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Macbeth analysis of scenes 1, 2 and 3.

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Macbeth Coursework Introduction Macbeth was based on a true story that occurred in eleventh century Scotland, which Shakespeare revised to transform into one of the greatest plays of all time. Macbeth was written during a garish age of aberration and violence. Shakespeare wrote the play to entertain and make money, which is why it is palatable with the King of England (James) at the time it was written. The King had an ardent interest in witchcraft, as did the rest of society, and was apt to eulogy and admiration (for some peculiar reason). Shakespeare certainly 'tweaked' the story of Macbeth to impress the King by including acclaim towards the greatness of King James within the play and changing a villainous ancestor of James, Banquo, (who helped kill Duncan in the actual events of the eleventh century) into heroic and brave character. Shakespeare wasn't just aiming to please the King though, Macbeth was written to entertain a scurrilous and ruthless audience in the fifteenth century, keeping them interested until the end of the play, which Shakespeare undoubtedly does... Scene 1 As soon as the audience are seated they are engrossed with the play. Shakespeare begins Macbeth with not one, not two, but three witches upon a heath. Coincidentally, it is also thunder and lightning at the witches gathering. There are three witches to dramatise the effect on the audience and the belief that three is a mystical and magic number. If there are three witches they can also communicate with each other - It would look silly for one witch to be on stage talking aloud about how she impeded a sailor's sleep. ...read more.


Worthy gentlemen!" "This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Unto our gentle senses." "See, see, our honor'd hostess! The love that follows us sometime is our trouble, Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you How you shall bid God 'ield us for your pains, And thank us for your trouble." King Duncan frequently talks highly about his killers and were he shall be murdered. We are also treated to a chivalrous speech by the Sergeant outlining how brave and valiant Macbeth is and how he disposed of Macdonwald, "Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements." The King is again exposed as pathetic through the behaviour of Ross. Ross is deliberately sarcastic on numerous occasions towards the King, which no worthy King would tolerate. Malcolm shows the kingly qualities he possesses as he identifies the Sergeant, whom his father fails to recognise, "This is the sergeant Who like a good and hardy soldier fought 'Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend!" We know that Malcolm is too young to be fighting in the army and his kingly qualities shine through later on in the play when he brings out the best in Macduff after Macduff has heard the news of his wife's murder, "Be this the whetstone of your sword. Let grief Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it." This scene also distinguishes Macbeth, and indeed Banquo, as a brave warrior who is rising to Kingship. ...read more.


In Macbeth's first soliloquy he is even thinking about becoming King, "If chance will have me King, why, chance may crown me Without my stir." Here Macbeth is thinking that he may become King without having to do anything like how he became the Thane of Cawdor. Although he is thinking these thoughts he does not have any intention on sharing his thoughts with his loyal friends and we begin to see how comfortably and easily Macbeth lies, "(Banquo) Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure." "(Macbeth) Give me your favor; my dull brain was wrought With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains Are register'd where every day I turn The leaf to read them. Let us toward the King." The audience are not going to now get up and leave after the first three scenes and the plot beginning to unveil. Shakespeare has got the audience interested and thinking about what possibilities the play holds, 'Are the witches speaking the truth?' 'Is Macbeth willing to murder Duncan for a position he believes he is better suited for?' 'What about Banquo?' These are just some of the questions the audience will be asking themselves. By now with the plot unveiling and so many questions left unanswered Shakespeare has managed to hook the audience, which means the cast don't get a rotten tomato in the face. The opening scenes of Macbeth are written to captivate the audience's imagination, set the theme of the play and introduce the main characters and their unique idiosyncrasies. The opening scenes of Macbeth easily achieve the latter and the audience know they are in for a theatrical treat. John McCarthy Macbeth Coursework ...read more.

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