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Referring to act one and act two, scenes one to four, say how Macbeth reaches the decision to kill Duncan. Comment on the influences of Lady Macbeth and the witches. Describe Macbeth’s immediate reactions to the murder.

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Introduction

Rachael O'Reilly Shakespeare assignment Referring to act one and act two, scenes one to four, say how Macbeth reaches the decision to kill Duncan. Comment on the influences of Lady Macbeth and the witches. Describe Macbeth's immediate reactions to the murder. The play open with thunder and lightening, cloaked in darkness, this sets the scene of the morbid play and automatically introduces us to the feeling that the supernatural is at work. Our first impression of Macbeth is a heroic one. He has just defeated the rebellion saving his king, Duncan. He seems to be very brave and bold but at the same time brutal and violent. He walks proudly and seems to deserve the title 'brave Macbeth Thane of Cawdor'. When he arrives from defeating the rebellion, he says "so foul and fair a day I have not seen"; this immediately links him with the witches and the supernatural that is to follow him throughout the play. By this he means the day was bad because he witnessed a lot of violence and committed many acts of murder but conversely it was a good day because of the end result and that after all their hard work the rebellion had been squashed. The only way in which Macbeth can sum up the day is by saying that nothing is as it seems. He realizes that the battle was gruesome, violent and brutal. However, he also realizes that he was victorious so the battle was "fair". The link with the witches is dramatic as he hasn't even met them yet nor has he spoken to him although they're having a profuse effect on him now as his words echo those of the witches. This link is not psychological now but will become psychological soon. At the very start of the play the witches come together and say "..Foul is fair and fair is foul". ...read more.

Middle

However, she does not appear to want God to see the crime and therefore contemplates doing the deed in the dark. This is again another example of the dark imagery associated with evil. In embracing evil she has turned her back on God and made a pact with the Devil. Lady Macbeth in a way, is a re-enactment of Eve in the Garden of Eden, she wants the forbidden fruit and the only way she can get it is along the path of evil. In this scene we hear Lady Macbeth telling her husband that he must "look like the innocent flower. But be the serpent underneath", We see her telling him this just before the King and Banquo approach. We see Macbeth the soldier versus Macbeth the husband. We can see that Macbeth still isn't wholly satisfied with the idea and his mind must be in turmoil, to lessen his burden he takes on a child-like role, he is the leader of an army and he is taking orders from a woman, he must be doing this to try and justify what he is about to do, in a sense he cannot bear all the blame and guilt. When their guest's approach Lady Macbeth takes on the role of the caring hostess, she is very clever, extremely manipulative and devious. She knows exactly what to say to put the guests at ease. The king and Banquo enter the castle oblivious to the evil plan the Macbeth's have hatched. Macbeth feels he must prove himself to Lady Macbeth and this is one his main motivations throughout the play. It is interesting to contrast Lady Macbeths cool, calm manipulative skill to Macbeths later in the play when the murder of Duncan is discovered, and the clever way in which she faints in order to divert the attention from her husband. But the fact still stands that if the deed is carried out it will bring hatred on Macbeth and terrible guilt, so intense he cannot rest, he will be damned for all eternity. ...read more.

Conclusion

happy again, "had I died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant, There's nothing serious in mortality; All is but toys. Renown and grace is dead," Macbeth appears grief stricken and wishes he wasn't alive, he has just killed the main person in his life, he uses yet another metaphor by saying the best wine is gone and all that's left is rubbish, by the wine he means his beloved king. He comments that "all is but toys", there was no need to kill the king he was a good man. The night's stormy weather reflects the night's atrocities. From the tragic story of Macbeth many conclusions can be drawn.. Having gained the crown Macbeth never enjoys any happiness or contentment. He suspects Banquo of knowing the truth and resents the witches' prophecy that Banquo's offspring will become heirs. He ends up murdering his good friend Banquo due to his delusions and becomes isolated from his wife, after being blinded by ambition and the witches, he descends into obsession, greed and madness. This makes him more reliant on the truth of the witches' predictions, and then he murders Macduffs wife and children for no real reason. In the end he welcomes death as a release especially after he realizes that the witches have tricked him into a false sense of security. In the end he is referred to as "the dead butcher" and the play has traced his decline from normal warrior to monstrous tyrant. His tragedy is that he knew before he killed Duncan that there was no glory in this enterprise and that it would only end in his own damnation. The reason he killed Duncan was to satisfy his wife and to prove his heroic nature, but ironically his actions only resulted in her own descent in to madness and eventually her own tragic death. He was damned by his cowardice and reluctance to stick up to her, her actions damned them both. ...read more.

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