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Macbeth - Imagine you are the director of Act One, Scene Seven - Write notes on how you would stage this scene.

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Introduction

Imagine you are the director of Act One, Scene Seven. Write note on how you would stage this scene. Probably composed in late 1606 or early 1607, "Macbeth" is the last of William Shakespeare's four great tragedies, and he uses this play as a didactic tool. It is a relatively short play without a major sub-plot, and it is considered by many scholars to be Shakespeare's darkest work. "Macbeth" has been written in the Elizabethan era, named after the monarch that ruled during the 1600's. Theatre was valued as a didactic medium, and plays used universal truths to aid the learning they offered. The supernatural was a great influence in that century and superstitions, portents, and the mystery of the unknown dominated and altered people's actions. Monarchs were the most powerful, as they were believed to have the "divine right", presented by the Gods themselves. The worst sin at that time was to perform regicide, the killing of a monarch, and this would result in immediate death. These narrow-minded beliefs stretched out to affect gender roles, as women were considered as being domestically based, just present to give birth and handle the house and were basically the "weaker" sex. This play is a classic tragedy and Shakespeare has followed the rules of a tragedy written by the famous Greek Philosopher Aristotle in a book called 'Poetics'. This book stated that for a play to be a tragedy it should have certain characteristics. Shakespeare has followed these Aristotelian features carefully and this can be seen in the play. Shakespeare carefully set up the tragic hero's role in this play, in a way so that he matches the description of Aristotle's tragedy characteristics. The protagonist Macbeth isn't famous or rich, but he is seen to have the potential to become great. This potential is evident when the patriotic nobleman goes out to battle on his country's behalf, where he is described as "brave", and that "he deserves that name". ...read more.

Middle

The letter tells of the witches' prophecy for him, which is treated as a certainty, because "I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge" He tells her about their prediction that he would become the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Scotland. Macbeth further indicates in the letter that he truly believes he will gain the throne, saying to his wife that he wanted her to know "what greatness is promised thee." He describes himself as "burned in desire", the effective metaphor emphasising his ambition and proving that the witches have trapped him, and links to when his insightful comrade Banquo mentions how his "partner's rapt withal". Macbeth seems to trust the witches absolutely, because he is writing to his wife, his "dearest partner of greatness," so that she "mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing" Lady Macbeth resolutely states that he will definitely be "What thou art promised", but on the other hand she fears that hi nature is "too full o'th' milk of human kindness/To catch the nearest way". The "milk" is symbolic of his purity, which would prevent him in acting without pity. She realizes that he does have ambition, but doesn't' have the "illness", that is the evil and maliciousness, to fulfil his dreams. She also emphasises on the fact that Macbeth "wouldn't play false", and his decency would prevent him in committing murder. Her reaction to the letter shows that Lady Macbeth is a woman who knows her husband very well, perhaps because she shares some of his instincts. For both of them, murder is the "nearest way." In an earlier scene, Macbeth had commented that "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, / Without my stir" Again this line proves to us that Macbeth does indeed have dreams, but he doesn't have the courage to live them, as his conscience pegs him back and doesn't allow him to play evil. ...read more.

Conclusion

He wished her to die at a more convenient time. He feels that death is, "told by an idiot, full of sound and fury." and signifies nothing. At this point in the play, Macbeth does not care about death, he cares only for the battle. Death signifies nothing to him, whereas the approaching battle means so much to his own future as King. One of Macbeth's people comes in and tells him that he though he saw the "Wood begin to move." Macbeth now knows that the end is near. Macduff comes to his castle and the two fight. Macbeth feels that he has nothing to fear of Macduff because he was born of a woman, however "Macduff was from his mothers womb. Untimely ripp'd." Macbeth now knows that it is Macduff that will kill him, and so he does. Macbeth entire demise was due to his pursuing his goals. The witches, whom he describes as "juggling fiends before his death", awakened Macbeth's ambition and Lady Macbeth encourages the crime necessary for his ambition to be realized. Both of these influences helped lead to his failure and death. His insecurities paved the way to fast decisions and rash actions to get rid of his perceived enemies, actions that he later often regrets. Only at the end does he realize that he has made mistakes. Much of his life was based on, "Fair is foul, foul is fair," meaning that you can disguise how things really are. He disguised his whole life; the evil that he caused, his insanity, his wife's mental health condition, and the fact that he murdered people and destroyed lives, just to guarantee a seat on the throne and play King of Scotland. This also shows that time catches up with, even when the "perfect crime" is committed, eventually you will suffer, by your own doing, and the facade that you once hid behind, will crumble. 1 English Coursework : Macbeth By Devesh Amar ...read more.

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