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Why did Shakespeare begin 'Macbeth'with this scene?

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Why did Shakespeare begin 'Macbeth' with this scene? Shakespeare's Globe theatre stood on the south bank of the River Thames and was London's most popular attraction. During Shakespeare's career there were many other public attractions competing to grab public attention, such as: bear-baiting, cock fighting and public executions. Therefore it was vital that Shakespeare added a touch of excitement to his plays, so the audience wouldn't lose interest in the play. Shakespeare opens 'Macbeth', 'on the moor' in other words a desolate wasteland. He intentionally sets the scene using poor weather conditions, 'thunder & lightning' to create the right atmosphere for the play. This would give the audience a slight idea as to what the genre of the play will be, whether it's horror, fantasy, or comedy for example, which in a way acts as a prologue. ...read more.


Shakespeare did this through his presentation of the witches and Banquo. Banquo was a mythical person invented as the founder of the Stuart royal family. Showing his decent from Banquo, King James would have enjoyed Shakespeare's portrayal of Banquo as an honourable, faithful soldier. 'Enter three witches'. This would engage the audiences' interests because, throughout Shakespeare's lifetime, witches were feared and believed to have some form of interaction with the devil. Therefore anyone thought to be a witch was severely tortured and executed. Witches were also believed to call upon evil spirits with charms and incantation and predict futures. Shakespeare added the witches to the play because they seemed to add a sense of horror to the play, frightening the audience, and was fundamental to the plot. ...read more.


The second witch states, 'there to meet with Macbeth', this brings up three main questions to the audiences' attention: who is Macbeth? Why is he meeting with the witches? Is he good or bad? This brings a sense of curiosity and mystery to Macbeth, as well as confusion to the audience. Shakespeare does this because it maintains the audiences' interests, leaving them eager to find out the answers to their questions. Shakespeare began the opening scene of Macbeth in an attempt to engage the audiences' interest. The opening scene gave the audience a slight clue as to what was likely to occur within the play, which acted as a prologue. He used the brief showing of the witches to frighten the audience as well as confusing them - the witches mentioning Macbeth's name. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework Remone Peter-Riley ...read more.

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