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With reference to two major scenes, taken from two different Acts of the play, examine how Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a character. In your answer include Shakespeare's use of: Language, Stagecraft, Dramatic Tension

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Introduction

With reference to two major scenes, taken from two different Acts of the play, examine how Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a character. In your answer include Shakespeare's use of: Language, Stagecraft, Dramatic Tension, Classical Allusions (if relevant) and any references to the Supernatural In the play of "Macbeth", we first hear about Macbeth as a character in Act 1, Scene 2 when the Captain is speaking to Duncan. At this early stage in the play, we get quite a strong image about Macbeth from the Captain's words. Macbeth's sword is said to have "smoked with bloody execution" from the blood of Macdonald, which tells us that Macbeth is a good soldier, otherwise he would not have been able to kill the leader of the opposition forces. The captain informs Duncan that Macbeth fought his way through a battlefield crowded with soldiers, until he met his main rival, where he exerted his anger upon him by unseaming him "from the nave to th'chaps". This tells us that Macbeth stuck his sword into Macdonald's navel and pulled it up to his jaws. The lines in this part of the play, build up an image of Macbeth as a committed and skilful soldier. It also lets us know that Macbeth is capable of killing, and gives us an insight into what is to come in the future. ...read more.

Middle

At this point in the play, I think that Shakespeare is trying to put forward that Macbeth is a sinister and evil person. Hence, Shakespeare has included the various stage directions that give us the idea that this place is evil, and as Macbeth is associated with this evil place, it presents him as evil. This scene also shows that Macbeth is quite desperate, as he goes looking for the witches. I also believe that in this scene, Shakespeare tries to present Macbeth as an ill mannered character, with little respect to anyone but himself. Macbeth addresses the witches in his opening line in this scene, as "you secret, black, and midnight hags!". This is a very rude insult and presents Macbeth as an arrogant person who doesn't realise the danger of dealing with the supernatural and the goddess of witchcraft, Hecate. The audience also gets the impression that Macbeth thinks that he is in control, but in fact the witches are. During Macbeth's visit to the witches, Macbeth sees three Apparitions. After the first Apparition, Macbeth tries to ask it a question, but the First Witch interrupt him and forbid him from asking the Apparitions questions with the words: "He will not be commanded". This shows that the witches are very much in control. The Second Apparition states that "no one of woman born /Shall harm Macbeth". ...read more.

Conclusion

In Shakespearian times, it was thought that you were not born, if you weren't born naturally. But when Macbeth is told to yield to Malcolm, he refuses and decides to fight Macduff: I will not yield To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet And baited with the rabble's curse. (Act 5, Scene 8, 27b-29) Lay on, Macduff, And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!" (Act 5, Scene 8, 33b-34) This shows that Macbeth has quite a strong character, as even though he knows that he has not even one of the witches' prophecies behind him, he still gives Macduff a fight instead of just giving in. Shakespeare has presented Macbeth in different ways as a character, which changes throughout the play. At the beginning he is described as a brave and skilful soldier. After the murder of Duncan, he is presented as a tyrant who is desperate to know that he and his descendants will be kings. In the closing parts of the play, one gets the impression that Macbeth has had enough of life, but will save his name as a fighter to the very end. All in all, Shakespeare creates a very strong image of Macbeth, which he presents in a way that the audience can get deeply involved with. Word Count: 2,354 words ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 5 Sayinthen Vivekanantham Candidate Number: 9129 Centre Number: 64225 ...read more.

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