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

In the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal, valiant warrior who it seems would do anything for his King and Country.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

ENGLISH ESSAY In the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal, valiant warrior who it seems would do anything for his King and Country. When he meets with three witches, this triggers a series of changes in his character which, with the help and persuasion of his wife Lady Macbeth, leads to the death of King Duncan. In Act 1 Scene 1 Macbeth is not actually present himself and so we only hear about him second hand from the perceptions of others. The stage directions in this scene mention "thunder" and "lightening" which immediately makes the audience think something bad is going to happen, since thunder is associated with darkeness and this is associated with hell. When the play was written, it was strongly believed in and people were terrified of it. In this scene we hear the witches talking to each other. When the play was written witches were heavily believed in and they were associated with the devil and evil forces. When we hear "There to meet with Macbeth" the audience immediately associates Macbeth with this evil. This thought is finalised when the witches murmur "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" which introduces the idea of double appearances. The fact they speak in turn (first witch,second witch and then third witch) and that they speak in rhyme makes it seems as though they are psychic if they can do this. They say everything mystically, which builds up the dramatic effect of this scene, and makes the audience think that Macbeth will be associated with evil doings. However, in Act one Scene two we hear a total contrast to the previous scene. It is a contrast of good and evil. Throughout the play, Shakespeare constantly compares good to evil. This was of massive importance to the people watching again utilizing their fear of hell. The first two scenes are a great example of this comparison , and later on Shakespeare uses Banquo as another comparison to evil. ...read more.

Middle

He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust." This is dramatic timing. The fact that Macbeth enters just after this makes the audience think that maybe we shouldn't judge Macbeth either. Shakespeares use of dramatic irony links Macbeth directly to Duncan's comments. Macbeth learns that "Malcolm" will "establish upon our estate" (is next in line for the throne.) Macbeth reacts to this by thinking "it is a step to which I must fall down or o'erleap, for in my way it lies." It appears that he has come to terms with the fact that he will now become king, but this news suggests that he cannot become it. Macbeth knows his thoughts are wrong because he doesn't want "light to see my black and deep desires." He doesn't want people to tell from his expression what dark and devious thouhts he is concucting. In Act 1 scene 5 we get an insight into the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. The stage direction of "reading a letter" shows us they are very intimate and they share everything. It is a very valuable relationship and it is needed by both of them to survive. Lady Macbeth obviously know her husband very well as she he remarks he's "too full o' th' milk of human kindness". She sees him as having ambition without wickedness in order to get what they both desire. She knows he will need persuading and plans to use strong words that she knows will have an effect on her husband. She tells him to "look like th' innocent flower, but be the serpent under't'." This is also a biblical metaphor going back to the time of Adam and Eve and the serpent who tricked Adam into eating the forbidden fruit, casting wickedness into a previously perfect existance. The serpent is therefore associated with evil and wickedness. Shakespeare includes references to this is many plays, again using the importance of religion, because everyone understood and could relate to it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth is upset because he couldn't say "amen" to the guards' prayers to try and ammend what he was doing to God showing he knows he has done wrong. Lady Macbeth is more calm and just replies "consider it not so deeply." She is taking charge of the situation. She gives orders to Macbeth and demands of him to "go carry them" and "wash this filthy witness from your hand." He cannot cope with it himself. He says "Macbeth will sleep no more." His hands are tainted with blood and everything he now touches he will now be covered in blood; a disturbing metophoric sight fot the audience. Lady Macbeth says "be not lost so poorly in your thoughts" to which he replies "To know my deed, 'twere best not know my self" which tells us he doesn't want to face the reality of his crime. The last thing he says in this scene is "Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou couldst". He wishes he could wake Duncan, revealing he deeply regrets what he has done. Despite this, Macbeth is now a traitor himself. He is not at ease with himself or his relationship with Lady Macbeth. He seems untrustworthy and not the strong independent warrior he once was. In act 1 scene 2 when we heard about him, he was portrayed as loyal. The thought of killing the King for his own sake was out of the question to Macbeth. There is a big difference between fighting for the country and killing the King, but with the influence of the witches, ambitions of Lady Macbeth and his own desires he overcame this to become this selfish person who he now is. Even if he does become king, his relationship with Lady Macbeth is in jeopardy, he has lied to his trusted friend Banquo, and he cannot cope with the guilt. Was becoming king more important to him than that? ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Throughout the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth together demonstrate how ambition can turn a ...

    5 star(s)

    ?Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, till thou appalled the deed.? Act 3, Scene 2 (page 129) Macbeth sends a third murderer to kill Banquo and Fleance as he no longer trusts anyone. Macbeth goes back to see the witches independently and demands that they answer his questions.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    What is the importance of Banquo in Shakespeare's play Macbeth?

    4 star(s)

    an important quote showing Macbeth's true character, a traitorous enemy to all those who stand before him As Macbeth plans to kill Duncan, he spends a lot of time planning of how to rid of the King.

  1. How is Evil Portrayed in Macbeth

    We have seen a struggle in Macbeth's mind between what is right and wrong, but with the murder we see evil overwhelming the good. This crime was the beginning of his downfall; the Witches prophesied that Banquo would be the father of Kings, so Macbeth had to kill him too.

  2. macbeth- appearance vs reality

    He compliments on how they are all so nice and the castle I so welcoming when he does not even have a clue as to what his fate will bring in the future. In the beginning of Act 1 scene 6, Duncan says ''this castle hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses.''

  1. Comparison between Roman Polanski’s Macbeth and Macbeth on the Estate

    She seems unsettled by the kings presence when he comes round to get drunk to celebrate Macbeth becoming Thaine of Cordor. She does stay up and help him into bed but with no care in the world it seems because she knows that he shall die soon.

  2. Imagery Of Appearance and Reality in Macbeth

    Secondly, Macbeth�s reign would forever be overshadowed by the popularity and untimely death of the King. "So clear in his great office, that his virtues, will plead like angels, trumped-tongued against The deep damnation of his taking off." (I.7.I8-20) This is the closest that Macbeth comes to questioning his actions the deed he has chosen to undertake.

  1. Discuss the role of the witches in Macbeth your essay refer to Shakespeare's use ...

    "A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come." The witches seem to greet Macbeth in the two tenses present and future. But they represent the three fates past, present and future. "All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!" "All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor " he

  2. Why is Banquo such an important character in Shakespeares play Macbeth?

    He is trying to warn Macbeth that all is not as it seems and thus protect him from evil, but Macbeth will not listen. Banquo appears morally superior to Macbeth throughout the play. In Act 2 scene 1 Shakespeare uses Banquo?s unease to heighten the sense of foreboding.

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