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In both the Royal Shakespeare Company and Macbeth on the Estate versions of act 3 scene 4 starts with a pleasant atmosphere. Ian Mckellen

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English Coursework - Macbeth Act 3 Scene 4 How does Shakespeare portray Macbeth in this scene? Macbeth presents himself as a very noble and respectable person at the start of the scene but soon his act slips and the true side of Macbeth is evident. Macbeth is the first to speak in this scene showing that he is trying to show his power over the lords. I think Shakespeare did this because the whole point of this scene is to show that Macbeth is trying to take charge. Macbeths' first words are: " You know your own degrees, sit down: at first / last, / the hearty welcome." Macbeth is letting all the lords know that he is in charge by making the lords sit in order of their rank, this is what the feudal system of the time Macbeth was set in was like. However at the same time he is being friendly and welcoming so he can portray himself as a popular king. Macbeths' deceptive side is portrayed a lot in this scene. From the start he is being deceptive; one second he is talking to the lords acting the " humble host " then he is talking to the murderer of Banquo. Shakespeare is using a method called juxtaposing, he is trying to show how Macbeth can be friendly and change so easily and quickly into being evil. ...read more.


Even in the way that Macbeth is describing this in single words shows that he is unstable. When Macbeth first notices the ghost Lenox is the first to realise something is wrong even before Macbeth has spoken. Shakespeare has done this to show that Macbeth is clearly very disturbed by what he is seeing and that Macbeth clearly believes there is something there. Macbeth starts ranting at the lords. Trying to bring their attention to the ghost He is accusing the lords of doing a prank on him. Macbeth is clearly disturbed by this and it is evident by the way that he is speaking. Again he is ranting short and sometimes single word sentences. "Pr'ythee, see there! behold! look! lo! / How say you?" This is a sign that he is worried and disturbed. Macbeth shows more signs of being unstable when he is saying that he would take on Banquo with no fear if he were only in a natural state, reinforcing Macbeths obvious fear of the supernatural. "What man dare, I dare........desert with my sword" Lady Macbeth describes Macbeth "with most admired disorder." Even she thinks that Macbeth has lost all self-control. In both the Royal Shakespeare Company and Macbeth on the Estate versions of act 3 scene 4 starts with a pleasant atmosphere. Ian Mckellen acts Macbeth in the RSC version and James Frain acts Macbeth in the Macbeth on the Estate version. ...read more.


Frain buys drinks and starts to join in the drinking games. He also successfully got the positive atmosphere back. When the ghost now reappears Frain acts even more scared and falls to the ground. He slithers into a corner and he is whimpering and sobbing. His speech is breathless and rushed. Mckellen also delivers a very convincing act of fear when he sees the ghost again. Mckellen is very hysterical as he starts to slobber everywhere. His delivery of the lines are unclear and his facial expressions are grotesque. Even Mckellens hair has changed from being neat to a mess showing that he has lost control. In this part of the scene Mckellan waves a dagger at the ghost but Frain uses a stool. These both methods are very convincing way to show their fear. Now that the ghost has gone both Mckellen and Frain are left looking pathetic kneeling and sobbing at Lady Macbeths' feet. When the lords are leaving Mckellen gives a pathetic wave like a pathetic child with a pathetic expression on his face. Mckellen and Frain both deliver a similar act at the end of the scene when they are left with Lady Macbeth. They still look quite distracted and a bit nervous but have nearly regained their composure. When they are talking although they are with Lady Macbeth they don't appear to be talking to her. They are staring into the air. It seems more like they are speaking their thoughts out loud and not consulting Lady Macbeth. ...read more.

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