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GCSE: Macbeth

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 21
  • Peer Reviewed essays 18
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  5. 38
  1. Marked by a teacher

    Throughout the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth together demonstrate how ambition can turn a loyal soldier into a bloodthirsty murderer

    5 star(s)

    Lady Macbeth calls on the spirits of darkness and evil to replace her nurturing and feminine qualities with remorseless cruelty. Macbeth is appalled of the thought of killing his king and can think of many reasons for not going ahead with the murder. So Lady Macbeth manipulates him by accusing him of being a coward and unmanly, until he agrees to proceed with the murder. Lady Macbeth presents her plan that when Duncan?s servants are asleep, he will enter Duncan?s chamber and kill him.

    • Word count: 1296
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explore how the writers present choices in Macbeth by William Shakespeare and the Laboratory by Robert Browning.

    4 star(s)

    I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my n****e from his boneless gums, had I so sworn as you have done to this." In Macbeths opening soliloquy by interpreting its textual content "Firstly as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself." it is clear the motives that are at work to deter him from committing the murder, fear of the consequences in this world, mingled feelings of kinship, loyalty, and hospitality, admiration for Duncan's

    • Word count: 1020
  3. Marked by a teacher

    How might a Jacobean audience see certain events in MACBETH differently to a modern one?

    4 star(s)

    Nowadays, a modern audience would see that as simply just made up, because we don't believe in witches anymore. Adverse weather conditions are caused by natural phenomena not by supernatural evil witches. When Macbeth sees the witches for the first time they say "Hail Macbeth hail to thee Thane of Glamis," "Thane of Cawdor" then "King hereafter". The witches are saying he definitely will have those titles, not just might be. A Jacobean audience would see this as the witches predicted the future because people back then believed that they could do that.

    • Word count: 1494
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Commentary on Macbeth soliloquy Act V scene V"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

    4 star(s)

    Imagery, time, dictions and repetition each have its constituency in shaping this important soliloquy. The passage reveals to the reader the despair and desolation of Macbeth just before the deciding battle with Macduff and Malcolm. Just before the soliloquy, Macbeth has been informed that Lady Macbeth is dead. The sudden departure of Lady Macbeth marks the lost of Macbeth's only love and trusty as well as the ties to the world. By now, Macbeth is all alone, as most of the previously mentioned Thanes have taken side with Malcolm. After this soliloquy, Macbeth is informed that the Birnam wood is moving towards Dunsinae.

    • Word count: 1032
  5. Marked by a teacher

    What is the importance of Banquo in Shakespeare's play Macbeth?

    4 star(s)

    They were both regarded highly and respected by everyone, including Duncan, the King of Scotland. When Banquo and Macbeth first meet the witches after battling with the Norwegians, both characters seem very suspicious of them, but as the witches speak their prophecies. "All hail Macbeth, Thane of Glamis" "All Hail Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor" "All hail Macbeth! That shalt be King hereafter" Macbeth seems to be memorised by the fortunes. Banquo doesn't realise the danger he is now in by being the only witness of the witches' prophecies, perhaps this is a flaw in his character, to trusting of Macbeth.

    • Word count: 1252
  6. Marked by a teacher

    'Do you think that Lady Macbeth is a good wife to an ambitious husband? You should refer in some detail to her words and actions.'

    3 star(s)

    Others see her as a woman ambitious for her husband whom she loves. She recognises the essential good in him, and feels that, without her, he will never win the Crown. Lady Macbeth wants to throw out her morality for the sake of gaining a title. With the help of invisible sprits, she wants to make herself able to commit a murder to make her dreams of the royal life come true, without having reservations or remorse. She approaches Macbeth with the idea that she wants to kill King Duncan. Macbeth, although wanting the prophecy to come true, and become king, lacks the enthusiasm that his wife does, to commit the murder against his King.

    • Word count: 1139
  7. Peer reviewed

    How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in act 2 scene 2 of Macbeth?

    5 star(s)

    which demonstrates that she is concerned someone has been alerted to the couple's plans and will discover their wretched methods; this sudden feeling of concern contrasts with her prior confident attitude and thus adds an element of drama to the situation. After Macbeth has murdered Duncan he feels nervous we see this when he asks "Didst thou not hear a noise?" which indicates panic in his mind. Lady Macbeth clearly shares the same emotional state as she replies "I heard the owl scream...Did you not speak".

