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Macbeth - How do the events of Act 1 prepare the audience for what happens in the rest of the play?

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Introduction

Daniel Leigh 11Saul How do the events of Act 1 prepare the audience for what happens in the rest of the play? The play 'Macbeth' was written by William Shakespeare as early as 1606 and is thought to have been written for King James I who was especially afraid of Witches, who are important characters and affect many of Macbeth's decisions throughout the play. Macbeth starts the play as a noble in the service of King Duncan I of Scotland. He starts as Thane (noble) of Glamis and soon becomes Thane of Cawdor, after putting down the rebellion in that region. In the play "Macbeth", there are many interesting sections that concentrate on the suspense and the involvement of the supernatural. The use of the supernatural in the witches, Lady Macbeth, nature, the vision, the ghost and the apparitions are all key elements in making "Macbeth" as a tragedy play. With the sense of the supernatural and interference of the spirits, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are led to dangerous tempting things. Macbeth's character becomes completely different from the brave soldier to the evil king and to his tragic death where he discovers humility again when it is too late. ...read more.

Middle

These predictions prepare the audience for proceedings later in the play when Macbeth goes to or calls upon the witches to help. Not only are the witches evil themselves but their evilness spreads to other characters throughout the play. I think there is little doubt that without the influence of the witches, Macbeth wouldn't have murdered king Duncan. We meet Lady Macbeth by reading a letter that Macbeth has sent to tell her about the news of his promotion. Lady Macbeth calls on black magic and the evil forces, "unsex me here", meaning that she does no more want to be a woman- without any feelings or emotion. She has the idea of speeding up Macbeth's promotion to the king of Scotland by murdering the current king. The audience realises what type of 'person' she is (from their first impression). She is the more dominant of the pair, mentally as she later plans Duncan's murder. Lady Macbeth knows that Macbeth is too weak. As he is "too full of the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way". The audience is not surprised when, later on, after the murder of Duncan, she is organised. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth actually goes insane, breaking natural order again by destroying her own life. In the play, loyalty to the true king and the State is shown as god, and rebellion against it is evil. Under Macbeth, Scotland becomes 'drowned with weeds' and he fears the children of King Duncan, Macduff and Banquo, even though they are the good friends of Macbeth, because they are capable as to grow into something that could exterminate his (or Lady Macbeth's) sinister world. Images of light are related to a state of innocence and purity. King Duncan says that the signs of nobility and honour are 'like stars'. Light is a symbol of truth, sincerity, and righteousness. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are creatures of the dark because darkness symbolises treachery, injustice, cruelty and evil. Macbeth tells the stars to 'hide their fires' and Lady Macbeth calls up the 'blackest smoke of hell' to conceal her actions. Towards the end of the play, when Lady Macbeth is overwhelmed by remorse, she is afraid of the dark and has to have a candle next to her all night. In conclusion, these predictions prepare the audience for the proceedings later on in the play. This play, in Elizabethan times would have been very successful because people were often very afraid of witches and the play shows the audience what they could presumably concoct. ...read more.

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