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

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?

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


'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.

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. What Impression of Macbeth Do We Gain From The First Two Acts?

    At this Duncan expects to hear that Macbeth and Banquo fled, but the Captain tells how they were dismayed as ' sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.' Here they are likened to eagles- celebrated for their majesty, their dignity and their stateliness as the king of birds- and a

  2. Macbeth. The impact of the witches on audiences then and now.

    Hence, the witches exist as a constant reminder of the potential for evil in the human imagination. Therefore, Macbeth is not deceived by the witches but by his ill-founded reliance on his own interpretation. The opening scene is set in open moorland; a place removed from the ordinary society of mankind and accepted social rules.

  1. How does Shakespeare use Characters and Language to Discuss evil in his Play "Macbeth"?

    Is it good or bad? Here Macbeth shows the good side of evil and what it brings Macbeth but he also shows the bad side of evil. Overall in this play he shows both the 'foul' and 'fair' sides of evil.

  2. With reference to two major scenes, taken from two different Acts of the play, ...

    This shows that Macbeth is careful as a character, and thinks hard about the penalties of his actions before he makes a decision. The lines in this soliloquy also show that Macbeth has control of himself. He is able to realise that what he is doing is wrong.

  1. How does Shakespeare create sympathy for Macbeth in the 1st two acts of the ...

    too happy about murder and he's not at peace with himself because he as all these horrible thoughts within him. This shows that Macbeth is quite confused about the witches and what is to be. Macbeth has not ignored the witches but at the same time he hasn't totally believed them either because he's not sure about being king.

  2. Macbeth - Acts one and two.

    In act one scene three, titled 'a heath near Forres' Macbeth meets the three witches and upon meeting them is told that he will become Thane of Cawdor and king of Scotland; 'First Witch All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!

  1. MacBeth - Oxymoron.

    This truly is a reversal of roles. Slowly Macbeth is taking the role of Lady Macbeth. Act 3 Scene 3 Page 320 Line 27: "Thou mayst revenge" In this scene Banquo is killed and he tells Fleance that he may live to kill the person that killed him.

  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.

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