    • Word count: 1397
  8. Peer reviewed

    The Supernatural in "Macbeth"

    4 star(s)

    Back in the day, witches were blamed for the death of animals. Also, the witches repeated phrases three times. "I'll do, I'll do, I'll do" and instead of any other number of witches, there were three of them. The number three was regarded as a magic number. The characters referred to themselves as "weird sisters" which was significant because the Weird Sisters were the goddess of destiny, who could see everyone's future. The characters prophesied Macbeth's and Banquo's future. They gave Macbeth three prophecies: "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis" which was Macbeth's past title; "All hail to Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor" which was Macbeth's present title which he has known about at that time; and finally, "all hail Macbeth that shalt be King hereafter!"

    • Word count: 1575
  9. Peer reviewed

    How far are the witches responsible for Macbeth's downfall?

    4 star(s)

    At first, he does not believe them, but when he receives the news that he has been given the title of Thane of Cawdor, he starts to believe in the prophecies. Macbeth believed in these prophecies so much that he ended up sending Lady Macbeth a letter explaining everything that had gone on that day, 'Enter Lady Macbeth, reading a letter.' (Act One Scene Five) This then leads to Lady Macbeth being seen as a reason why Macbeth had a downfall.

    • Word count: 1392
  10. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the presentation of the supernatural in 'Macbeth'. What part does it play in the drama?

    4 star(s)

    They would have also been curious of Shakespeare's exploration of the supernatural, especially the aspect of Witchcraft. The play opens with three Witches, this sets the entire theme for the play as being dark and evil due to the language used and also the setting. This scene also mentions the aspect of good and evil, "Fair is foul and foul is fair." This quote is reflected in Macbeth's first words, "So fair and foul a day I have not seen." This shows how things have been confused and their words have been well disguised, partly by the use of ambiguity.

    • Word count: 1542
  11. Peer reviewed

    Write about how Shakespeare uses dramatic technique and language to create an atmosphere of evil and suspense in the first three scenes of Macbeth, and how he prepares the audience for what happens in the rest of the play.

    3 star(s)

    The play then moves on to a military camp of Scottish King Of Duncan where he hears the news that his generals Macbeth and Banquo have defeated two separate invading armies, one from Ireland and the other from Norway. Following their battle with the enemy forces, Macbeth and Banquo encounter the three witches. The witches tell Macbeth that one day, he will be King, stunned and intrigued, Macbeth pressurises them for more details. They ignore Macbeth and then move onto Banquo and while speaking to him in riddles, tell him that he will never be King, but his sons will definitely sit on the throne.

    • Word count: 1328
  12. Peer reviewed

    "Certainly not tragic, not even heroic". How far do you agree with this estimation of the character Macbeth?

    3 star(s)

    The merciless Macdonald - Worthy to be a rebel, for to that The multiplying villainies of nature Do swarm upon him - from the Western Isles Of kerns and galloglasses is supplied, And Fortune on his damned quarrel smiling, Show'd like a rebel's w***e. But all's too weak, For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name - Disdaining Fortune, with his brandish'd steel Which smok'd with b****y execution, Like Valour's minion carv'd out his passage Till he fac'd the slave, Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him.

    • Word count: 1876
  13. Peer reviewed

    How does Shakespeare use language to show the changes in Lady Macbeth's character?

    3 star(s)

    This is very clever of her because she doesn't get caught but she is the real mastermind behind all of this. Shakespeare probably wrote this play because he wanted to make people explore the supernatural. One of the themes in the story is greed. This theme is shown by Lady Macbeth of who wants all the power and wealth through her husbands masculinity. Another theme in the play is the supernatural, this is shown through the three witches of who boost up the ambitions of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is introduced to the audience as a very euphemistic and strong woman.

    • Word count: 1082
  14. Peer reviewed

    The supernatural in Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    The witches also speak in riddles and paradoxes. They make it purposefully hard to understand the truth about what they mean. Some examples are "Fair is foul and foul is fair" (implying all good is bad and all bad is good) Another example is when a witch says, "When a battle's lost and won" Later on in the story, we realise that nearly everything the witches do and say have some effect on the mortals in the play. For example, Macbeth later says, "So fair and foul a day, I have not seem" which seems very much like the quote described earlier.

