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Macbeth Essay Examples

Commentary on Macbeth soliloquy

...Many critics, including Mr. Taylor feel that this is the play's most important soliloquy and certainly one of the most famous soliloquy from all Shakespeare's plays. Although the purpose of every line in this extract is to create a sense of futility and despair, nevertheless, the extract's strength lies with the successful accomplishment of drawing sympathy from the audience by engaging them in a direct link with Macbeth as he expresses the futility of human endeavors, thus, making the Shakespea...

Diary of Lady Macbeth's Psychiatrist

...After Macbeth had done the deed he had become a 'wreck'. Lady Macbeth had a lot of trouble trying to calm him down and getting him to wash blood off his hands. They only just managed to get away with it. They were very nearly caught. Macbeth told everyone that he had been so angry with the guards for killing the King that he had killed them. This was a tricky moment because Macbeth got a bit carried away and Lady Macbeth told me that she had to faint to distract the suspicion put upon Macbeth. T...

The importance of the witches and Supernatural to 'Macbeth'

...Macbeth asks for answers and the witches offer Macbeth to hear it from their masters. One by one the apparitions enter. They give him insights into the future and offer him three warnings. The first apparition is the head of Macbeth, which will later be cut off, there is a bloody child, who is Macduff when he was ripped out of his mother and the last is a crowned child who is Malcolm. These apparitions made Macbeth worried because of Malcolm, and because he now knows that his head will be cut of...

Examine the dramatic significance of the theme "fair is foul" in Macbeth

...The witches say that the forest will comes to him, "Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him". How is this possible? In reality no part of nature in form of lands and forests ever moves! Macbeth is also told "none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth". Macbeth doesn't know that Macduff wasn't born normally, and so believes he cannot be harmed. We must doubt how reliable these premonitions really are! While Banquo doubted what the witches said and preceded to question them, Mac...

The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

...Exploring the Macbeths' relationship clarifies the upheaval in the kingdom, its relationship with the king, the causes of Macbeth's fall and disintegration, and allows us insight into the effects of conscience and remorse on the human mind; but it also lets us recognize the personal tragedy of the Macbeths, and their deaths come as a welcome escape, both for them and us, from unendurable self-knowledge. The English king can heal, magically, with his own hands; here, the Doctor says, 'This diseas...

Macbeth - A butcher, a savage slaughterer

...At the beginning of the play we are aware that Macbeth and his wife have a very good relationship together, "My dearest love,", they even killed Duncan together. But towards the end their marridge seems to break down, we see how Lady Macbeth becomes ill and haunted by images of the murder, when he hears that she is dead and has taken her own life, all he can say is "She should have died hereafter;" that is all he says on her death. This may seem cold but we now know of his depression, and you ca...

Macbeth's changing state of mind

...In conclusion we see that Macbeths mind has changed dramatically throughout the play, at first we see him feeling insecure and after the murder we see him still edgy and jumpy. But when we get further through the play we see his state of mind changes as he feels untouchable but he still feels on edge as in Act 5 scene3 we see him try to comfort himself by repeating the witches' prophecies as he is told of the approaching armies. At the end of the play we see Macbeth as an evil character, but thi...

Macbeth - Victim or Villain?

...Consequently, I think that overall Macbeth is both a victim and villain; as there are many points to prove both views but isn't definitely one (a victim or a villain) but a mixture of both. The fact that at the end Macbeth is so sure of the witches' predictions show that he is a victim; and a villain for believing what three weird sisters have said, for no proof of what they are but only because they've said something beneficial to him. Without one victimised deed he wouldn't have done a villain...

Macbeth Character Analysis

...Overall the first impressions we get of Macbeth are that he is brave and a good fighter and that he is loyal to his country and the King. His first impressions of the three witches were the same as anybody else, surprise and that the witches are some strange people or that they are seeing things. He likes Banquo and respects him and he is very loyal to Duncan who is like a father figure to him. He doesn't like Malcolm that much as he is an obstacle but he is still related to him. His relationshi...

