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Macbeth "Shakespeare's Plays Tell Great Stories That Still Have Relevance. How Does Shakespeare Use Dramatic Techniques To Achieve This?

837 words - 3 pages

Shakespeare's works from the 16th century are great stories regarded as still having relevance to modern society. One of the ways this is possible is through the dramatic techniques used. This is evident from one of his greatest works, Macbeth.In Shakespeare's Macbeth ambition conspires with unholy forces to commit evil deeds, which, in their turn, generate fear, guilt and still more horrible crimes. Above all, Macbeth is a character study in which two protagonists respond individually and jointly to the psychological burden of their sins. In the course of the play, Macbeth repeatedly misinterprets the guilt that he suffers as being simply a matter of fear. His characteristic way of dealing with his guilt is to face it directly by committing still more misdeeds, and this, of course, only generates further madness.Irony is constantly used in the play. There are two main types of irony that are used in the play: dramatic irony and situational irony. Dramatic irony is used frequently in Macbeth. A major example is where Lennox asks Macbeth whether the king is to leave Macbeth's castle for home (Act 2 Scene 3)Lennox: "Goes the king hence today?"Macbeth: "He does: he did appoint so."Obviously Macbeth is lying through his teeth, for the audience was fully aware that he planned to murder King Duncan that night. But if one takes Macbeth's reply literally, Duncan did "plan" to leave the castle the next day; there is no lie to be found in that.Another example that demonstrates Shakespeare's use of dramatic irony is the Porter scene in Act 2 Scene 3. "If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the key..." After the king's murder is discovered, it is almost comedic the way Lady Macbeth responds to the announcement of King Duncan's murder. First she enters in mock confusion questioning:Lady Macbeth: "What's the business, That such a hideous trumpet calls to parleyThe sleepers of the house? speak, speak!" (Act 2 Scene 3)One can imagine the actor portraying Lady Macbeth embellishing her performance almost to be point at which it might be called over-acting. Then with Macduff's reply refusing to tell her what has happened for "The repetition in a woman's ear would murder as it fell," one can not help but ignore the serious tone of the scene to laugh at the irony of his choice of words. The lady then plays her innocence more by replying in alarm to Macduff's telling Banquo of the murder,Lady Macbeth: "Woe,...

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