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Witches and evil are used to open Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'.

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Discuss the significance of Act 1. 1 in relation to the play as a whole Witches and evil are used to open Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. The author establishes an atmosphere of dread and mystery, and introduces themes of disorder and the supernatural in the first Act. Different parts of Act 1 Scene 1 can be seen throughout the play and this makes Act 1 Scene 1 significant. As the play opens the first thing the audience sees are the three evil witches. I believe Elizabethan audiences would have reacted in a negative way to the witches presence. The witches would have caused shock and controversy amongst the audience. The possibility that witches can determine the future would have stirred the audience because in those days people suspected of being a witch was executed. 'Thunder and lightning' is used to help create the atmosphere of 'Macbeth'. The 'thunder and lightning' is used to represent the witches. We can see the link between the witches and the weather because thunder and lightning is unpredictable like the witches. ...read more.


When asked when the witches should meet next, one witch suggests ''when the hurly burlys done''. The hurly burly means the disorder or chaos. We can see disorder and chaos when Duncan is killed. The natural order of the earth is changed and the old man reports ''a falcon tow' ring in her pride of place was by a mousing owl killed'' We can see that the natural order has been changed because now we have smaller animals killing bigger ones, where usually it is vice versa. Another example of hurly burly can be seen when Ross says ''by th' clock 'tis day and yet dark night strangles the travelling light''. This shows us that even though it was daytime the sky turned black like the night. Black is a symbol of evil, disorder and chaos, which shows us that all three devices are connected. Another says ''when the battles lost and won''. This has several meanings in different parts of the play. ...read more.


At one point in the play this theme is developed further. In Act 1 Scene 3 Macbeth says ''so fair and foul a day I have not seen''. Here we can see the link between his language and the witches and this shows that the witches have some influence on Macbeth. The quotation also hints that what is good is bad. We can see this in Macbeth when he turns from the valiant soldier slaying all the Norwegians in the first scene to the terrible and corrupt ruler near the end. Act 1 scene 1 is very revealing to the rest of the play. All the aspects in Act 1 Scene 1 are effective because they are echoed throughout the rest of the play. The opening act tells us what is going to occur but does not tell us when, this keeps us interested and makes us want to keep watching the play. Shakespeare creates an exciting blend of controversy and treachery to create an amazing play that has never grown old. ?? ?? ?? ?? Oliver Miocic 10 NW 1 ...read more.

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