• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Macbeth changes from loyal subject to King Killer. Explore how Shakespeare presents this change to the audience.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Macbeth changes from loyal subject to King Killer. Explore how Shakespeare presents this change to the audience. Act 1 Scene 1 is a very short scene, long enough to awaken curiosity, yet not long enough to fulfil it. The first thing we notice is that we are introduced to a meeting amongst three witches that is coming to a close. This has a very important impact on the audience because in Elizabethan/Jacobean times witchcraft was believed to be a practice that caused harm and injury associated with black or evil magic. They were believed to be in league with the Devil, who gave them supernatural powers, and thus became the obvious opponent of the Christian Church, which was the common belief of that time. Shakespeare has done this to set the mood of the play, and to create irony within the audience because we are not introduced to Macbeth, who happens to be the main character and also we are presented with evil from the off, which implies to them that something is not right; however, they do not know what this is yet. We infer through the witch's prologue that they are arranging their next meeting before their familiar spirits; devils in animal shapes. 'Scene 1 On the moor Thunder and lightning.' This description further entices our suspicion that something is not correct because of the eerie scene that is painted. Again Shakespeare has done this so the audience get an inclination to evil. Moreover, when we look at the witch's speech, they prophesise about events to come; Second Witch "When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won." ...read more.

Middle

The way the audience thinks about Macbeth via Shakespeare's way of writing further intensifies in Scene 4. This is were Macbeth's profound soliloquy takes place; "[Aside] The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'er-leap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires; The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see." (Iiv 48-53) Throughout the play so far, Shakespeare has chosen to write in pros, but now he changes his style to poetry. He uses rhyming couplets, that is the end word of every second line rhymes. He has done this perhaps to imply to the audience about Macbeth's dual personality; the good and evil. Moreover, he communicates with the audience the sense of irony because Duncan is also present at this point. Also, they learn through this soliloquy that Macbeth's thoughts scare him, and that evil seems to possess his mind. In addition, also that he knows it is wrong, but he desperately wants to hide his feelings from himself. In Act1 Scene5 Shakespeare informs the audience to the shadow partner behind the murder that will later be committed; "Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood, Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visiting of nature..."(Iv 43-4) This is a fundamental point conveyed to the audience through Shakespeare's writing as to why Macbeth will do what he does. ...read more.

Conclusion

He does this by showing the audience that Macbeth speaks few words in his replies to Banquo; "Who's there? A friend." (IIi 10-11) Again Shakespeare is revealing to the audience here the company of evil is present. Finally, Shakespeare reveals all in Macbeth's final soliloquy before Duncan's murder. He discloses that Macbeth is living in a nightmare. He is distressed by the dagger that his imagination creates, yet later he seems to enjoy the horror of the moment - "Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses, Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still..." (IIi 44-5) Again this conforms to the audience that Shakespeare is trying to inform them of the fact Macbeth seems to be in a transition period of reality and a dream, thus making them nervous and apprehensive. Yet on the contrary, he shows them that Macbeth believes he will take pleasure in the terror of murdering Duncan; "...the bell invites me. Hear it not Duncan; for it is a knell..." (IIi 62-3) Here, Shakespeare finalises to the audience the change in Macbeth. He shows them that Macbeth is now to caught up in his fascination with murder and that there is no going back for him; he will become a king killer. To conclude, I believe that Shakespeare presents the change in Macbeth from loyal subject to king killer very effectively. He works on the knowledge of the audience at that time, i.e. he uses the witches' magic to show the evil influence on Macbeth and the power of Lady Macbeth's thoughts over him. He reveals to them in a shrewdly way Macbeth's thoughts, and how the lust for power has greatly blinded his loyalty and his debt to Duncan. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal, valiant warrior ...

    Judas was hated because of his actions against Christ. The use of religious events were frequent in Shakespeares plays, because they add another dimension to the evil trying to be portrayed. When Ross and Angus appear with the news that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor. The timing of this is extremely dramatic.

  2. Discuss how Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth and how her character develops during the play

    As Macbeth enters Lady Macbeth's words are charged with irony 'Using those thoughts which should indeed have died' - she should take her own advice, but the nature of her personality is to be supportive of her husband and ensure he succeeds as King.

  1. Explore the role of the witches in 'Macbeth'. To what extent do they influence ...

    in Act 1,Scene 2: "Till he unseemed him from the nave to the chops, and fixed his head upon our battlements". If Macbeth could kill, then it would be easier for the witches to persuade him to commit evil , because the only difference between killing your own king and killing the enemy's king is perspective.

  2. How does the audiences sympathy for Macbeth change during the course of the play? ...

    that I have explained above he knows why he shouldn't do it and just proves that deep down he wants to do it and clearly makes his own choice by being persuaded easily. It also shows that Macbeth is willing to throw away all the friendships, loyalties and new gained riches to become King because of one ambition.

  1. How is Lady Macbeth presented by Shakespeare? In what ways does she change throughout ...

    beginning of the soliloquy, "Come, you spirits that tend to mortal thoughts, unsex me here,", such a plea would have been extremely disturbing to a 17th century audience; as there was a lot of superstition around the theme of witchcraft and witches, and the simillarities between Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters seems to be growing ever more.

  2. How would an audience in the time if Shakespeare reacts to the role of ...

    Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' th' Tiger. Now that the witches have appeared the audience will now be waiting impatiently for the appearance of Macbeth. The audience know that Macbeth will be appearing soon due to what the witches quoted in the first scene.

  1. Examine carefully the ways in which Shakespeare presents the murder of Duncan to the ...

    She does, however, believe that she is able to kill Duncan, and so decides that she shall have to tell him all her evil thoughts in an attempt to force him into it. A difference can be seen in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth already, as although he has thought of

  2. Macbeth Essay Focusing on key scenes, discuss how Shakespeare presents the change in ...

    previously in the scene; his more humane nature is witnessed as his guilt ridden conscience begins to suffer as he does not wish to obtain a position which is not rightfully his. Already, there is a clear contrast between his more benign and his yet his intolerable temperament.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work