    • Word count: 1076
  15. Peer reviewed

    Explore Shakespeares presentation of Lady Macbeth and the witches. How might the presentation of female characters in Macbeth appeal to an Elizabethan audience?

    3 star(s)

    At the start of the play the three witches are discussing where they should meet again. 'In thunder, lightening, or in rain?' because of the sort of weather conditions there are, for them to meet again, it is not the best weather so the weather related to the mood that will be happening when the do met again. This shows the audience what sort of characters they are, showing them they could potentially cause trouble.

    • Word count: 1797
  16. The l**t for Power: Moral Blindness. It is demonstrated that the uncontrollable need for power ultimately leads to Macbeths downfall through the couples foolish ambition

    The witches' predictions say "Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!" (Shakespeare I.iii.68-69) The witches' prophecy displays Macbeth's ambition; the latter is one of the main reasons he attempts to kill Banquo's son. He was ready to dispose of anybody and anything preventing him from remaining in power; this proves to be the cause of Macbeth's death. Furthermore, Macbeth's desire to remain in control of the empire turns him into a power hungry tyrant.

    • Word count: 1419
  17. Discuss What Shakespeare Conveys About Macbeth and Lady Macbeths Relationship in Act 1, Act 2 (scene2) and Act 3 (scenes 2 and 4) Through Their Speeches and Actions

    It is evident from her soliloquy that Lady Macbeth knows she can manipulate Macbeth. By "chastising" him, she believes she can push him into achieving his ambition of Kingship. It is here that we see Lady Macbeth's controlling side and the first signs of her possibly dangerous desire for power. "Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here And fill me from the crown to the toe topfull Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood... Come to my woman's b*****s And take my milk for gall" By being "unsexed" Lady Macbeth is prepared to sacrifice her womanhood for the means to obtain kingship.

    • Word count: 1486

    This line itself is a contradiction, an oxymoron Shakespeare uses to portray Lady Macbeth's determination of accepting evil. She doesn't want the kind milk Macbeth has in him because she doesn't want to be a coward when going through with the dark plan. "b*****s" and "milk" represents her womanhood, a conveniently weak gender, but she wants to be strong and brave when going forward with the sin, so wants to be a man; this desire of hers is also shown in the symbolism "unsex me here". Lady Macbeth again doubts her husband when he returns home, further into the scene.

    • Word count: 1719
  19. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in Act 2, scene 2 of Macbeth?

    Macbeth stares at his b****y hands and is appalled to think what he has done. Macbeth believes that not all the oceans in the world would be able to wash away the blood from his hands; instead the blood would make the measureless seas b****y, "the multitudinous seas incarnadine". Lady Macbeth on the other hand looks quite differently on things; "a little water clears us of this deed" She is concerned only to avoid blame and regret. Lady Macbeth is a cold woman that only looks to the near future.

    • Word count: 1248
  20. With particular focus on Act 1, Scene 7, explain Lady Macbeths role in Macbeth.

    This seemed to spark Lady Macbeth?s inner ambition and greed to become powerful and also provoked her into persuading Macbeth into killing King Duncan, and she does this in a number of manipulative and calculating ways. The main way in which she does this is by mocking Macbeth and calling him a wimp, for example Lady Macbeth says, ?What beast was?t then that made you break this enterprise to me?? she is talking here of Macbeth?s refusal to murder Duncan, ?When you durst do it, then you were a man?.

    • Word count: 1258
  21. Compare and contrast Lady Macbeths language, style and tone throughout Macbeth

    In the play Macbeth, the wife of Macbeth, who throughout the play is referred to simply as 'Lady Macbeth'. This character has characteristics about her that is very different to the patriarchal society where women would have never spoken up and would do whatever their husbands told them to do, and seen as being very weak. But Lady Macbeth is quite a contrast since she is a very strong independent woman and also takes control of things, which is very different to the average women in a patriarchal society because she wears the trousers between the two.

