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macbeth coursework

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Introduction

Macbeth is a famous tragedy written by Shakespeare. The play explores a plot of darkness and deceit, where a noble couple commit an offence that eventually destroys their lives making them crazy. Macbeth is the main protagonist however the main reason he is propelled to this high status is because Lady Macbeth puts him up to commit these incredible acts of evil. The play is written between 1603 and 1606 during this time of James I of England, James I had a fixation with witchcraft and unlike Macbeth did not turn evil. The context of the play is important as kingship and loyalty were highly valued at this time and this links to the main theme of regicide as he survived an assassination during his reign. Shakespeare introduces Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as a noble, ambitious couple. From the title of the play we can grasp that Macbeth is going to be a major character. We imagine him to come on and be evil immediately; Shakespeare decides to introduce Macbeth through perceptions of him by various characters. Dramatically, Shakespeare has played with stage conventions here and has delayed the presence of the main character on stage. Macbeth is described by others in act 1 scene 2, the captain says he is "brave", "deserves a name" and should be wealthy. ...read more.

Middle

Unlike her husband, she lacks all humanity, as we see well in her opening scene, where she calls upon the "Spirits that tend on mortal thoughts" to deprive her of her feminine instinct to care. She has an overwhelming ambition to be queen. Lady Macbeth persistently taunts her husband for his lack of courage, even though some would say he is brave enough for the bloody deeds he committed on the battlefield. But in public, she is able to act as the consummate hostess, enticing her victim, the king, into her castle. Shakespeare introduces Lady Macbeth differently to the audience than to Macbeth. Lady Macbeth enters the stage alone, with a letter. Lady Macbeth reads her husband's letter telling of the witches' prophecy of kingship. She analyses his nature, fearing that his is too decent and squeamish to murder Duncan for the crown. This makes Lady Macbeth seem brave herself, but at the same time mentally brutal. She plans acts of evil in her mind and wishes her husband to do them. Lady Macbeth's speech echo's the language of the witches, she wants and knows that Macbeth will have Duncan's crown. Shakespeare reveals to the audience that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's relationship is strong but the both want fortune and a title. ...read more.

Conclusion

In act 5 scene 1, Lady Macbeth has gone from confident and dominating to weak and insane. At the beginning of the play we get the impression of Macbeth through peoples' opinions and Shakespeare repeats this technique. At the end we get the final impression of Lady Macbeth through other peoples' eyes. The doctor says, "look how she rubs her hands" while the gentleman says" I have seen her rise from her bed". Through the language she gives the impression that she's losing her mind as she loses control of her language. She speaks in prose, which is significant because noble characters speak in verse. When she dies we don't see it, we hear it. This shows how she is no longer dominant, she is insignificant compared to Macbeth who has reversed roles and become the dominant character. Our last impression of Macbeth is someone who is called a "tyrant" behind his back. Despite being king he has lost control and people are plotting behind his back so much so that Macbeth cannot face bad news, "bring no reports", like a true dictator he cannot face the truth. However his death is extremely dramatic as he doesn't give into Macduff. "I will not yield" so he starts and ends as a brave warrior. 14/04/2008 19:15 14/04/2008 19:15 ...read more.

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