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William Shakespeare's use of dramatic techniques in the play Macbeth.

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Introduction

William Shakespeare was a seventeenth century playwright who wrote many interesting and entertaining plays. Some of his work included ' Romeo and Juliet', 'Hamlet' and 'Macbeth'. Shakespeare wrote his plays for the everyday person in the seventeenth century so they had to capture the audience's attention. He caught their attention by the elements of surprise, special effects and exciting story lines. He was familiar with all the tricks of the trade, when he wrote the plays as he intended them to be watched. He wrote the play so that people would want to continue to watch and as a result the plays were successful with his audiences. Shakespeare wrote 'Macbeth' and included many special techniques throughout the duration of the play. He included three witches in the play. Witches in those days and still today represent evil so people were made to feel afraid. In my opinion Macbeth is a tragedy as it is a story of a good man turned evil. This is a questionable comment, as many people disagree. Shakespeare knew this and used this to play his audience. Macbeth undoubtedly wishes to become king. However, when he achieves this it has the boomerang effect. This means that his plans have a totally different effect to those that he originally had expected. Macbeth had expected to be happy through his achievement in being king but this brought misery and then disaster at the end for him. However, at the conclusion Macbeth realises that he has done many things wrong along the path to becoming king and he may feel remorse for his actions. ...read more.

Middle

This means that the audience have to continue to watch to see if their opinion of Macbeth was correct. Macbeth has been presented in two conflicting manners evil and good and the truth will not unfold until the next scene when we finally see Macbeth in person. William Shakespeare builds up reader expectation in Act one scene three by the entrance of the witches and once again thunder is heard. This maintains tension and expectation. The witches kill swine and according to popular belief this was normal for the witches so there dark side is reinforced. The witches plan revenge upon a woman who refused to share her chestnuts with them. They involve her husband, who is a sailor, in storms, which they control but it is interesting that they cannot destroy the ship itself because they cannot directly inflict harm on a person. 'Though his bark cannot be lost' This is very important in that it follows closely their relationship with Macbeth. The witches can only circumstances by which Macbeth can damn himself but the witches cannot damn him themselves. The witches clearly know that Macbeth is on his way and will arrive any time and in knowing this establish their unnatural abilities. They can foretell any events in the future and this would indicate that they are clearly evil. At this point the tension mounts as they recite a charm. Macbeth and Banquo enter and Macbeths first remark links him to the witches in the minds of the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point the audience have no idea about what is going on inside the mind of Banquo. He, too was also promised something by the witches but there are clear indications that Banquo appreciates the evil and danger that accompany the witches in his remark- 'What, can the devil speak true? .' And later the remark- 'And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths.' Banquos apparent normality in relation to the witches highlights and accentuates Macbeths seeming fixation with their predictions. By the fact that Banquo was present during the prophecies and he too was promised a line of kings placed him in the role of rival in Macbeths mind. The fact that Macbeth wishes to speak with Banquo about developments seems to indicate that Macbeth at this point has not resolved his inner mental turmoil as to confer with his friend about the events foretold by the witches. The play, Macbeth, then shows Shakespeare at his dramatic peak. He uses a range of devices and techniques to arouse and sustain the interest of his audience, an audience with whom he has more than familiar. In the first three scenes he displays this intimate knowledge of how his public thought in many ways. He manipulated his audience and to an extent teased them though the plot and the way that the main characters were presented. His depiction of Macbeth's thought processes are particularly striking as by the end of the third scene we do not know what Macbeth is going to do in terms of future action. We are curious and therefore wish to view developments. ...read more.

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