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Macbeth's Influences

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Macbeth's Influences Samantha Foylan The play 'Macbeth' is written by William Shakespeare. In the play the three witches, Lady Macbeth and his own thoughts and feelings, influence Macbeth. The major themes are ambition and guilt. The other themes are the supernatural, the evil thoughts some characters think, bravery and symbols of good. It is set in the 12th century in Scotland and England. The dialogue is old but it sometimes rhymes and is eventually easy to understand. When I started to read Macbeth I found it hard to follow but after the first couple of scenes I found it easier. The witches plan to meet Macbeth. The king finds out the Thane of Cawdor has betrayed him. The title is given to Macbeth. Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches. The key prophecy given by the witches to Macbeth is he will be king. The witches are proved right when Macbeth finds out he is Thane of Cawdor. The king announces his son; Malcolm will be the next king. ...read more.


The witches are integral to the plot. Lady Macbeth is a powerful character, as a result of her great desire for success and the lengths to which she is prepared to go, all her ambitions appear to be for her husband. As soon as she receives the letter from Macbeth, including the prophecies, she begins to plot. However she does not appear to trust her husband fully: 'yet I do fear thy nature'. She is initially devoted, she cannot foresee what they will have to go through in order to make Macbeth king. As soon as we are introduced to her, Shakespeare reveals how passionate she is and how merciless. The speech beginning 'come you spirits' gives an important insight into her character. She even wants to be stripped of her femininity, in order to be ruthless, for her husband's sake: 'unsex me here'. Her words are ugly, as she calls on the supernatural to prevent her heart from ruling her body. When Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are together, it is evident that she is dominant, since she is the one urging action in the plot. ...read more.


Macbeth realises this as soon as he hears the news that Malcolm is in succession to the throne by divine right, when he states: 'stars, hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires'. The act Macbeth commits is pure evil. Macbeth's prior goodness is established early in the play. He is 'brave Macbeth', 'full of honour', 'noble Macbeth' and 'bellona's bridegroom'. When the plot to kill Duncan is underway, Macbeth tries to resist, stating: 'we will proceed no further in this business'. Despite attempting to resist Lady Macbeth's influence, he murders Duncan. He knows the murder of a king is evil, and once he is resolved to murder, he knows it is a 'terrible deed'. He does not understand the nature of the forces influencing him, nor the witches or Lady Macbeth, never once does he recognise the motive of these characters. I found the play interesting and as the play progressed I found it easier to understand the use of language. The use of language is effective because it would be boring if Shakespeare used normal words. I thought Macbeth would be boring but I found it quite interesting. ...read more.

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