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Macbeth: How Would you Perform Act IV, Scene I.

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Introduction

How Macbeth : You Would Perform Act IV, Scene I 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. Macbeth is favourite of Duncan but murders the king after he names his son (Malcolm) as heir to the throne. Lady Macbeth looses her mind, leading to her suicide due to the many evil acts the pair have committed, the most recent being the murder of Lady Macduff and her children. Lord Macduff has fled to England and raises an army with the help of King Duncan�s sons and the English Earl of Northumberland, Lord Siward. The English army marches on Macbeth�s castle at Dunsinane where they discover that Macbeth�s soldiers have fled, leaving their lord alone to face the English. Macbeth kills Siward�s son, only to be killed himself by Macduff. Throughout the story the Witches play a very important part. They predict that Macbeth will be given the title Thane of Cawdor as well as king. When Macbeth realises that the first prediction has come true he decides that the others will also, causing him to use any means necessary to enable this. The Witches also predict that Banquo�s (another Thane) children will become kings. Banquo is Macbeth�s best friend throughout the play but he still decides to have him murdered as to stop him having any more children who may take the throne away from him. By modern standards the language used in Macbeth is quite hard to understand and to fully take in what the play is saying it is important to go over each scene so that we understand what actually is going on. ...read more.

Middle

Hecate�s lines are often spoken in a cackling way but this won�t be very appropriate for my Hecate. As he speaks his lines the lord (Hecate) will slowly walk back and forth in front of the Witches, clapping his hands for the first two lines. When this small speech is finished a song and dance is described as occurring. Instead of this my three main Witches will get down on one knee and bow to the lord. They will remain like this for several seconds until the lord (Hecate) and his entourage has exited the stage. When Macbeth enters there will be a loud clap of thunder followed by the light behind the sheet in the back flashing for a few seconds to simulate lightning. Macbeth will have a faint spotlight of white light will shine on him. The light will not be too strong to show that the good that is left in Macbeth is waning and it will take little persuasion from an evil force to drive him all the way to eternal damnation. The thunder and lighting will alert the audience that something important is happening (Macbeth�s entry). It may also cause a few members to just as well. When Macbeth speaks he will have a deep, booming voice. Clearly belonging to the higher orders although now and again in his dialogue his voice will wobble and break into that of an underling, like the Stereotypical voice of the witches. His voice will do this when he speaks of murder or of other foul acts he has committed. This means that it will happen mainly after Lennox has informed him of Macduff�s flight to England. This will show the audience that Macbeth would be a strong (Psychologically) man if he could stand up to the manipulations and corruptions of the Witches. When the witches speak to Macbeth they will not do so in a subversive manner as they will consider themselves to be his equal, as they know they have power over him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth will shout the final line of the soliloquy ("...What, is this so?") during the darkness (to hide the noises created by the exiting actors) in anger at the witches for showing him this apparition which is not what he expected, or wished to see. The Witches will now begin to smile and look pleased with their work. They will begin to mock Macbeth with the song they will sing and the first Witch praises Macbeth as a 'great king� in a voice of mock worship. Once more the audience will realise that Macbeth has no power over these creatures and how they are the real evil in the play. Macbeth is simply an unfortunate puppet who has been picked out. The Witches dance and vanish (the lights will go out again). When the lights come back on they will be noticeably brighter due to the departure of the Witches. Macbeth will be shouting his lines about how the Witches have abandoned him when Lennox enters. Lennox will be accompanied by a man wearing the colours of Macbeth. He will, however be muddy and look tiered out. In his hand he will be carrying a large leather bag. This man will be the messenger that Lennox will inform Macbeth about. Macbeth will still have his dim spotlight on him but Lennox will have a bright light, his uniform/armour will be clean and shining, showing that Lennox has not fallen from grace as Macbeth so clearly has. Lennox will inform Macbeth of the flight of Macduff to England which will lead to Macbeth�s final soliloquy of this scene. During this Macbeth will speak of his plans to murder Macduff. He will pace around the front stage whilst Lennox walks towards the back of the stage to talk with the messenger. Macbeth should look flustered and angry, he should look as if he has lost all sanity and means of rational thought, showing the audience that in this one scene Macbeth has gone from a murderer to a madman. The spotlight will be put out permanently. There is no way back for Macbeth now. ...read more.

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