William Shakespeare's Act Three Scene Four of Macbeth Essays

William Shakespeare's Act Three Scene Four of Macbeth Essays

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William Shakespeare's Act Three Scene Four of Macbeth Shakespeare manages in a number of ways to portray Macbeth's
personalities. This scene is one in which very quickly we wee many
sides of Macbeth. At the very start of the scene Macbeth announces to
the other lords:

You know your own degrees

This shows us that he wants everyone to know were they stand in
relation to him. This also reflects the feudal system that was around
during the period in which Macbeth was set. The fact that Macbeth
speaks first emphasises his importance. It seems as thought the lords
will not do anything until Macbeth announces that they may. Macbeth
has also hosted this banquet as he doesn't feel secure in his position
and wants to regain it. We know he is insecure as in Act 3 scene 2 as
he says it would be 'Better [to] be with the dead…Than on the torture
of the mind to lie in restless ecstasy'

Shakespeare also, throughout the scene, shows us Macbeth's
deceptiveness. First of all she says that he will 'play' the 'humble
host' the fact he says 'play' may emphasise that he is just putting on
an act. In his speech 'See, they encounter thee…. There's blood upon
thy face' we see the two personalities of Macbeth. He talks to his
company in a genial manner and almost in the same breath he is talking
to the murderer he hired. Macbeth seems to delight in murder- we can
see this when he says 'Thou art the best o' the cut throats'. The fact
that he is actually happy that his best friend has been murdered shows
that his evilness is increasing. From the beginning of the play we see

... middle of paper ...

...he scene yet again
changed character. In Macbeth on the estate he is again not staring at
anything in particular, but is gazing into the distance, he is not
addressing Lady Macbeth but is thinking about the future. Frain, like
Mc Kellen portrays Macbeth to be the stronger character off the two,
as at the end of the scene he is the one holding Lady Macbeth.

Act 3 Scene 4 is a very important scene for showing Macbeths
character. This scene really shows the true Macbeth as it shows what
he is really like and how he is covering it up. This scene is also a
turning point for Macbeth- and has made him think more- however what
he is thinking is that he will have to commit more murders and he will
have to visit the witches. Both actors, James Frain and Ian Mc Kellen,
both get across clearly the character of Macbeth very well.

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