tragedy is always down to a tragic hero- a character which the audience remains sympathetic with because at their core, they are admirable; however, certain sinister influences that originate within their own self are then encouraged by other characters, which helps lead to the final tragedy- the fall of the tragic hero. That character, in this case, is Lady Macbeth who manipulates Macbeth's sense of worth between sacrificing his soul for the reward of kingship to satisfy her own selfish ambition to gain power. This manipulation is highlighted by the battle of wills (ambition/temptation versus honour) fought inside Macbeth as he thinks over what his wife has said He could have, in an outright manner, asserted to Lady Macbeth that he would NOT murder Duncan, and there would have been no need for a battle of wills within him. However this is not the case because he allows that battle to run its course- it's his tragic flaw that stops his from dismissing the whole idea; consequently this flaw in reasoning leads him to murder Duncan. It is this very flaw which is responsible for the drive behind everything Macbeth perpetrates. In definition, it's a sinister, and to begin with, very low-key ambition; for example, at the beginning he doesn't really expect the title of Thane of Cawdor after the first battle and is pleasantly surprised when he does receive it; however, after receiving that title, unfamiliar desires begin to take form such as the uncontrollable anticipation to become King. But it's his extreme weakness to resist psychological persuasion in the form of insults (which his wife plays on) ...read more.


With the help of invisible sprits, she wants to make herself able to commit a heinous act of murder to make her dreams of the royal life come true, without having reservations or remorse. She approaches Macbeth with her intent to kill King Duncan. Macbeth, although wanting the prophecy to come true, and become king, lacks the enthusiasm his wife has, to commit the murder. Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to act on his desires or he will later think of himself as a coward. All of this goes straight into Macbeth's mind, which is full of ideas for glory and honour (after all he is proclaimed a great warrior). Maybe the dishonour that cowardice would bring is too great a burden for "brave Macbeth". Lady Macbeth's orchestration of the murder exemplifies the twisted atmosphere in Inverness. Both a woman and a host, she should be the model of grace and femininity. She is described, however, as a "fiendlike queen" (Act 5, Scene 6, Line 69) and exhibits a cold, calculating mentality. Act 1, scene 3 is really where his tragic flaw is exposed for the first time. At the banquet held in honour for the inauguration of Macbeth as the new King, is possibly where the most alarming occurrence for Macbeth and the most awkward moments of discomfiture for Lady Macbeth coincide. It's a vital scene to the play because it shows how Macbeth's sense of guilt reaches a climax along with the tragic consequences of the tragic flaw. From here, Macbeth's undoing begins. The scene opens as Macbeth is welcoming his guests when one of the murderers comes to the door. He informs Macbeth that Banquo is dead: Macbeth asks him "There's blood upon thy face". He is clearly pleased with this news. He praises his wickedness warmly "thou art the best of the cut-throats". The absence of any remorse or compassion in Macbeth's speech shocks the audience and suggests that he become truly evil. The murderer continues his speech mentioning Fleance's escape. ...read more.


Macbeth is seen as at his lowest b4 this action and this lifts him a little. He wished to die as warrior. This reveals a streak of heroism within him, thus a source of nobility. Macbeth ends exactly how it began: with a victorious battle in which a noble hero kills a traitor and displays his head. In act one we hear of Macbeth's bravery and how he cuts off a traitors head. Here at the end of the tragedy Macbeth himself who was a traitor to Duncan and his family gets his head cut off. It's a cruel twist! Macbeth, as a Tragedy, has been a very carefully composed play with each theme, minor and major, playing a significant role in the outcome. In conclusion, I have to say that Macbeth, in spite of his horrible murders, is a pitiable man. His saving grace is that he did not initially want to kill Duncan but later changed his mind after listening to his wife. In addition, Macbeth internally suffered because he could not enjoy his royal status. Fear, paranoia, exhaustion and sleeplessness plagued him despite his sovereignty. Lady Macbeth is also a tragic hero. Her initial courage and daring did not last long, and she quickly deteriorated into a delusional, hapless somnambulist. On concluding the part played by a fate in this play, I believe it has not been investigated sufficiently enough for further analysis. However there are recognisable limits to this issue- Shakespeare has left many unanswered questions in various parts of the play, relating to fate, that he believes can only be answered by the individual their self. On one hand I think the evil fate of Macbeth was pre arranged by the supernatural and on the other I am saying that people are responsible for there own actions. It all comes down to the question- do you believe in fate? Macbeth - English Cswk Piece 4/5 -- 12/11/01 3:19 PM Mussadiq Khan | 4,581 | Page 1 of 3 ...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. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the Role Played by the Witches in the Tragedy of Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    That is what the witches mean. It could also be taken a different way. As soon as the war is over and Scotland has won, Macbeth begins the greedy and ambitious struggle to become king. The storm and the battle represent an upset in nature and things in turmoil.

  2. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal, valiant warrior ...

    why he "fears" the good news but Macbeth does not reply because he is "rapt withal." The witches use "all hail" in conjunction with the news, which Shakespeare associates this with Jesus' traitor Judas and so the audience would be fearful. Judas was hated because of his actions against Christ.

  1. Lady Macbeth is responsible for the tragedy of Macbeth

    This means that the witches only deliver Macbeth to his destiny, and as their predictions control Macbeth, they too have a greater power controlling them. However, the witches do have a connection with Macbeth. We see this in act 1 scene 3 when he echoes something earlier said by the

  2. How does Shakespeare Present the Supernatural in Macbeth?

    The repetition the witches speak are confusing to Macbeth and do not seem to make any sense, but the repetition is signs of spell chanting like they are stirring up magic. The witches, no matter how many of them, are all one voice.

  1. What impression do you get of Macbeth from the First Act?

    Later on in the play Macbeth seems to lose all his bravery and run to the witches for help, but in this scene he is described as 'Disdaining fortune'. Where does all his reckless bravery disappear? In this scene nothing could be better for him he seems popular: 'brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name' and courageous: 'valiant.'


    The three apparitions also create fear, and they have a particular dramatic impact both on the audience and Macbeth. This is how at the end of the scene the audience should feel. Towards Macbeth, the audience should not be very sympathetic as they should reject what the apparitions told him

  1. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    Let's away; our tears are not yet brewed'. His plans also drive his once ironically confident and merciless wife to self-murder. From the start of the play, Lady Macbeth acts as her husband's sidekick and supporter and spurs him on in his plight for power, however as Macbeth gains more power and carries out more and more evil deeds.

  2. How does Shakespeare present the character of Lady Macbeth in 'Macbeth'?

    She speaks of an adage, or proverb which says 'The cat wanted to eat fish, but didn't want to wet her paws.' This could be considered a rather offensive way to persuade someone to do what you want and proves that she believes this to be the best way to get someone to do what she wants.

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