Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Character of Shakespeares Macbeth Essay -- GCSE English Literatur

Macbeth:   A Question of Character       The play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, is a portrait of one man, Macbeth, showing how he changes. Although we are presented with his deterioration from good to evil, we can see his human side throughout the play, which makes it a tragedy. It is the shortest of Shakespeare’s tragedies, and has a very fast pace. Once Macbeth’s ambition has ‘set the ball rolling’, events happen quickly in the play as it gathers momentum. The themes of Macbeth are ambition, effects of evil, and violence, shown mainly by the language of the play, as in Shakespeare’s time plays were performed in daylight with very few props. Ambition is something that everyone can identify with, and Macbeth is a compelling study of how ambition can destroy a person, so the audience is interested in Macbeth’s character.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Our first impression of Macbeth is of a heroic, famous, popular man who is well liked by the king - Duncan refers to Macbeth as ‘noble Macbeth’.(Act 1 Scene 2 L67) Macbeth is tempted by two sources of external evil - the witches and his wife. However, he was already ambitious, and the women only magnified this by making his ambitions seem like they could be reality. The war hero becomes a murderer and then dies a shameful and violent death. Shakespeare creates an atmosphere of evil and darkness mainly through his language, although scenes containing violent actions or the witches are often played in darkness. Shakespeare uses poetry (verse) as opposed to prose, as poetry often contains more metaphors and imagery, which he uses to create a feeling of darkness and evil. The language gives an insight into the character of Macbeth - we see his ruthlessness and cruelty, but also fear, doubt and som... ...ess, 1995.   Page Cooper, The Mystery of Witchcraft, London, 1617. Epstein, Norrie, The Friendly Shakepeare, New York, Viking Publishing, 1993. Harbage, Alfred, Macbeth, Middlesex England, Penguin Publishing, 1956. Magill, Masterplots- Volume 6, New Jersey, Salem Press, 1949. Staunten, Howard, The Complet Illustrated Shakespeare, New York, Park Lane Publishing, 1979. Gove, Philip Babcock. Webster’s Third International Dictionary.   Springfield, Mass: G. & C. Merriam, 1967    Johnson, Samuel.   The Plays of William Shakespeare.   London: J & R Tonson, 1788    Jorgensen, Paul A.   Our Naked Frailties.   Los Angeles: U of CA, 1971.    Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.    Van Doren, Mark.   Shakespeare. NY: Doubleday, 1939.    Watkins, Ronald.   The Theology of Macbeth.   Oxford: Oxford University, 1964.   

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