The Staging of Macbeth, Act 5: Scene 1

...To conclude, I would set the play in Shakespearean times, as you may have recognised. Although perhaps unoriginal, I feel after studying several stage plays of 'Macbeth,' that this is the most effective. Shakespeare wrote in those times, to fit the times and the audience. Therefore, if I had set in, say, a post-war Britain, some of the lines and theories behind 'Macbeth', such as the spots of blood being a sign of the devil, would not have as powerful an effect as it deserves, especially since t...

Macbeth - How Shakespeare presents the characters in Act 3 Scene 1

...Macbeth is a prime example of Shakespeare's use of the tragic pattern. The play begins with the rise and fall of a man of high estate. This is followed by a flaw in character, Duncan's trust in Macbeth for example, 'a gentleman on whom I built absolute trust.' Then murder, exile and alienation of enemies and allies; King Duncan's Murder, the Princes' flee, murder of Banquo and dismissal of Lady Macbeth. All leading to the gradual isolation of the tragic hero, tragic recognition of the flaw by th...

Who is the Greater Villain Macbeth Or Lady Macbeth?

...The dagger that he used to kill Duncan haunted him before the job was done; he couldn't cope with having Banquo killed. Macbeth is definitely too weak to murder unless he is coerced into doing it. Moreover the man was too weak to say no to his villainous wife. Lady Macbeth is definitely more evil than Macbeth because she called on evil spirits to make her manlier so that she could kill Duncan. She convinced Macbeth to kill Duncan; she planned the assassination from the moment she heard the proph...

To what extent does Lady Macbeth influence Macbeth?

...At the end of the play and the scene of the fight against Duncan, the only things that would be controlling him are the mixed emotions he is feeling as he would be feeling anger, fury and sadness that his wife had died. However he also seems determined, as he is willing to fight Macduff. Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth manhood so many times throughout the play, which he now feels that people think he is a coward so in this scene he tries to make sure people know he's there. The witches' predictio...

What factors lead Macbeth to kill Duncan?

...Finally I am going to look at Macbeth himself. Whether or not anyone agrees that the witches influenced him towards murder, he certainly jumped to that conclusion very quickly. I think Shakespeare tries to show that Macbeth always has free will. The witches never actually mention murder, they do not mention killing to him - literally the only lines they say are "All hail Macbeth, who will be king hereafter". There is no reference to murder! Possibly they opened his mind up to what he could becom...

Macbeth Film Comparison

...I think that despite the sometimes cheesy details of the film, Polanski has created a classic that really entices the audience and makes them wonder what is going on when subtle hints are dropped directing the viewer on the right direction in terms of their mental picture of the scene. The 2007 version shows how complacent modern-day audiences have become with violence and nudity in films. I think that this is mostly down to the filmmakers wanting to make the film more exciting- in some ways the...

Conflict is the essence of drama

...In conclusion, conflict does not only perform the basic functions for drama, such as forwarding the play, but conflict's main effect is that it makes drama more interesting, which is essential to attract audiences. Changes are brought out by conflict that introduces something different, and something new. Also, characters in drama are shown vividly through conflict. Conflict projects meaning, create realizations of the audiences and characters, with all of this, it makes drama fascinating and ir...

Macbeth- Appearance vs Reality

...For example, the character of Macbeth was not what he seemed like in the beginning of the play because his character has changed dramatically in the audience's eyes. He went from being a brave and courageous soldier to an evil and wicked ruler. I think his ambition has deceived him and he was overwhelmed at the thought of becoming king that he didn't think of the consequences. Overall I think Shakespeare has used the idea of deception very cleverly in the play, Macbeth to get the audience attent...

The character of Macbeth throughout the play

...At the end of the play, we see Macbeth a respected hero turned into a vengeful villain through unreasonable ambition, with the influences of people around him. He commits regicide, murder, and vengeful slaughter. After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is horrified to think of what he has done. Shakespeare contrasts Macbeth and his wife in their attitudes of the murder. Lady Macbeth is bold and confident, because she does, not understand that the deed is morally wrong: he only concern is to destroy ...

Two versions of "Macbeth" act 5 scene 1

...All in all, I preferred the RSC production I thought Judi Dench's performance was excellent. Jean Lapotaire was sometimes slightly comical because of her over exaggeration but this may be more appealing to people who are not familiar with "Macbeth". Jean Lapotaire's delivery was interesting. She almost sang the line " the thane of fife had a wife: where is she now?" like a nursery rhyme, this is somewhat ironic considering that it was tragic. I think the RSC caught the real significance and emot...

