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'in Act 1 Of Macbeth How Does Shakespeare Prepare The Audience For The Evil That Will Follow?' By William Shakespeare

2240 words - 9 pages

Sonu Vinay 10R English Coursework Mrs. WilliamsMacbeth Essay Literature 4'In Act 1 of Macbeth how does Shakespeare prepare the audience for the evil that w ill follow?'William Shakespeare, an English playwright, often started his plays with powerful scenes and mood-setting action. Act 1 of 'Macbeth' is no exception to the traditional important and exciting Shakespearean introductions.Shakespeare wrote 'Macbeth' as a tribute to King James, the new monarch of England at the time. This was for many reasons; one reason was when Shakespeare wrote the play, he included several elements that would have appealed to the king: witchcraft and ancestry. King James was particularly interested in witchcraft and this may have inspired Shakespeare to include witchcraft as such a major part to evil in the play. The character of Banquo was the ancestor of King James; this appears in Act IV when the witches show the apparitions of the 8 kings descending from Banquo.The play as a whole would be described as a tragedy because it contains death, murder, immorality and the consistent battle against good and evil; which are main elements of a Shakespearean tragedy. Act 1 of Macbeth presents and demonstrates a world full of deception. The uncertainty and inconsistency in the characters keep interest level up and the audience on the edge of their seats. The audience is forced to think about the concept of good and evil. This mental involvement in the play draws a lot of interest to the play and thoroughly prepares them for the evil that is about to follow. However, there are also other genres like horror, suspense and drama that come later on during the play.Act 1 displays the deceptive environment in which Macbeth lives (which is a major theme in the play), depicting the characters' personalities and motives, and finally portraying the constant struggle between good and evil. Act 1 prepares the audience for the evil that will follow through the setting of the scenes, the characters, language and many other techniques. It is true to a great extent that the audience is unaware of exactly what events are to follow after Act 1, but they are definitely prepared for something evil to occur, thus keeping them on tenterhooks.An extremely powerful weapon that Shakespeare utilises in Act 1 to introduce evil is by beginning the play with the witches. As soon as the witches enter the act, the audience is made aware of the play's theme as witches were associated with evil and cast as being wicked during the Elizabethan times. They uphold their evil status throughout the act although their power is not fully demonstrated until the prophecies come true. The witches symbolise all that is evil, playing a significant role in Macbeth's downfall, as it is them who trigger his ambition to become King. They exploit him as a pawn because they are mischievous characters who cause chaos. They influence Macbeth by telling him what he wishes to hear, that he shall be Thane of Cawdor and soon the...

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