This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Irony In Act 1 Of Macbeth

949 words - 4 pages


Question – Discuss the irony in Act 1, Scene 4.

Irony is very commonly used in literature. It is when something totally different from what was happened takes place. Irony is of three main broad types-verbal irony, dramatic irony and irony of situation. Verbal irony or sarcasm refers to the situation where the character deliberately means the opposite of what he or she is saying. Irony of situation or circumstance refers to a situation when the opposite of what is expected happens. Dramatic irony is the most commonly used one in plays. It refers to a situation when the reader is aware of the truth of the situation or the significance of what the writer is saying or even the consequences but the protagonist himself is not. We find a lot of irony profound in Shakespeare’s plays like Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Othello and even Macbeth. In Macbeth, the entire scene 4 of the first act is drenched in dramatic irony mainly on Duncan’s part and at his expense.

Duncan talks of the previous Thane of Cawdor upon whom he bestowed his full trust and confidence. This to some extent shows how naïve Duncan is and how easily he trusts people. He is deeply saddened at the betrayal by the previous Thane of Cawdor but little does he know how treacherous the newly appointed thane is going to be. Duncan comments that ‘There’s no art/To find the mind’s construction in the face./He was a gentleman (previous thane) upon whom I build/An absolute trust’. This is very ironic. Duncan is stating how it is hard to see the secrets of a persons mind by just looking at the persons face and it is this moment that the new thane Macbeth enters. Duncan is so blinded and innocent that he fails to see through Macbeth’s evil designs. He is heralding a lot of trust upon Macbeth only to soon be at the receiving end of a Judas kiss and back stab from the new thane.

Upon seeing Macbeth, Duncan greets the savior of his kingdom by saying ‘o worthiest cousin’ and sings his praises. Duncan says how indebted he is to Macbeth and how he can never praise Macbeth enough. Duncan adds that ‘More is thy due than more than I can ever pay’. We see what a grateful king he is. Nevertheless the audience is fully aware of how Macbeth will repay the king. Macbeth is anyways planning to usurp the throne of Scotland and dispose of Duncan. Right now Duncan has no words to thank Macbeth but soon when Macbeth begins his reign all the words to condemn him and his tyranny are going to fall short. This is the degradation of moral character. Duncan poor soul cannot see through people and lacks a little perspicacity like Banquo.

Duncan uses a sowing metaphor to talk of how he wants...

Find Another Essay On Irony in Act 1 of Macbeth

Tension in Act 2, Scenes 1 and 2 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1536 words - 6 pages Tension in Act 2, Scenes 1 and 2 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth Shakespeare's Macbeth is a play that develops around tension all the way through. Shakespeare manages to create tension in a variety of ways in terms of the thematic aspects, linguistic aspects and dramatic aspects. Act II (scenes I and 11) is the part of Macbeth where Lady Macbeth and her husband (Macbeth) actually carry out their plans and do the deed

MacBeth: Act 1, Scene 7 Essay

1009 words - 4 pages kill Duncan, though he later reassesses the idea. If it were not for Lady MacBeth’s persuasion, Duncan most likely would not have been murdered. In Act 1, Scene 7 of this play, MacBeth begins a monologue. In this soliloquy, the character shows, as Shakespeare’s characters are known to, a human truth: he is conflicted with morals of killing his king; the mind’s battle between personal want and acting ethically. He states an ethical appeal to

The Effectiveness of Act 1:3 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2100 words - 8 pages The Effectiveness of Act 1:3 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth This is the first scene where we encounter Macbeth after he has been talked of highly in the previous scenes. Since he is the title character then his opening scene and first impression is of great importance, and is therefore made dramatic and striking by Shakespeare. The change in Macbeth's character during the scene is fairly evident as he starts to become

Act 1 Scene 7 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1120 words - 4 pages Act 1 Scene 7 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth Introduction ============ Act 1 scene 7 is very important in the whole of the play because the string of murders started here, and what Macbeth and Lady Macbeth wanted to do was accomplished. This was the scene in which Macbeth became King and the original King (King Duncan) was murdered. Before this scene what had happened was that King Duncan came to Macbeth's

'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

The Significance of Act 1 Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

4112 words - 16 pages The Significance of Act 1 Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth The story of ‘Macbeth’ opens in ancient Scotland during a time of war between Scotland and Norway. In thunder and lightening, not far from the place of battle, three witches meet on a lonely heath. They are very important in the plot and develop certain aspects of the play. They make greater theatrical experience with images of darkness, thunder and

lady macbeth act 1 scence 5

1224 words - 5 pages Act 1 sc 5Enter Macbeth's Wife, alone:As the scene opens, Lady Macbeth is reading a letter from her husband. The letter tellsof the witches' prophecy for him, which is treated as a certainty, because "I havelearned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge" (1.5.1-3)."The perfectest report" means "the most reliable information," so it appears thatMacbeth has been asking people what they know about the reliability of

