The Effectiveness of Act 1:3 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

The Effectiveness of Act 1:3 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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The Effectiveness of Act 1:3 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

This is the first scene where we encounter Macbeth after he has been
talked of highly in the previous scenes. Since he is the title
character then his opening scene and first impression is of great
importance, and is therefore made dramatic and striking by
Shakespeare. The change in Macbeth's character during the scene is
fairly evident as he starts to become power hungry, and the struggle
between good and evil is soon present as he becomes more intrigued by
the witches' predictions. Banquo is used successfully by Shakespeare
to describe the change in Macbeth and the disturbing atmosphere
created by the witches. The scene is sinister and frightening
particularly for the suspicious Jacobean audiences because of the
witches' grotesque language and supernatural enchantments. The witches
are also closely connected to James I making them seem more real and
intimidating when performed on stage.

The ambience of this scene is very powerful although the appearances
of characters and the location are vague, giving a director many
options for the way it is staged. Therefore it can be performed in a
way that would suit audiences from all times that would suitably shock
and stimulate people of that particular era.

The setting for the scene is not illustrated in any great detail by
any of the characters meaning that staging it is completely open to
interpretation by directors:


"Upon this blasted heath"
-------------------------

This is the only reference of where the scene takes place, and this
gives a director many options. Even with little props the scene could
be...


... middle of paper ...


... disturbing because for Jacobean audiences witches were very real and
to see someone chanting like this would be quite distressing. When
they are all rhyming at once it adds to the connection of three and is
therefore even more powerful.

In this scene we first encounter Macbeth and already there is a
struggle between good and evil. It appears that Banquo is the good and
the witches are the evil. Shakespeare probably intended to please
James I by making his ancestor, Banquo such a righteous role in the
play. The witches were obviously portrayed as evil because they were
to most people very frightening since they were genuine at the time
and could scare the audiences even more. Also James I was particularly
interested in prosecuting witches so it would have had even more
relevance to him, whom the play was written for.

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