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Macbeth Coursework "Darkness dominates Macbeth"

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Introduction

Macbeth Coursework "Darkness dominates Macbeth" The play Macbeth was written in the 1600s, when magical superstition was high. The supernatural is an important aspect of the drama as in the 17th century just about everyone (including King James himself) believed in witches and their powers. By using this, before the play has even started people would think it was dramatic and dark. The witches themselves aren't the supernatural beings; they just gained their powers by selling their souls to the Prince of Darkness (the Devil), that's what the characters in the play believe, as well as the audience of the time. Act 1, scene 1 is a dramatic opening, making the witches the first characters you see on stage, and immediately awakening the audience by discussing where they are going to meet Macbeth, to do their evil, "Where will be the place? /Upon the heath/There to meet Macbeth". As they are exiting the scene, they cast what can only be called a spell, but which is also a paradox, "Fair is foul, and foul is fair /hover through the fog and filthy air." This distinction between good and evil (foul and fair) is blurred throughout the whole of the play; much of it is a struggle between good evil-a struggle between light and dark. The witches mentioning Macbeth directly by name have also linked him immediately to the dark side of the play. ...read more.

Middle

First she just appears as calm, reading Macbeth's letter and then thinking of murder, yet still not completely evil. But then she changes, and seems to become a "fourth witch", by asking evil spirits to help her by taking away all female feelings from her, "unsex me here". The audience would probably react to this change with awe, and also apprehension. I think they would start wondering if Macbeth isn't going to kill Duncan after all, and Lady Macbeth might. When she is talking to Macbeth she tells him to "look like th'innocent flower/But be the serpent under't". She is telling him to be warm and welcoming to Duncan, so as to hide his deadly intentions. This way nobody will know that it was he, when the murder is finally carried out. In act 1 scene 7 Macbeth has a soliloquy that reveals some of his true feelings towards Duncan and the planned murder. He is struggling with his conscience, the only reason he can think of for killing Duncan is ambition, "I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself" (lines 25-27), and there are many against (lines 8-25). His main reasons are kinship, because Duncan is his cousin he shouldn't kill him, loyalty for the fact that you don't kill your king, and hospitality as Duncan is under his roof he should be the one protecting him from murder-not holding the knife himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, she has to have a light next to her continually. This shows her links with darkness, that she can't escape. And shows that only when Macbeth is overthrown can light and order be restored. I think the audience will react with some sympathy towards her, as she can't help what has happened, not now anyway. She has started to go mad because of what she has done because her guilty conscience has caught up with her and she is finally realising what she has done. Though, I think the audience will also take the attitude that she brought it on herself. She was greedy and ambitious, and if she had never done any of those things in the first place or wanted the murders committed, then she wouldn't be in this position now. Thought Macbeth and Lady Macbeth reigned for a long time, they had many problems. They made many enemies through the way they reigned, because Macbeth was tyrannical and he ordered the murder of anyone who displeased him. When Macduff killed Macbeth, he was allowing Malcolm to restore light and goodness to Scotland through his reign. I think Macbeth wasn't really truly evil, at least not at first, he was just taken over by his ambition, and the ambition of his wife, and persuaded that what he was doing was the right thing-even though deep down I think he knew it was wrong. ...read more.

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