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Macbeth - William Shakespeare

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Macbeth - William Shakespeare To a Shakespearean audience the natural order, obedience to those above you in the hierarchy, would have been a familiar and accepted ideal. At this time when England was under constant threat of Catholic insurrection, it was in Shakespeare's interest to write a play which would please the King, James 1. `Macbeth' raises the issue of a crime which the state would regard as a crime even against God, as the monarch was thought to be a ruler appointed by God and acting in his name. To murder a monarch therefore would have been considered to have been completely against the natural order, an evil action. As part of my English GCSE I have been asked to evaluate the 1^st and 2^nd acts of Macbeth and show how Shakespeare makes us aware that Duncan's murder is evil and against the natural order. An atmosphere of evil is created right from the very start of the play. "Thunder and lightening. ...read more.


This reminds the audience that their role in the drama will be evil and against the natural order. They start to Hail Macbeth as Thane Of Glamis, a title which he holds at the moment, but then they go on to hail him as Thane of Cawdor and, most important, "all hail Macbeth, that shalt be king here after." But when Macbeth recovers from the shock he experiences, he tries to question them about their predictions they disappear - "Stay you imperfect speakers. Tell me more." Thus an atmosphere is evil is created by Shakespeare from the start of the play which suggests to the audience that his main character `Macbeth' would in some way be caught up by this because of his main weakness, his ambition. In Act 1, Scene 5 the sense of evil that has been reflected by the three witches is reflected by Lady Macbeth's response to the letter which her husband sends her telling her about the meeting of these three witches and their predictions. ...read more.


the natural order is the way he sets the scene and describes the environment as being `dead and full of evil' after the murder is carried out. For example, Lennox comments to Macbeth about the stormy weather during the night of Duncan's murder - "Our chimneys were blown down" and "Lamenting heard I'th' air, strange screams of death" as if God himself and nature are acting against the evil of Duncan's murder. According to Ross everything is upside down from what it should be: "By th' clock tis day and yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp." He's trying to say here that the powers of darkness have overpowered day, or whether the sun won't shine its light upon the earth where an evil act of all evil has just been committed. Duncan's horses, according to Ross, "Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls" In conclusion I believe that William Shakespeare the writer of this dramatic play succeeds to making us the audience think that the murder of Duncan is evil and against the natural order by his use of language and dramatic devices. ...read more.

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