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Macbeth 'Worthy Gentleman' or 'Black Macbeth'

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Access to HE - English Literature Analysis of main characters Shakespeare provides us with a gripping, sensationalised, tragic play surrounded by ambition, deception, and guilt. Emphasis of the positive influence by supernatural elements surmises an eventual downfall for the main characters: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The play was written using a variety of literary techniques, providing the domination of iambic pendameter and blank verses combined with minimal stage directions, allowing personal interpretation. Numerous soliloquies are present, predominantly displayed by the main characters, to give the audience an insight into their innermost thoughts and feelings, making dramatic irony present, to ensure the audience's attention is captured. Quotes and analysis of characteristics adopted by the dramatist, using these techniques are discussed below: Macbeth 'Worthy Gentleman' or 'Black Macbeth' Before the exposition of Macbeth's character, Shakespeare prepares the audience with his characteristics through others opinions (Act1 Scene ii), namely King Duncan, who announces 'For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)' as a respected 'worthy gentlemen' who '...Unseam'd' his enemy, offering metaphorical terms of clothes being ripped at the seam. The difference in the English language is apparent, by the verb ending in 'd compared to contemporary language. ...read more.


He cannot bring himself to say Duncan is dead, so he uses euphemisms, calling it the 'deed' or 'assassination' and by using the expression of metaphorical language '...The wine of life is drawn' displays the wine of life, being the blood lost from the body, resulting in death. Preceding the regicide, progression of Macbeth's character is relevant, by developing iniquity intentions to murder others obstructing his aspirations. Banquo raises his sense of suspicion in a short soliliquoy (Act 3 Scene 1) announcing 'Thou play'dst most foully fo't'. The dramatist enforces Macbeth's attitude at a similar time ' ...our fears in Banquo stick deep', however, he selects two murderers, giving orders partly in prose to initiate the deed, by making excuses '...yet I must not, For certain friends that are both his, and mine', allowing his power to employ murderers. We can visualise Macbeth's sense of freedom quashed, when discovering Fleance's escape. This is displayed in Shakespeare's use of alliteration, emphasising the hard 'c' sound '...cabin'd, cribb'd, confin'd', indicating Macbeth restriction to retaining his ambitions. The appearance of Banquo's ghost at the banquet, while invisible to others, terrifies Macbeth and it is Lady Macbeth that once again takes control of the situation, by making excuses 'You lack the season of all natured, sleep'. ...read more.


Shakespeare presents blank verse, ending in rhyming couplets when the doctor speaks, compared to the prose displayed in Lady Macbeth's speech. This is prepared for the audience, purposely to separate the dreaming from reality. Lady Macbeth meets her death in way on suicide, presenting the audience with the opinion, that maybe she was not the strongest person of the duet after all. The ambitions displayed by both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth seemed to alternate according to the scene in the play. Initially, Macbeth was given total reassurance and persuaded by his wife, to ensure ambitions were met. However, when Lady Macbeth was weak in character, her husband took control of the situation. This alternation in my mind represents weighing scales, showing uneven quantities, when one is up- the other is down, and vice versa. This display of tragic events represents both characters pursuit to ambitious intentions, eventually ending in both their deaths. It is perceivable why Macbeth has been around and studied for such a considerable amount of time. In every era, adaptations can be made to adjust scenes to personal interpretation. Shakespeare used the reality of jealousy and ambition, which exists in most of us at some point in our lives, proving this is not a dated boring literary study, but an interesting literary experience to benefit us all. ?? ?? ?? ?? Melody Treble 1 ...read more.

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