How does Shakespeare create sympathy for Macbeth in act five?

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How does Shakespeare create sympathy for Macbeth in act five?

Macbeth is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare (in 1606) at the beginning of the 17th century, for King James 1st. At this time the Elizabethan's believed that witches were real and actually did these evil deeds. At the time when the play was written the "Divine right of Kings" was written to protect the Kings of England from being killed. If a King (or Queen) was killed it was thought that it had disturbed the natural order. This effects the play greatly.

The play is set in the highlands of Scotland, where a war has just ended. The main character "Macbeth" met with some witches on the moors after battle, who predicted that he would become Thane of Glamis and King of Scotland. Macbeth was appointed Thane of Glamis for his bravery as a soldier in the war. The next prediction then came true by Macbeth being forced by his wife Lady Macbeth to murder his King. Macbeth was then appointed King of Scotland. His best friend Banquo also received a prediction from the witches but chose to ignore it. Macbeth not wanting the prediction to come true murdered Banquo for his own personal gain.

At the end of act four Macbeth is in our lowest estimations as he has just murdered Macduff's innocent wife and children, as well as his King and his best friend. Macbeth is acting as a butcher, an evil tyrant who is doing everything that the witches want him to do. By doing this he and his wife have sold their souls to the devil and will go to hell.

At the beginning of act five Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking. In her sleepwalks she is reliving the murder of King Duncan. This reminds us of how Macbeth reacted to Duncan's murder. How he heard voices, " 'Macbeth shall sleep no more' ", yet this is what is happening to his calm wife; Lady Macbeth. She is now not able to sleep. Lady Macbeth was the stronger of the two, now that she is going mad what will Macbeth be feeling? This shows us that if Lady Macbeth is not sleeping, that Macbeth will not be either, he will be going through much the same thing as Lady Macbeth. This creates sympathy by showing us that Macbeth is still slightly human, and regrets his actions in the murders.
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In the soliloquies, which Macbeth speaks, it gives us a chance to see how Macbeth is really thinking and feeling - which is very different to what everyone sees. Macbeth appears as a brave King with valiant fury. He is fighting all the odds and seems to be handling things very well, but in fact the soliloquies prove this wrong and tell us how Macbeth is really feeling. He feels as if he life is not worth living anymore. That he has achieved what he set out to do, and not achieved it very well. As he has ...

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