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

Shakespeare’s Language, Stagecraft, And Themes in Macbeth.

Extracts from this document...


Shakespeare's Language, Stagecraft, And Themes in Macbeth Language The thing about Shakespeare's work is that by using good language through out the play he can keep the audiences attention and appeal to all society classes. In act 1, scene 1, a scene of three witches confronts us. This would have created mystery and fright to the audience and setting the theme of the play to come. When Macbeth was performed it was in a period when there was a high interest in witchcraft and the supernatural. People used to be scared by the supernatural, so the sight of three witches would have told the audience that the play would be full of evil and lies. This scene is a short opening to the play, but it is good enough to grab the audiences attention.. With the first scene the mood of the play has been set. In act 1, scene 2, we learn about the tough battle which Macbeth and Banquo have fought, and win for the victory for Scotland. Duncun rewards Macbeth for his courage by giving him the title 'thane of Cawdorïż½, "...with his former title greet Macbeth." This scene tells us that Macbeth is thought of as a brave courage's man because he has killed so many people and won the battle almost single-handedly. The language used is quite horrific and the deaths of Macbeth's victims are explained in lots gory detail. This scene would of appealed to the lower class of society who aren't that sophisticated but like things like violence, sex and drinking. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth then talks about how she will give up her woman qualities, so that she can become sexless and pitiless. "...unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty" Lady Macbeth uses violent imagery in here monologue. She uses images of blood and darkness such as, "...make thick my blood, stop up the access and passage to remorse..." The violence would again appeal to the non sophisticated crowd. Stagecraft The Elizabethan theatre that would of hosted Shakespeare's plays was relatively small and open aired and was called the playhouse . Before entering the theatre, people paid money at the door into a box held by one of the staff who was called the gatherer. The playhouse had a capacity of 2,000 people. There were a variety of areas to sit each one reflecting a different cost. Lords and members of royalty would have sat in the gentleman and lords rooms where they could show off their fine clothes whilst smoking tobacco. These rooms cost 12 pence per seat. The wealthy people such as merchants and lawyers would have sat in the galleries which cost 2 pence. But they didn't always get a good view because Elizabethans liked to wear large extravagant hats to reflect there richness. The poorest people in the theatre would of sat in the groundlings which could hold an uncomfortable 1000 people. The plays were formed on a stage that was around 1.5m high which was in the middle of the yard. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth plants the seed of murdering king Duncan in Macbeth's mind. The language Shakespeare uses here is very significant to the whole good vs. evil theme; the flower is associated with beauty and goodness while the snake is associated with evil. It is only at the end of the play that Macbeth finally discovers his fate. After being told that Macduff had been, "Untimely ripped from his mothers' womb," describes the witches as "Juggling Fiends." Macbeth is accusing the witches of deliberately juggling their words so that he could not understand them. This is a clever quote as Macbeth has just realised his life is in ruins, but the audience knew this earlier. The witches have changed Macbeth from a brave warrior to an evil, murderous, traitor, underlining the conflict of good and evil. "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." This quote is significant as it illustrates the change in Macbeth throughout the play, now even the witches consider Macbeth to be evil. However, when looking at the path of destruction that Macbeth has left behind him it isn't very surprising. Just one man driven by his ambition to be king has led to a chain reaction of murders In Summary the whole play is about the battle of good versus evil; at the opening of the play Macbeth is fighting for good, for gracious Duncan against rebels, the witches mostly bring out the evil in Macbeth. Not only are the witches evil themselves but their evilness spreads to other characters throughout the play. I think there is little doubt that without the influence of the witches, Macbeth wouldn't have murdered king Duncan. ...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. William Shakespeare – Macbeth – Summative Response – Lady Macbeth In William ...

    In Scene VII, we see Lady Macbeth change into a slightly obsessed woman with a violent persona. Macbeth has decided to "proceed no further in this business"3 and Lady Macbeth reacts violently to this development, showering Macbeth with scathing remarks ("Like the poor cat i' th' adage?")4.

  2. Compare the “Murder Scene” and the “Banquet Scene” in the Polanski video with the ...

    Lady Macbeth comes down and is shocked at the sight of the blood, but she soon takes charge and tells Macbeth to clean off the blood then she goes to leave the two daggers back. "A little water should clear us of this deed" After the murder though, Macbeth cannot forget what's happened.

  1. With Particular reference to Act 1 and Act 2, explain why Lady Macbeth would ...

    Throughout the play Lady Macbeth accuses Macbeth of being a coward because his conscience tells him not to go through with the murder. (1.7.39) "Art thou afraid..." This would make the audience feel sorry for Macbeth but feel angry with Lady Macbeth for insisting on the murder of Duncan.

  2. Identify At Least Three Ways In Which Shakespeare’S Drama Differs From Its Major Source: ...

    It would have seemed that Macbeth had committed a serious crime as opposed to just removing an ineffective monarch. This additional dramatic impact adds tension to the play. It also allows Shakespeare to dwell on the physical and psychological effects the murder has on Macbeth.

  1. Study Shakespeare’s use of the witches in the play. How far are the ...

    This is where Macbeth is told his three prophecies, that he will be he will be Thane Of Cawdor and that he will be king, the third prophecy is not a really a prophecy because the witches are telling him something that he already is, "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis.

  2. How Important Is The Role Of The Supernatural In This Play? How Does ...

    Witches could raise spirits by concocting a horrible brew with nauseating ingredients.' Quotation from Ideas and Activities; Witches and Witchcraft - p166. Everyone of the above, the witches mentioned or performed during the play, and to the audience of the time, they would scare and strengthen people's belief.

  1. Discuss the dramatic importance of the Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

    I think that Shakespeare chose to begin the play with the witches because it would have shown that the play is about witchcraft and evil. Part of the last speech in this scene is: "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" This would confuse the audience because fair and foul

  2. How would Shakespeare’s audience have reacted to the ‘supernatural scenes’ in Macbeth and how ...

    Their actual speech was also very different as they often used antithesis; 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' (Act 1, Scene 1, line 18) and equivocation, which served to confuse and mystify the audience and later on with the second set of predictions, give Macbeth his fatally false sense of security.

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