Soliloquies in Macbeth

...Macbeth's language shows not only his state of mind but is a clear insight into his mind. For example, if a person uses long, complicated words in conversation, it shows intellect. Macbeth is asking a lot of questions to himself which shows that he cannot decide what his next move should be. He talks a lot about evil and things that people were frightened of. He makes references to nature being dead, witchcraft, rapists and ghosts. I think that he is trying to convince himself that him killing D...

The role and presentation of the witches in Macbeth

...An audience of today could sit and accept that not everything is black and white, good and evil. I believe that it would not have been the case in the 1600's. Still, I am of the opinion that the role the witches have to play is pivotal even in context with today. Without them and the questions they raise through their prophecies in the play, it would not have had the same dramatical impact which has endured over time and inspired countless works even though the audience has changed over the year...

How does Shakespeare dramatise the murder of Duncan in Act II Scenes (i) and (ii)?

...The knocking that comes towards the end of the scene succeeds in further racking up the tension. It instils a sense of urgency in the situation, that while Macbeth stands around, waiting for 'occasion [to] call us and show us to be watchers' (Act 2 Scene 2 Line 73-4), for the longer they wait there with the 'filthy witness' (Act 2 Scene 2 Line 50) on their hands, the more likely it is they are going to get caught red-handed. It is a harsh loud and repetitive noise that should bring Macbeth out o...

To What Extent is Lady Macbeth a `fiend like queen'?

...She fed him with evil and strength he did not have as a man and used what he had as a soldier to pressure him into the killing of Duncan. Once after that she lost power over him, he fed off the kill, off his threats and the evil from the three witches which did then prophesy his downfall. From the way she was slowly diminished of her power I do not think that she is a `fiend' like queen, her killing at the start was for love and power which I think most of the lords and the commanders of his arm...

Discuss how Shakespeare creates a sense of suspense and dramatic tension in Macbeth

...I conclude that out of all the evidence I have put forward, that Shakespeare's main dramatic techniques are his language, sentence and word structure that he uses very well throughout the play. This makes it more exciting for the audience, as they did not have special effects then, thus he has to do it through his writing, so the audience can understand and imagine, which he does very effectively in the Acts and scenes that we studied. Him using the supernatural was a really good idea, as that i...

How does Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Change throughout the play?

...She is saying to the evil spirits give me murderous thoughts; make me have no sympathy for humanity at all. When Macbeth arrives Lady Macbeth discusses the plan with him but he thinks it is a bad idea, Lady Macbeth accuses him of being a coward and makes him think he does not love her. "Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem" ( Act 1:7) Lady Macbeth says she can't do it because Duncan reminds her of her farther. The plan is to kill...

In what ways does Shakespeare make the opening scenes of Macbeth dramatic?

...The opening scenes of Macbeth are made dramatic through a series of techniques including setting, structure, characters and language. Shakespeare effectively uses weather and landscape to create and enhance an eerie and immoral mood, mostly prior to the witches' entrance. Intrigue is also stimulated through the play's structure, in both Shakespeare's order of scenes and use of dialogue. Limiting the storyline revealed and purposely organising the order in which characters are introduced develop ...

The letter from Macbeth to Lady Macbeth

...All these suggest that he has brought his own deterioration in character. It is mainly due to his weakness in the face of temptation and his ambitious character. He could overcome the temptations and the promptings of his evil ambition by an effort, but he chooses not to. His gradual downfall of character brought by himself heightens the tragic effect. People will always feel to see such a respectable hero turning from good to evil, when experiencing the extreme conflicts within himself and witn...

How is Lady Macbeth an important and memorable character in Macbeth?

...Lady Macbeth appears to be the stronger person in the aftermath of the murder of Duncan and rubbishes Macbeth's guilt and regret, she remarks "Infirm of purpose!" "My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white," "A foolish thing to say a sorry sight," and "These deeds must not be thought after these ways; so, it will make us mad." The last of these quotes is ironic as when she does think back on it later in the play she goes mad herself! This reiterates the fact that she want...

How does Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's relationship change throughout the course of the play?

