Macbeth - Conflict

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"Conflict is central to the dramatic development of any play." Prior to deciding whether or not conflict is central to the dramatic development of MACBETH, one must consider all the dramatic factors that contribute to the Shakespearean play. The gradual decline of the protagonist , the role portrayed by characters and the order in which the events occur, greatly influence the direction in which the development of the play takes place. After reading the text MACBETH, by Shakespeare and viewing the film version, directed by Roman Polanski, it is logical to see that ambition and the deceptive appearances of what really is, is central to the dramatic development of MACBETH. Initially MACBETH is seen as a great soldier, a fearless fighter who has loyally defended his King against a treacherous rebellion. However, he is corrupted by evil in the form of three witches and their supernatural prophecies, and by ambition, not so much his own at first but by Lady Macbeth's ambition for him to murder Duncan, thus attaining the crown of Scotland. In Act I, Scene I three witches plan to meet MACBETH upon a heath. They announce the major theme of the play: appearances can be deceptive. "Fair is foul, and foul is fair." MACBETH's affirmation of this is reciprocated in Act I, Scene III, when he echoes the witches words, "So fair and foul a day I have not seen." Factors that are apparent in both the text and visual of MACBETH are the symbols and imagery used by Shakespeare and Polanski. Due to the different language modes used in both versions of MACBETH, the audience must themselves visualise the images in the text, since the main language mode is reading and can therefore interpret the images quite differently in comparison with Polanski's MACBETH. The main language mode in the film is viewing and listening, so the audience does not have to interpret the images for themselves because it has already been done for them, which enhances the audience's response and emotions to the dramatic development of ambition and deceptive appearances. In the written text, Shakespeare emphasis's the hidden reality through the use of dramatic techniques of imagery and symbolism. There is a constant use of light and dark imagery which is used by the protagonist , MAC... ... middle of paper ... ...s his evil actions continue, increasingly violent. His conscience, on the other hand, before and after the murder of Duncan, is unstable. A further exhibition of conscience can be seen in his nightmares, the immediate realisation that he has 'murdered Sleep'. Insecurity is present initially, and is intensified by MACBETH's actions. Shakespeare indication of this the soliloquy of MACBETH before the murder of the King: "If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly….." (Act I, Scene VII) Encompassing all the evidence that has been presented and after reading and viewing Polanski and Shakespeare's renditions of MACBETH it is logical to come to the conclusion that ambition and deceptive appearances is central to the dramatic development of MACBETH. Without ambition MACBETH would not have pursued his path to become King of Scotland so viciously. Deceptive appearances is the key to this play because without hiding reality all the evil enfolding this play, all the intentions of protagonist and the other characters would have been revealed. Without the centralisation of these themes, MACBETH would have been altered and the plot would be non-existent.
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