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In what ways does Shakespeare make the Banqueting scene dramatic?

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Introduction

In what ways does Shakespeare make the Banqueting scene dramatic? Through the drama of the play 'Macbeth', Shakespeare clearly wishes to examine the supernatural elements to illustrate guilt and consciousness caused by witchcraft and demonology. Thus, in examining these elements, Shakespeare's dramatises Macbeth's sociological affect on Duncan; to convey the importance of kingship and the consequences of particular choices. Firstly, Macbeth's ideas of becoming king after receiving the prophecies from the witches had become very strong. Thus, His excitement prompted him to find out more from the witches 'tell me more' he asks them. Macbeth believed the knowledge given by them to be true. This curiosity suggests why he was so determined to become king. 'My thought, whose murder is yet but fantastical' Macbeth thought, the only way to become king was to kill Duncan. Furthermore, the king was God's representative on earth and was chosen by god; hence, to kill the king would upset the natural order. Macbeth did not want to kill Duncan, but he wanted to fulfil his ambition of becoming king, therefore, the only way to do this was by killing Duncan. Although, the prophecies were given both to Macbeth and Banquo, Banquo did not believe the witches '"What! Can the Devil speak true?"' ...read more.

Middle

Then, he goes onto expressing how he feels that Banquo is not present, '"Who I may rather challenge for unkindness"'. No one at the banquet knows Macbeth is responsible for Banquo's death; therefore, Macbeth takes advantage of this and blames Banquo for not being there, though, Macbeth is blameworthy. Although, Macbeth does this, inside he feels guilty for what he has done; his guilt is hidden from his guests. The dramatic irony is used, to explain Macbeth's guilt. Macbeth cannot join his guests at the table, because 'the table's full' at this moment Macbeth can see a figure sitting at his place. No one at the Banquet can see this figure accept for Macbeth. The dramatic irony is used here, to express how Macbeth was not the rightful king and instead Banquo was supposed to be king. Macbeth becomes fearful and worried 'you canst not say, I did it'. Here Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost, he feels really regretful for killing Banquo and feels frustrated. This frustration almost leads him to mentioning his guilt for killing Banquo. However, Lady Macbeth realises her husband's short coming, and makes up a quick lie, to stop her husband for spitting out his guilt '"You shall offend him, and extend his passion"'. Lady Macbeth tells the guest to '"keep seat"', if not they the guest will prolong his suffering and emotion. ...read more.

Conclusion

By viewing the unnatural events, such as Banquo coming back as ghost, this portrays clearly how following the paths of witches can result in disaster and pain in ones life. The two main aspects in this play are the killing of king and witchcraft. The importance of kingship is greatly emphasised, as it is of great importance to both modern people and Jacobeans. The fact, that Shakespeare does not bring Macbeth back to sense, means the killing of king is wrong. It is used to emphasise the great importance of the position of king. James the I would have approved of this. At the time of the Jacobeans, the king was god's representative on earth, to kill him would cause great disaster or disorder to the creation; hence, the position of kingship would affect society at large. For a modern society the understanding of killing the President or King would be very wrong and brutal. Shakespeare, explains and rages out how civilised it leaders are, it is evident that both the Jacobeans and the modernised society agree the importance of this, and I agree. Does anyone have the right to take the leader's position away? If he sets legislations to keep you under safety, then think about the great disaster that would be brought about if someone killed him... ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 ...read more.

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A mixed response - some good points on Macbeth's state of mind and his response to the ghost but a lot of irrelevant detail on the play as a whole. When focusing on a set scene the language and reactions of the characters must be analysed.

Marked by teacher Lynne Jung 20/02/2012

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