The Destruction Of Macbeth’s Character In William Shakespeare's Play

2992 words - 12 pages

The Destruction of Macbeth’s Character in William Shakespeare's Play
At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed by Shakespeare as a
noble soldier who is brave enough to fight for his country and slay
King Duncan’s opponents. He is spirited and obedient, like a dog to
its master.

Shakespeare introduces Macbeth in a victorious scene, where he is
shown as a “valiant” hero and that becomes a platform for Shakespeare
to delineate the disintegration of Macbeth’s character, contrasting
the start of the play with his satanic attitude at the end of the
play. The structure of the plot is organised in this way to make a
formidable impact on the audience, as “brave Macbeth” turns completely
evil right in front of their eyes.

In Act 1 Scene 1, Shakespeare uses visual evil symbolism to create a
wicked, malicious atmosphere. The play commences with three beastly
witches, dressed in black, hooded cloaks and with gruesome faces to
disturb and horrify the audience. The audience in Shakespearean times
would have been greatly influenced by them because they strongly
believed in the supernatural world and the sight of these witches
would have been chilling. This scene creates a corrupt atmosphere; a
perfect atmosphere to accompany the tragic hero. This scene also uses
lots of foul imagery, for example, the stage directions are thunder
and lightning. This suggests chaos, suspense, horror and even death
are approaching, and would alarm the Shakespearean audience as well as
a modern audience.

In Act 1 Scene 2, Macbeth appears to be the boldest man on Earth, as
the Sergeant describes how he, “like valour’s minion carv’d out his
passage”.

The Sergeant tells King Duncan of Macbeth’s audacious battles and the
audience would immediately admire this “worthy gentleman”.

Furthermore, Shakespeare doesn’t stop there; he makes sure that
Macbeth has won over the affections of every audience, as the Sergeant
talks about “ brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name”. In the same
speech, the Sergeant continues to describe Macbeth as a fearless,
loyal soldier and King Duncan soon pronounces him as the “Thane of
Cawdor”. Shakespeare is repeatedly using positive language in this
scene to conjure up an angelic image of “noble Macbeth”.

In Act 1 Scene 3, Macbeth’s curiosity begins to stir when the three
peculiar witches declare, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of
Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail,
Macbeth! That shalt be king herafter”, predicting Macbeth’s future. He
is already Thane of Glamis, but he does not know yet that he is Thane
of Cawdor, which is dramatic irony because the audience know something
that Macbeth doesn’t. The idea of becoming king overwhelms Macbeth and
he doesn’t believe the witches. However,...

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