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Macbeth and Soliloquies

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GCSE ENGLISH COURSE WORK MACBETH AND SOLILOQUIES By Joe Swainson This play was written by Sir William Shakespeare and was first performed in front of King James at Hamilton court in 1606. The play is set in the 1500s in Scotland. Three witches who are the physical form of evil in the play and like the serpent in the Garden of Eden represent the force of temptation. Macbeth and his friend and nobleman Banquo come upon these three witches. The witches foretell that Macbeth is to become King of Scotland. Banquo is distrustful of them and senses them as evil whereas Macbeth is tempted by their predictions. He expresses his fears, feelings and thoughts in two soliloquies with dramatic tension and irony. In this essay I am going to show how I would direct the two soliloquies in a play. In the first soliloquy Macbeth is situated at centre stage. The stage is lit up with two fire torches on either side of him. ...read more.


His conscience is very persuasive as he starts to list reasons why he shouldn't kill the current King of Scotland, Duncan. He says if Duncan were murdered it would create a tremendous outcry and that he is the rightful king. While muttering this passage the expression on his face holds little hope because deep down he knows that he wants to kill the king. He stops pacing and goes right stage to peer over the balcony into the misty dark night air. He says, "I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent". Here he is saying that he can't commit the murder. The lights all dim apart from a pair of fire torches at top left and right stage providing light. Macbeth strolls out in a weary manner as the fog machine lets out plumes of grey smoke. This provides an atmosphere similar to Macbeth's thoughts in his first soliloquy and sets the scene for the next one. ...read more.


This is not portrayed outright but they know that something horrific is going to happen. Macbeth steps forward into the light and lunges the dagger into Duncan's chest. The laser, which has the image of the dagger, is lost and Macbeth has a similar dagger hidden inside his coat, which he reveals to kill the King. With an astonished voice and deep breathing, he says "Words to the heat of deeds too cold to cold breath gives". He commits the murder as the bells ring as if to invite him. "I go and it is done. The bell invites me" hence this passage. Macbeth pauses to look at Duncan with respect for him then he turns and once again goes into the dark and away from the scene where the murder was committed. In this essay I have shown how I would direct these two soliloquies. They are pivotal to the course of the play. I have also shown that irony is most prevelent in these soliloquies and how it contributes to the dramatic tension in the play. 1 ...read more.

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