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Macbeth

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Introduction

Macbeth In the final Act of the play Macbeth and his wife are described by Malcolm as "This dead butcher and his fiend-like queen." Consider how Shakespeare introduces us to the character of Macbeth in Act 1. Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 and wrote 37 plays throughout his lifetime. He wrote Macbeth in 1606 and it is probably one of his best known plays. 'Macbeth' is one of Shakespeare's great tragedies-the others being: King Lear, Othello and Hamlet. 'Macbeth' was written under the rein of King James I, so it is not surprising that the play is, in many ways linked to the King. It is a Scottish play (King James was the new Scots King of England). One of the central characters, Banquo can be traced as one of King James's ancestors. The play also deals with the subject of Kingship and loyalty. This would have appealed to the King as during the gunpowder plot, people who he trusted turned against him and tried to kill him. The play also deals with the subject of the supernatural; this would have interested the King because he was very interested in the darker sides to life. Macbeth is first introduced to us in Act 1, Scene 2. We can see from the start of the play the difference in the language used nowadays to the language used then. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth is already Thane of Glamis, but he doesn't know yet that he is now Thane of Cawdor. They also say that he will be king. Macbeth sees the witches were right about the Thane of Cawdor prediction, when he thought they were hallucinating at first, and we see now his ambitious side. Macbeth then asks Banquo if he hopes his children will be king. This is probably a test for Banquo to see if he is as ambitious as Macbeth is. We next see Macbeth having confusing thoughts. First he has a fleeting thought of murdering Duncan, but it is a horrid image that makes his hair stand on end. This idea of murdering disturbs him so much that his powers of action are completely taken over by his imagination; the only thing he can think about is this unreal thought. This shows Macbeth can be easily swayed by his thoughts and ambition. This will be important later in the play when Lady Macbeth tries to persuade him to kill Duncan. A few lines further on in the scene, Macbeth decides that if he is to become king, he will just let it happen. In Scene 5 we see Lady Macbeth reading a letter sent to her by Macbeth. About halfway through the letter just after Macbeth has hinted at murdering Duncan to become king Lady Macbeth describes him as 'too full o' th' milk of human kindness.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This will be the perfect murder she tells Macbeth. Macbeth then comes round and says 'I am settled, and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat.' This basically means that he has agreed to commit the murder. Lady Macbeth has somehow managed to persuade Macbeth to commit a murder in about 50 lines of the play. This just shows how strong and important a character she is in the play. To conclude my coursework I will say why I think Malcolm called Macbeth and his wife "This dead butcher and his fiend like queen." The first thing that has to be noted before I can express my opinion of the statement made about lady Macbeth is that this play was written in the Jacobean period. This was the reign of King James and at this time the desire of society was to keep women powerless and subordinate. It was a patriarchal society that believed women were not equal to men. I will now say my thoughts on the statement made about Macbeth. I think that it is pretty obvious why Macbeth was called 'This dead butcher.' I think this because he dies at the end of the play so this would be where he gets the 'dead' part of the name. He would then get the 'butcher' part of the name as he kills many men which would make people give him the name 'butcher.' ?? ?? ?? ?? Thomas Moffitt 12J Macbeth ...read more.

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