Lady Macbeth Monologue - Act 1 Scene 5b

873 words - 3 pages that shall be a bitter pill to swallow. The thane must cast off his nature and clothe himself in courage to go forth as into a battle. He must indeed screw his courage to the sticking place. As the time for mine own assistance in this scheme has come, I must make a plan.A plan so carefully crafted it makes even the most conniving of minds look foolhardy. There should be no suspicions cast upon Macbeth. He must appear as innocent as a baby lamb, and

Explore the ways in which Shakespeare creates dislike and sympathy for Lady Macbeth in Act 1 and Act 5

1238 words - 5 pages ?” This suggests that Macbeth is weak and is afraid of his own idea and a coward because he doesn’t act as he desires. In Act 5, Scene 1 Lady Macbeth’s character has changed significantly because she is sleeping walking in her sleep she is trying to wash her hands clean but she can’t Shakespeare has done this because he wants the audience to feel some sympathy for her because now in the play she has realised of her wrongs and all she wants is to be

Additional Scene to Shakespeare's Macbeth. I wrote Act VI, Scene 1, after Shakespeare concludes the play in Act 5

1293 words - 5 pages Characters:Donalbain: Malcolm's brother who early in the play fled to Ireland after his father's (Duncan)death. He is not seen the remainder of the play, until now.Witches: The 3 troublesome sisters who plagued MacBeth and contributed to his downfall for their own pleasure.Macbeth: Act VI, Scene 1Setting: Desolate rocky plain near Malcom's Castle in Scotland. Donalbain meets the witches.[Enter alone on horseback with sword and supplies]Donalbain

A Comparison of the BBC Shorts Production depicts Act 1 Scene 7 in their televised version of the play Macbeth by Shakespeare

1140 words - 5 pages For my English coursework on Macbeth, I am going to study how the BBC's Short Stories depicts Lady Macbeth in their production of the play. The section of the play that I am going to focus on is Act 1 Scene 7. This scene is all about Lady Macbeth persuading Macbeth, her husband, to murder Duncan. Louise Lombard (who plays Lady Macbeth) does not agree with the common opinion that Lady Macbeth is evil personified, but instead tries to explain why

Similar Essays

The Characterisation Of Lady Macbeth In Act 1 Scene 5

1130 words - 5 pages responsibility of the Macbeths to be untrustworthy to King Duncan, because it is the plan of the Macbeths to lead him to his death. In Act 1 Scene 6 there is the specific use of dramatic irony, as the King meets their acquaintance. Lady Macbeth acts kindly, and welcoming towards the King: “at your highness’ pleasure”. The King had been greeted and welcomed by Lady Macbeth and he shows this gratitude by “kissing” her. This

Different Perspectives Of Macbeth [Act 1] In "Macbeth" By William Shakespeare

919 words - 4 pages weak man by his own wife, Lady Macbeth. At last, through Macbeth himself, the audience can see his hesitance between good and evil as he tries to fight his conscience.In Act I, scene ii, shows the first perspective of Macbeth by the wounded sergeant and King Duncan. During this scene, a battle is taking place in which Macbeth is fighting in. The wounded sergeant is brought to the king to tell the recent news of the battle. Here, the sergeant says

Act 1 Scene 1 Film Version Of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1851 words - 7 pages Act 1 Scene 1 Film Version of William Shakespeare's Macbeth In Elizabethan England, witches and the supernatural were a very genuine threat to everyday life. They were recognised as an antithesis to the divinely ordained order of the universe, often attributed with unexplained disease to neighbours and to livestock, as quoted in Act 1, Scene 3 when the second witch notifies the others that she has been 'killing swine

Explore How Shakespeare Presents The Power Of Rhetoric In Act 1 Scene 7 Of “Macbeth”

947 words - 4 pages In Act 1 Scene 7 of “Macbeth”, Lady Macbeth uses persuasive language to bring Macbeth from a man full of trepidation, to a hardened killer, ready to commit regicide. She does this in a variety of ways. The play was extremely controversial at the time; this was because it effectively reversed the gender roles of society. These roles were imprinted into the very fabric of medieval community; women were seen as inferior to males, and were brutally