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Macbeth - How Does Shakespeare Use Dramatic Effects And Language In The First Two Acts And What Impact Do They Have On The Audiences Understanding Of The Characters And Themes In The Play?

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Introduction

How Does Shakespeare Use Dramatic Effects And Language In The First Two Acts And What Impact Do They Have On The Audiences Understanding Of The Characters And Themes In The Play? 'Fair is foul and foul is fair' starts the play with an oxymoron, a theme which is continued throughout. Using the witches at the beginning of the play is also a contrasting idea, as they are evil and initially Macbeth is an innocent being. Making the witches evil is a dramatic effect, as Shakespeare could have made them seem nice and that their intent was to help Macbeth, but by naming them 'weird sisters' he gives them an air of mystery that changes the direction of the play. If he had made them seem harmless then the audience would have been surprised by their actions later in the play. James 1st, the king at that time, would have been very happy about Shakespeare's use of the 'evil' witches as he was sure that witches were out to get him at this point in his life. ...read more.

Middle

After the battle, when Macbeth goes to Duncan's castle and is presented with the title, Thane of Cawdor, he swears an oath of loyalty to Duncan, which he knows he may have to break to get what he wants. I think this shows that the witches have already started to corrupt him. Macbeth writes to his wife, Lady Macbeth, telling her about the prophecies, his new title and that Duncan is coming to stay with them. He talks about ambition, and that they should not be ignorant. He says that he has; 'Burned in desire to question them further.' By using that sort of language, Shakespeare shows how passionate Macbeth is supposed to feel. Lady Macbeth is determined to push him to take his fate into his own hands and make himself king, no matter what he has to do. Lady Macbeth deals with the prophecies in a very different way to Macbeth. Instead of just thinking about what they could do, which is what Macbeth is doing, she actually does something. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't' Dramatic irony is used frequently throughout the play. It is used at the beginning when the witches give Macbeth his predictions; he asks them why they name him Thane of Cawdor when the Thane of Cawdor lives. We know that he has been named that and that there is a messenger on the way to tell him that, but he does not know that. It is used when Macduff has just discovered that Duncan has been killed, in his speech he says that Lady Macbeth is too gentle and lady like to hear what happened. Shakespeare uses dramatic effects and language in the first two acts to change how we, the audience, feel about and see the characters. Dramatic effects also change the themes in the play. If the witches first scene had not been set on a cold, windy heath, and had been set in a warm cosy cottage it would have changed the theme of their actions and how we see the witches throughout the play. By Alice Newport 10H 1 ...read more.

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