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Macbeth

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Introduction

With close reference to three key scenes within the play, explore the dramatic devices that Shakespeare employs to reflect Macbeth's changing state of mind. Macbeth is another one of Shakespeare's great tragedies, based on Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. It tells us about the fall of the ambitious couple, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Macbeth is the tragic hero, a character who has a fatal (tragic) flaw within himself that he cannot change. He is not a bad person to begin with but he does become evil; he is just too ambitious. Macbeth is a story about the murder of a king by Macbeth, and the revenge of a son (Malcolm), three witches who plot against Macbeth, and Macbeth's rise and fall. At the time Macbeth was written King James the 6th of Scotland also became King James the 1st of England. He moved from Scotland to London, there became a fashion for all things Scottish. King James's family tree goes back to Banquo therefore Shakespeare made Banquo innocent to not offend the king. King James was extremely interested in witchcraft; he even wrote a book called Daemonology. To the audience in the 16th century witchcraft was a really big issue and more importantly it was so real for them that it forced English parliament to create laws against it. ...read more.

Middle

Directly after Macbeth's soliloquy Lady Macbeth and Macbeth ask each other a short series of questions about Duncan, "He has almost supped: why have you left the chamber? Hath he asked for me? Know you not he has? The unanswered questions they both pose highlight the tension of the situation; this shows us how edgy Macbeth feels. Lady Macbeth then has a long speech where Shakespeare uses rhetorical questions to tell Macbeth that she is angry with his change of Mind. Here Macbeth's state of mind has changed from the beginning the play where he was going to kill Duncan but after his soliloquy where he thought more about it and what Duncan has done for him, his mind has completely changed to the opposite. The audience see that his conscience has got the better of him and how easily swayed he is. By the end of Act 1 scene 7 Macbeths mind has changed again due to his wife, this shows the audience just how emotionally insecure he is. His mind has changed because of Lady Macbeth's comments as she continues to speak to him in a confident and calculating way. Lady Macbeth says "how tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face ...read more.

Conclusion

Thunder. Enter the three witches" this is a very powerful opening by Shakespeare as it describes the setting of the scene, the "boiling cauldron" symbolises the burning fires of hell and also that there is trouble brewing,this shows the tension of Macbeths skin. It shows his strange and repulsive thoughts like in the cauldron, and this may be a symbol for Macbeth that this will be where he goes. Also Shakespeare has split the word "thunder" from "lightning" this relates to Macbeths and Lady Macbeths relationship being detached and separated. The whole sentence creates an eerie atmosphere. This atmosphere symbolises Macbeths mind at this point as it is mysterious and frightening. The witches refer to Macbeth as "Something wicked" In conclusion we see that Macbeths mind has changed dramatically throughout the play, at first we see him feeling insecure and after the murder we see him still edgy and jumpy. But when we get further through the play we see his state of mind changes as he feels untouchable but he still feels on edge as in Act 5 scene3 we see him try to comfort himself by repeating the witches' prophecies as he is told of the approaching armies. At the end of the play we see Macbeth as an evil character, but this isn't the same at the start, where we see him as more of a hero. ...read more.

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