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MacBeth - how setting, characters and literacy devices are used to make Act 1 Scene 5 dramatic

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Introduction

In this essay I am going to discuss how Shakespeare makes Act 1 Scene 5 dramatic for the audience-how setting, characters and literacy devices are used to make this scene dramatic. Macbeth, or 'The Scottish Play' as it is sometimes referred to as it is believed bad luck to say 'Macbeth', is a story of tragedy written between 1603 and 1606 by William Shakespeare. The play is a dramatic portrayal of Macbeth, a brave soldier who is tempted by 'the weird sisters' and urged by his wife to murder his way to the throne. After having committed regicide (killing King Duncan), Macbeth's conscience tortures him and increasingly isolates him from the ambitious Lady Macbeth, with his paranoia escalating, Macbeth commits more murders in order to protect himself from retribution. The king at the time of writing, James I of Scotland, VI of England, was a devout believer in the supernatural. For example, parliament passed a law on the wishes of James I in 1563, which was not repealed until 1951, which banned the use of witchcraft and any person breaking this law 'shall suffer death'. The nature and effects of evil dominate the action of the play from the mystical, eerie opening scene. Shakespeare presents the view that potential for evil is present in nature, in man and in animals, and the play's imagery evokes this. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Macbeth's first soliloquy is prematurely interrupted by a Messenger who delivers the news that King Duncan is stopping at the castle tonight. Shakespeare implemented the interruption to the dramatic moment to add pace to the play. She seems to disapprove of the Messenger telling her with so little time to prepare in advance-"Thou'rt mad to say it. / Is not thy master with him? Who, were't so, / Would have informed for preparation". Although slightly mad, Lady Macbeth is also startled by the news (as shown by the previous quote); however she is not startled into fear-but excitement. The news-"The king comes here tonight"-causes her thoughts to race and even before Macbeth arrives, she already has the plan set out in her head. Thus Shakespeare carries his audience along with him in all the drama-will Lady Macbeth succeed in her plotting or will Macbeth resist? The lines 38 to 52 are another monologue by Lady Macbeth where she summons the spirits to remove her of all friendliness, remorse and gentler feelings. The first two lines of this soliloquy are supernaturally related, "The raven himself is hoarse / That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan". In the time the play was written, a raven was used to symbolise a messenger of death, which is also inferred by "the fatal entrance". ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare uses this ambiguity to create tension amongst the audience-constantly throughout the scene statements regarding the murder of King Duncan are rather unclear, a prime example is this speech. This is unquestionably done purposefully and used ambiguity to engender unpredictability. Lady Macbeth's soliloquy ends when Macbeth says "We will speak further". He is surprisingly not dismissive towards Lady Macbeth's plans, as shocking as they were but instead optimistic. This forms suspense for the audience, as the haziness surrounding the probability of the murder taking place has now increased due to Macbeth's acknowledgement towards her plans. The dramatic climax and the end of scene-"Leave it to me"-conveys Lady Macbeth's dominance over her husband yet again and emphasises her governance. In conclusion, Shakespeare uses interesting language in order to produce an exciting experience for his audience. He also makes reference to popular culture of the time of writing, all the while enigmatic and elusive elements loom over the entire play that keep the audience even more involved and thinking as they attempt to unravel the deep lying mysterious plot line and language Shakespeare employs. He uses sudden story alterations as the play progresses, keeping interest and drama high, and predictability low; also due to the sudden story-line changes and character developments, the play becomes even more enticing. ?? ?? ?? ?? By: Saul Rennison Draft: Second Date: 14 July 2009 Words: 0 Macbeth Essay ...read more.

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