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How Does Shakespeare Prepare The Audience For Macbeth’s Eventual Capitulation To The Forces Of Evil In Act 1

1280 words - 5 pages

How does Shakespeare prepare the audience for Macbeth's eventual capitulation to the forces of evil in Act 1 In his play "˜Macbeth', Shakespeare shows us the tragedy of how a basically good man, once "˜full o' the milk of human kindness', gives way to the forces of evil and commits dreadful crimes such as ordering the murder of lady Macduff and her children, and is subsequently destroyed.As the opening act progresses Shakespeare makes us increasingly aware of the dark side of Macbeths character. Let us now analyse how this is done. The dramatic entrance of the witches in scene I creates an evil atmosphere and consequently leaves the audience feeling somewhat uneasy. The witches talk of meeting Macbeth, "˜after the battle is lost and won.' This suggests to me that the witches have something of great importance to tell Macbeth and after such a dramatic entrance of the three evil witches it is even more obvious to me that the news is likely to be bad, and can quit easily provide a satisfactory reason for the audiences uncertainty for Macbeths future. As scene II gets underway, in contrast we see a good side to Macbeth's character. He appears to be well liked by his peers, for example we can see that the sergeant shows a high level of respect for Macbeth, "˜ which ne'er shook hands nor bade farewell to him till he un-seamed him from the nave to the chaps' We can also see confirmation of Macbeth's popularity when Duncan states, "˜ O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!' Ross also acknowledges Macbeth's bravery in single handily defeating the Norwegians, "˜ brave Macbeth'. However the language used to describe Macbeth in scene II is brutal and blood thirsty which accurately leads the audience to believe this is the nature of Macbeth's character, this tells me that it is Macbeth's rather deadly reputation which makes him an ideal victim for the witches latest nefarious scheme. In scene III we can collect yet more evidence of the witches evilness. This is clearly portrayed when the first witch asks where her sister has been, she reply's, "˜killing swine' also the first witch talks of a fat bottomed old woman, "˜ Aroint thee, witch the rump fed ranyon cries'. We are given further incite into the potential danger of the witches when the first witch claims she has a pilots thumb, "˜here I have a pilots thumb, wrecked as homeward he did come.' Not only by the witches language can we see their evilness, but also the use of drum beat and the witches sudden disappearance creates a tense atmosphere of foreboding about what mysterious events that may follow also the witches choice of meeting place on the baron moor only adds to the growing tension. When Macbeth first enters the stage in scene III he appears to be somewhat confused as to what type of day he is having, "˜ so foul and fair a day I have not seen' this confusion could be linked to the fact that Macbeth has seen the...

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