Macbeth Analysis

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ACT 1, SCENE 7 Macbeth Close Reading

Act 1, Scene 7 of Macbeth, a play by Shakespeare, is a crucial scene in the drama which observes Macbeth’s conversion to evil. It opens with him talking himself out of murdering King Duncan. There is clear internal conflict in the early stages of the scene, and features a moral dilemma: will Macbeth choose good or evil? The good side of Macbeth seems to be winning when Lady Macbeth enters, insulting his masculinity and effectively convincing him to commit the murder. In this scene the language used defines gender roles and difference, and this begins to reflect the ideologies of the time, which are consistent throughout the play. His use of motifs (Examples include blood, murder weapons as foreshadowing and clothing to reflect concealment)and strong metaphors (An example of which is the horse metaphors used to represent ambition as a leaping beast that causes the rider to stumble and fall) create an imagery-rich scene that sets the stage for a dramatic turning point in Macbeth’s character.

Act 1, Scene 7 of Macbeth opens with a soliloquy from Macbeth himself. He discusses plotted murder of Duncan, and through Shakespeare’s diction he shows that Macbeth is clearly aware of evil, is knowledgeable about the consequences that the murder would create (Discusses consequences from lines 1 to 10, wishes that the deed would be carried out with no consequences but is aware that he will face cosmic retribution), and the depths of his dark desires (Lines 6 to 7 states that he would risk eternal damnation to be king). Lines 8 to 9 are the first of many lines to link blood to guilt and cosmic retribution. It also reflects one of Shakespeare’s greatest influences: the bible. This line reflects one of the m...

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... is later questioned by Macbeth).

In conclusion, this scene is crucial to the plot of Macbeth. Its clear references to gender construction assists in giving the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth dimension (it adds more aspects to their characters to make the play more interesting and believable) and reflects ideologies that were dominant at the time. Shakespeare’s carefully executed imagery (Shakespeare makes sure to use the same imagery, for example clothing metaphors, to make the play more cohesive) creates a more effective and dramatic scene, and presents motifs which are repeated throughout the play: blood, bestial imagery and clothing. All in all, it can be acknowledged that Act 1, Scene 7 of Macbeth is a very important scene for character and play development, as it shows the natures of the Macbeths more clearly in the way they deal with moral dilemmas.

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