    • Word count: 1109
  22. Look like the innocent flower, but be a serpent undert How does Shakespeare use theme of appearance and reality in Macbeth?

    It also portrays that if one's actions are grateful it will appear to be wicked, however, if ones actions are sinful it will appear to be good. This clashes in with the theme of appearance and reality, where if one's motives are grateful it will appear to be unappreciative and vice versa. Shakespeare was creating this to attract the audience's attention, this is an interesting quote as it is a paradox where the quote contradicts itself, and also the quote makes the audience interpret it in different ways.

    • Word count: 1234
  23. How is the character Macbeth presented in Shakespeares' play Macbeth

    Also the play includes the three witches and James I wrote a book about witchcraft. Lastly, the murder of King Duncan was critical aspect of he play and murder was also important in King James's rule, as Guy Fawkes's Gunpowder plot was aimed to kill the King. Shakespeare used Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1587) as a source of historical information, though the characters and events differ quite a lot from Shakespeare's play. The play shows a time in Scotland where there were great brutalities and upheavals in society, and Shakespeare uses this to show how the brutalities and upheavals can lead to events which break loyalty and create mistrust between households in Scotland.

    • Word count: 1829
  24. In Shakespeare's "Macbeth", which character or characters bear most responsibility for the death of Duncan? Discuss

    In his treatise "Daemonologie" (1597) he wrote of them as demonic supernatural beings who served a purpose as tempters. According to him, their purpose was the damnation of their victim's soul. Their role as tempters in the play relates to James' belief that God may test people, even the "best" ("God will permit so to be tempted or troubled"), and this demonstrates that the witches' motives for targeting Macbeth was not merely a cruel trick but may be seen as part of a greater design in which he is to be tested by God.

    • Word count: 1791
  25. Analyse Shakespeares presentation of Lady Macbeth in Act 2 Scene 2 and Act 5 Scene 1. Using your knowledge of the play explore the reasons for her eventual breakdown.

    In her soliloquy she uses very dark and evil language for example "The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms. Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged their possets, That death and nature do contend about them, whether they live, or die." The soliloquy shows that she is a complex character because she says she has drugged them but doesn't care if they die or not. Lady Macbeths part in this plot at this stage is to keep Macbeth sane and to stop people disturbing them whilst doing the evil deed.

    • Word count: 1955

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • To what extent does Shakespeare portray the character of Macbeth as a war hero(TM) turned evil murderer(TM)?

    "In conclusion I think that the witches' equivocations acted as the initial stimulus to Macbeth. They were the ones who first planted those dark thoughts into Macbeth's head, but the witches didn't tell him to murder, they only told him that he would become king. Lady Macbeth then acted as a catalyst as she manipulated Macbeth into actually killing King Duncan, and used his ego against him. There are many factors that led to Macbeth's downfall, but Macbeth's fatal flaw was his ambition, and he would not have preformed any murder if he didn't have the drive and ambition to become king."

  • Macbeth: Analyse and compare two scenes in William Shakespeare's Macbeth that show the audience the change in the balance of power, in their relationship, between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

    "In conclusion despite there being many other themes in this play in my chosen scenes the one of power stands out a great deal. They show well how Lady Macbeth has the majority of power during the beginning of the play but as it continues she loses it quickly to Macbeth. He seems to gain the power of the country around the same time that he gains it over the relationship, however because the switch in power of the relationship is not as obvious as the switch in power of the country we are unable to determine which followed which. Laura Mann 10E"

  • To what extent do you agree with Malcolm's description of Lady Macbeth as a "fiend like queen"?

    "In conclusion I believe that Malcolm's description of her as a "fiend-like queen", is not a n entirely accurate representation of Lady Macbeth, contrary to my initial impression of her. This remark may have some truth to it as Lady Macbeth did manipulate Macbeth into doing the things he did, but she does realise finally the enormity what she has done. She regrets her actions and I don't think that regret is something that a 'fiend' would feel. The witches can be seen as more responsible for Macbeth's actions as they gave him the thought of murder even though it was Lady Macbeth that spurred him on. She died what she did out of love for her husband, so I don't think she is truly evil just someone overcome by ambition for her husband, who acted without thing of the consequences. Her final remorse reveals her human side rather than her 'fiend-like' qualities."

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