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What does the audience learn of the character of Macbeth in the earlier part of the play?

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Introduction

What does the audience learn of the character of Macbeth in the earlier part of the play? In the start of the play we see the three witches waiting for Macbeth. The witches refer to, Macbeth but we do not see him until later on. Therefore the audience learns that the witches are representing the evil and weaknesses in Macbeth. The king and his soldiers praise Macbeth for his brave soldier ship. 'For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name' The sergeant says that Macbeth deserves to be called brave, as he is a good and faithful soldier. The audience have now learnt that Macbeth has two sides to him, a good and a bad side. He is loyal to his friends and King, is a brave soldier, and fights for his country, but Macbeth also has a weakness and this is what the witches play upon. Banquo and Macbeth see the witches on the heath. Banquo fears that there are evil spirits and blanks them from his mind, while Macbeth listens to what they have to say. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth knows that murder is an act of darkness: to try it, he must douse the 'signs of nobleness' in his own mind. 'Stars hide your fires!' The audience can see that evil is slowly over riding Macbeth, but he still has a sense of right and wrong. Lady Macbeth reads the letter from Macbeth and unlike her husband, she pursues without a second thought the intention of murder, from then on Lady Macbeth takes on the murder in her own hands, as she thinks that Macbeth will be able to do it. The audience can see that Lady Macbeth overpowers Macbeth and tells him what to do, not what he thinks is right. Macbeth doesn't want anything to do with the murder anymore. 'We will proceed no further in this business' Macbeth is worried as he still believes in life after death and he wants to live a good life. We can see how influential Lady Macbeth is as she challenges him in his own metaphor, and she wins because of this. There is a definite contrast between Macbeth and Banquo. ...read more.

Conclusion

'In the great hand of God I stand, and thence Against the undivulged pretence I fight Of treasonous malice.' The audience sense something is wrong when an old man talks about unnatural happenings. 'A falcon, towering in her pride of place, Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed' Macbeth is afraid of Banquo, as he is a good man. Evil is frightened of good. 'Our fears in Banquo Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature Reigns that which would be feared' Macbeth knows that after he dies the throne will go to Banquo's son unless he has no son to succeed him. So the audience knows that what Macbeth has done is for Banquo's children. Macbeth hasn't gained anything from this. 'Thus is nothing to be safely thus' Macbeth is planning to murder Banquo as he knows too much information and that he is a good honest man. Macbeth is growing more confident and we see that now he has committed one murder it is easier to commit another. He no longer needs his wife help, instead he pays two murderers to kill Banquo for him, as it wouldn't be possible for Macbeth because he has to be at the banquet. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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