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

Macbeth - Scenes like Act 4 Scene 1 can be staged and viewed in many different ways.

Extracts from this document...


MACBETH Scenes like Act 4 Scene 1 can be staged and viewed in many different ways. When Macbeth enters he says: "How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags" (Macbeth: Act 4 Scene 1, lines 47-48; by William Shakespeare) The director could make the actor say it as though he appears very confidant and his tone of voice ordering, or he could say it as though he is very unconfident and fearful. The whole of this scene can be viewed in different ways. At the beginning of the play, even before we have seen Macbeth, he has been talked of. We hear that he is a brave and loyal man. We hear from the king that Macbeth is brave and noble. Duncan says: "What he hath lost, noble Macbeth has won" (Act 1 Scene 2, line 67) And the captain says: "For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name" (Act 1 Scene 2, line 16) So at the beginning we get good first impressions of Macbeth, but this changes after he meets the witches. Macbeth bumps into three witches, who give him three predictions. When Macbeth first meets the witches, in Act 1 Scene 3, he seems calm and says or does nothing, which shows fear. When he is given the predictions, he wants to hear more and believes them because he likes the idea of being king - he is ambitious. The evidence for this is stated in Act 1 Scene 3 where Macbeth says: "Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more." ...read more.


In all three versions the witches have been dressed in very little clothes, if any. They have been dressed in dirty, old rags. The witches don't wear normal clothes as humans do, they don't follow convention, and they are not human. I would obviously do the same; I would make the witches look as much inhumane as possible, I would try and make them look as outcasts, as they are nothing like the humans, they are not good. This is why dressing Macbeth in the same coloured clothes as the witches is a good idea because it shows that he is moving towards the path of evil. In the beginning of Act 4 Scene 1 the witches are making a potion, throwing in gruesome ingredients, and whilst doing so, they chant rhymed spells. The impact, which the rhymed spells that the witches chant have on us, is that they remind us that the witches are supernatural. It is mysterious, and because it is rhymed it helps the audience remember what has been put in the cauldron, it also makes the whole thing look more like an evil ritual. Whilst the witches are speaking their lines they could be walking around the cauldron, dropping in the ingredients as they say their lines. I think that if the witches were dancing around the cauldron it will have a more dramatic effect on the audience because it will again remind the audience that the witches are performing an evil ritual. In this part of the play the witches repeat the lines: "Double, double, toil and trouble. ...read more.


At the end of the scene, Macbeth commands: "Give to th'edge o'th' sword his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line". (Act 4 Scene 1, lines 150-152) After listening to Macbeth saying this, the audience would see Macbeth as mad, selfish, stupid, foolish, and evil. This scene would have changed our view of Macbeth because he is taking advice from witches for the second time; he is going so that he can keep his position as king. The witches tell him to "beware Macduff" but they also say that no harm will come upon him until Burnim wood comes to Dunsinane hill, which he says is impossiable but just incase he will kill Macduff and his family, so he is going over the top and becoming selfish. In act 5 scene 5 Macbeth states: "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and than is herd no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing". (Act 5 Scene 5, lines 23-27) This shows Macbeths attitude towards life - he thinks nothing of it. This is ironic, as these ideas link to act 4 Scene 1, because in this scene he will do anything to keep his life but he discards the lives of others without a thought. In my view a modern audience would see Macbeth as a tragic hero. I think the same as he was ruined by a group of witches. I think this because Macbeth was a strong and good man at one point Hammad Naveed ...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. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    It seems again that his senses are tricking him, making him paranoid and hysterical, plus the implication of his hallucinations becoming apparent through these lines. Furthermore, there is a possibility that the three witches are making their presence felt, as would be believed by the audience to create the image of the guards 'speaking'.

  2. Macbeth - Imagine you are the director of Act One, Scene Seven - Write ...

    The fact that Banquo knew that Macbeth was to blame for the death of Duncan wasn't a plausible enough excuse to murder him. The guilt she felt is indescribable, for the feeling of committing murder cannot be described unless experienced.

  1. In what ways does Shakespeare make the opening scenes of Macbeth dramatic?

    In scene two the Captain has been delivering victorious news about a battle Macbeth had led to triumph. In sequel he begins "...whence comfort seemed to come, discomfort swells." The Captain raises Duncan's expectations of defeat by using 'comfort' and 'discomfort' as contrasting words.

  2. Look very carefully at Act 1, scene 3 (L.30 - 62) and comment on ...

    When the witches greet Macbeth and Banquo they do not know of the news to come. The audience know that the king has sent out a message via Ross to rewarded Macbeth for his bravery in battle by making him Thane of Cawdor.

  1. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    This horrendous picture shows the violent and ruthless nature Macbeth has developed of late. Then we witness the second time Macbeth's imagination plays tricks on him, when he sees the ghost of Banquo sitting at the dinner table. In Shakespeare, ghosts are seen when the main character has a guilty conscience.

  2. Shakespeare: Macbeth Act 4 scene 1

    He uses the word Darkness to describe the witches. Darkness (black) in our society is indicative of evil. For instance, a black cat, a dark night, and a dark place are all symbolic of diablerie. Authors use these symbols to describe an evil character or setting.


    This shows that he's going crazy and his mind is playing him strange tricks, as he's having hallucinations of Banquo. His mental state could be described as tortured. This scene influences Macbeth's behaviour in the rest of the play by making him over anxious about everything.

  2. With close reference to Act 1 scene I and III, and Act 4 scene ...

    bade me, from him call thee Thane of Cawdor..." Subsequently, Banquo says with surprise, "what, can the Devil speak true?" this further reflects to us how much the Jacobeans thought of witches as evil and associated with the devils. People in that time, like Banquo, believed that knowledge of the future could only come from the Devil.

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