Macbeth Presentation Of Characters. This Essay Describes The Characters In The Play Macbeth. It Also Tells About The Play And The Topics Explored Within It.

5794 words - 23 pages

Macbeth - Presentation of CharactersMacbeth, a play by William Shakespeare written sometime between 1603-1606, is atragic story of death and deceit amongst the noblemen of Scotland. The two maincharacters are Macbeth, Thane of Glamis and his wife Lady Macbeth. The play isbased around the conflict in Scotland at the time between the King andrebellious Scotsmen, who were overcome single-handedly by Macbeth on the side ofthe King, Duncan. Macbeth and his fellow kinsman Banquo were met on a heath bythree witches who prophesised Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor, and later Kingof Scotland. When he later learned he had been made Thane of Cawdor for hisservice to the crown, he believed that it was the work of the witches. However,rather than leaving it to the witches, Macbeth decided he would have to kill theking himself if he wanted the crown, fulfilling his ambition. Therefore, withthe influence and assistance of his wife, he eventually murdered King Duncan,with himself then becoming king. He is r!esultantly guilt ridden, but his wife is very calm and accepts no responsibilityfor Duncan?s death. The tables turn later on in the play though, with Macbethcontinuing his killing to gain more power and becoming more independent from hiswife, eventually leading to her going mad and committing suicide.This play and the topics explored within it were very relevant to the time inwhich it was written. Practising witchcraft became an executable offence in1604, so the witches in the play would have caused quite some controversy.Regicide, the murder of a king or queen, was also an extremely serious crime asthe king was believed to have been chosen by God, so to kill the king was to actagainst God and also nature. Today it is still the only executable offence inthe United Kingdom. The King of England when the play was written, James I, wasinterested in the supernatural. He also survived an assassination attempt in hisyouth and had an ancestor named Banquo, who was historically evil but was madegood in Shakespeare?s play. All of these aspects of the play would have appealedto King James which implies it may have been written for him. The whole idea ofrebellion and deceit is also linked to more topical events of the time, namelythe gunpowder plot of 1605 when an attemp!t was made to blow up the Houses Of Parliament.Act 1 Scene 1 of the play sets the scene with a very short, mysterious gatheringof the three witches. They appear suddenly, in mid-conversation, which isdramatic and creates unclear ideas about the dubious topics of conversation.This in turn creates an air of tension, suspicion and an ominous atmosphere. Thepresence of thunder and lightning is a symbol of evil and creates a more hostileatmosphere. This suggests that the rest of the play will be full of deceit;revenge; anger and pain, implying the play will be a tragedy. This scene createsa sense of mystery and intrigue, and as the scene is short, there is littleevidence to go on, so there is nothing about...

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