Impression Of Macbeth In First Two Acts

5125 words - 21 pages

Impression of Macbeth in First Two Acts

The first two acts of the play Macbeth are probably the most crucial;
they set the scene, introduce the characters and, with the bloody
murder of Duncan, give us a taste of the horror to come. For the
person Macbeth, the first two acts are equally as important and
significant. We, as the audience, gain many insights into his thoughts
and feelings through his powerful soliloquies; we see his fear,
excitement and temptation when the witches inform him of their
prophecy, we see this initial reaction buckle under the strains of his
anxiety. We see him bullied and eventually dominated by his
manipulating wife, and then we witness him succumb to his
all-consuming greed and ambition that will eventually lead to his ruin
and death. Within the first two acts we see many different dimensions
to Macbeth's character, and then we see these dimensions begin to
alter and change. We gain three main impressions of Macbeth from the
first two acts. The first is that he is portrayed as the ultimate
fighting machine: noble, valiant, brave and worthy. He is almost a
god- like hero, and it is impressed upon us the love, respect and
admiration he consequently gains from his fellow soldiers, noblemen,
and even the King. The second impression of him that we gain is of his
greed, ambition and pride. These character traits are awakened when
the witches herald their prophecy. At first he is prepared to do
anything to get the crown, and he has dark thoughts about killing
Duncan. But his resolve soon gives way to his inner fears, and this
brings in the third impression we get of Macbeth. He is weak, which is
ironic because his physical strength as a warrior is much celebrated.
He is first weak when he gives in to his temptation and decides to
murder the good King Duncan to further himself. Later we see this
decision broken because he is afraid. Then he proves to be even weaker
by allowing Lady Macbeth to bully and manipulate him into murdering
Duncan, she using any means possible. His weakness is played on
throughout the play, but it takes many forms as his character
develops.

The play opens on a ghostly, supernatural note with the three witches
brewing a spell amidst thunder and lightning. During this short scene,
we hear Macbeth's name for the first time, and it's spoken by one of
the witches. This indicates that they will play a momentous part in
the life of Macbeth throughout the play. And they do, as Macbeth's
heralds of all things good and bad, fair and foul.

Scene Two opens on King Duncan and his son Malcolm talking with a
wounded, bleeding Captain about the latest news of the battle.
Throughout this scene it is impressed upon us how valiant, brave and
noble Macbeth is, and how popular and well loved he is amongst the
Scots. During the Captain's...

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