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What do you learn of the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Act 1?

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Introduction

GCSE English - Pre 1914 Drama Text Assignment 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare What do you learn of the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Act 1? The story of Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare is based on episodes in the life of Macbeth. The play is a tragedy, a penetrating, concentrated, and harrowing study of ambition that backfires drastically on Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth, who plot to kill the king. They both have an overriding ambition for Macbeth to become king but their actions backfire in such a way that Macbeth looses his respect honour and sadly his life. It is a story of morals and deals with the difference between what's right and wrong. The story of Macbeth is a tragedy told in five acts. William Shakespeare wrote it in 1766. It was written for James ? to flatter him and is often called a story 'fit for a king'. Macbeth is based on a true story, and the characters Banquo and Fleance were James ? ancestors. However, in the true story Banquo sided with Macbeth against Duncan, but obviously Shakespeare wasn't going to be tactless with James ? and changed the story. James ? wrote a book about witchcraft, ghosts and apparitions, so when Shakespeare wrote his adaptation he decided to include these things in an effort to make the king enjoy it more. ...read more.

Middle

However Duncan makes the announcement that his oldest son Malcolm will be heir to the throne. He also says that he is going to visit Macbeth at his castle in Inverness. Even though Macbeth is planning to murder Duncan he speaks loyally towards him, he says it no more his duty to do everything to ensure the safety of his love and honour, 'Your highness part is to receive our duties'. However aside he says 'The eye wink at the hand', what he means is let the eye not see what the hand is doing. Macbeth admits that he is having 'black and deep desires'-but is afraid to speak out about them openly and to even admit them to himself. He leaves to go back to his castle in preparation for the kings visit. Macbeth's desires are those of wanting to be king, but he knows or that to happen he must murder Duncan. For the first time we meet Lady Macbeth in scene five. She is reading a letter from her husband Macbeth. The letter informs her of his victory in the battle and most importantly his encounter with the witches. The letters show the audience that Macbeth's and his wife share no secrets, he refers to her 'dearest partner of greatest' Lady Macbeth knows that her husband has great ambitions, but also knows that he doesn't have the courage to fulfill them and ...read more.

Conclusion

As shown in Act 1 Scene 4, Macbeth is a highly respected person within the play even Duncan respects him. Macbeth is also labelled as a brave man, in Act 1 Scene 2 'for brave Macbeth' but underneath the surface Macbeth is a truly distraught person. In Act 1 Scene3 Macbeth speaks to the witches and chooses to believe what they say, 'Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!' After his wife finds out she starts to plan Duncan's murder, he just let's he take control and doesn't try to intervene. This shows that he is easily influenced and is willing to stand back and let other people to take control. In Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth decides that he does not want to commit the murder because Duncan is his king and also his cousin 'We will proceed no further in this business.' It is then that Lady Macbeth begins to undermine his masculinity because he changes his mind about the murder. Obviously Macbeth is insecure about his masculinity because he changes his mind again and says he will go ahead with the murder. Macbeth is highly insecure about many things, so every evil thing he does. Is believed that he does it out of fear. Such as killing Duncan, he would not have done this if Lady Macbeth hadn't challenged his love for her. I think that if Macbeth was a stronger person, possibly less insecure maybe he would never have murdered the king. Macbeth 1 Katie Shooter ...read more.

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