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Macbeth

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Introduction

Macbeth Essay William Shakespeare wrote the tragedy Macbeth in the 1660s, it was one of four tragedies that he wrote at this time. Macbeth tells the story of a man held in high regard by the King of Scotland, King Duncan. However Macbeth is not satisfied with his lot. He is told in a prophecy that one day he will become King and so driven by his own greed and that of a very ambitious wife, he commits regicide to enable himself, to gain the power that he craves and the throne of Scotland. Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare for King James1. James 1 was interested in Scottish history and magic, hence the themes of the play. Also at the time Shakespeare wrote Macbeth the general public believed in magic and witchcraft therefore such a play would create much general interest. In my essay I intend to show how Shakespeare's technique and dramatic purpose in the opening scenes of Macbeth are important to the development of the play. Macbeth Act 1 scene 1 The opening scene of Shakespeare's play Macbeth is set on a battlefield during a storm. It would be dark and eerie. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth then tries to convince Banquo. "Do you not hope your children shall be kings, when those that gave Thane of Cawdor to me promised no less to them? He enquires of Banquo. Banquo however warns Macbeth "Oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths". Macbeth still tries to convince Banquo saying," The instruments of darkness tell us truths", leaving the audience in no doubt that Macbeth wants to believe the Witches. Act1 Scene 4 In Scene 4 Shakespeare uses recurring themes to leave the audience in no doubt about the relationship between Duncan and Macbeth. Showing Duncan's respect and love for Macbeth is important as the audience are able to see how Duncan's trust of Macbeth might make him vulnerable. Duncan thanks Macbeth for what he did in the battle saying he could never repay him (a dramatic irony when we know what is to come). Macbeth replies "The service and loyalty I owe, in doing it, pays itself!" Macbeths reply here, that he was only doing his duty, further reinforces the king's trust. However we later learn in a soliloquy speech of Macbeths true intentions; The Prince of Cumberland: that is a step on Which I must fall down, or else o'erleap. ...read more.

Conclusion

And that he Macbeth, will be judged by god. The use of the soliloquy enables the audience to see Macbeth battle with his emotions, it shows his humanity and heightens the tragedy of his decision to kill Duncan. However at this point he decides not to proceed with regicide. He tells Lady Macbeth "We will proceed no further in this business". She asks him what happened to his hope "Was the hope drunk where in you dress'd yourself" she repeats this technique of bullying and belittling her husband saying "When you durst do it, then you were a man. When this fails she tells him that she will not love him if he doesn't do this. She uses blackmail and also tells him that had she sworn to she would kill a baby suckling at her breast. We then see Macbeth's submission, when she tells him of her plan to get the King attendants drunk and make it look like they did it. He starts to believe that they will get away with the crime. Shakespeare manages to create tension throughout this scene; the action rising up to the end to keep the audience enthralled. The relevance of Macbeth's battle with his conscience becomes clear later in the play. The fact that he has a conscience and is capable of feeling guilt is the start of his downfall. ...read more.

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