...In conclusion, Macbeth's relationship with lady Macbeth slowly deteriorates throughout the course of the play, it seems that the more blood drenched onto Macbeth's hand, the more dominant he grew and this weakened Lady Macbeth's mental state. The audience sees them as a loving couple at first, calling each other endearments protecting each other, but their actions caught up with them, and they faced the consequences of meddling with the evil spirits. Their relationship is like a candle, slowly b...

How far are you given the impression that Lady Macbeth is merely a "fiend like queen"?

...Her un-fiend like legacy is summed up by Macbeth's cold statement saying "she should have did here after there would have been time for a word". This is an un-fiend-like end and it would not be expected if she was judged on her previous actions. It also shows that Lady Macbeth's conscience is far too strong for her to be labelled as malevolent and fiend-like. It is obvious that the sleep walking scene was put in to show a less evil and fiendish side to her, that she is perhaps weaker than her hu...

Lady Macbeth's Diary

...He was terrifed and incapable of returning to the murder scene so I had to do so, smearing the grooms with blood. When I returned I found him transfixed with thoughts of blood and guilt and once again I took charge of the situation. I told him to go and wash the blood from his hands. Perhaps he genuinely wants me to be innocent of Banquo's murder. Maybe it is his way of protecting me. It could be that he couldn't handle me being in charge of Duncan's murder. He might want to prove that he can st...


FAQ about Macbeth


❓ How do the directors Trevor Nunn and Roman Polanski present Macbeth to their audiences?

...The theme of good and evil was very well portrayed in Trevor Nunn's version. The witches created more of an atmosphere than in Polanski's and the lighting worked very well in helping the witches appear as if they were disappearing. However, Polanski ...

❓ How does Macbeth's character change throughout the play?

...The play of Macbeth is about dictatorship, greed, treachery, betrayal and temptation. The play showed how a good man can quickly change into the most evil person because he fell into temptation. He had committed one evil deed which had caused him to ...

❓ Why Did Macbeth Kill Duncan?

...I believe that this is a hallucination of Macbeth's. I also believe that it is as a result of the witches tormenting of Macbeth's mind. Macbeth is so confused that he imagines the dagger in front of him. Without the witches Predictions, ultimately th ...

❓ What is the dramatic function and importance of the weird sisters in Act 1 of Macbeth?

...In conclusion I think the witches are possibly the most important characters in this play except for Macbeth himself for they almost dictate to him what he does. They also create an exciting, gripping introduction to the play that still sets the scen ...

❓ What kind of woman is Lady Macbeth?

...Evil is seen as a kind of disease. Writing about disease is another way for Shakespeare to talk about good and evil without overdoing the light and darkness imagery. Scotland is described as being sick under Macbeth's rule, act 4 scene 3 Malcolm says ...

❓ Explain why Act 2. Scene 2. is a turning point in the play for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

...Towards the end of the play Macbeth becomes overwhelmed by guilt and fear, he murders anyone he suspects might know. Eventually the heir to crown kills Macbeth, after Lady Macbeth has taken her own life as she is overcome by the guilt. King James and ...

❓ Who Is Most To Blame For The Act Of Regicide In 'Macbeth'?

...Ultimately it was Macbeth who killed Duncan. Macbeth must have known what he was doing as he repeatedly plunged those heavy daggers into the sleeping body of Duncan. The mental torment to a man who was not to blame for the act of regicide would have ...

❓ What do we learn about Lady Macbeth's personality in Act 1 Scene 5?

...In this scene we find out many disturbing things about Lady Macbeth's personality, she wants to become more of a man and we see how she controls Macbeth so easily. She is ruthless in pursuing her aim of murdering Duncan and will not allow anything to ...

❓ To What Extent is Lady Macbeth Responsible for the Downfall of Macbeth?

...Masculinity is equated with the rational and the logical, where as femininity is often connected with over developed emotions and irrationality. Lady Macbeth's resulting insanity due to the guilt of having blood on her hands is an ironic twist; the " ...

❓ Macbeth - How Shakespeare presents the characters in Act 3 Scene 1

...Macbeth is a prime example of Shakespeare's use of the tragic pattern. The play begins with the rise and fall of a man of high estate. This is followed by a flaw in character, Duncan's trust in Macbeth for example, 'a gentleman on whom I built absolu ...

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