Macbeth – Gains and Losses

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That shows the strong loving bond between the two at the beginning of the play. Both partners appear equal but we see quite quickly that Lady Macbeth takes over the relationship during the plotting of King Duncan’s death. Macbeth is afraid of killing Duncan because he is the king and his cousin while Lady Macbeth takes charge and forces him to do it “Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thee ear” She believes she has complete control over Macbeth and thinks she controls him “Leave all the rest to me”

Shakespeare shows that Macbeth is gaining his independence later in the play as Lady Macbeth starts to go mad and Macbeth realises he can be stronger than she is. He gains confidence in the relationship and as his power grows we see him patronise his wife and exclude her from his plan “Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck” Here he is no longer telling her everything; the audience knows what is happening but she does not. Macbeth’s friends in the play admire and respect Macbeth at the beginning “Brave Macbeth, well he deserves that name”

Here we see Shakespeare using minor characters to tell us about major ones. This is a common device that Shakespeare uses in many of his plays and is a way of letting the audience know some background knowledge. They think of him as a good king; a brave king; someone to trust and look to for leadership but as Macbeth gets more powerful he no longer needs his friends and they start to turn against him. He uses his friends as sort of slaves; he does not respect them as he used to before he gained power over them. “Let them fly all” He no longer has any need of them.

Macbeth’s state of mind is very negative at the beginning of the play but when he starts to gain the respect of other people it boosts his positivity and after he has become king he becomes very positive as he feels nothing can damage him but it soon he gets a bit over confident about himself. Macbeth does not gain his crown in the proper way at that time. It was not right for someone to gain the crown upon the death of the king without some kind of indication from God; people firmly believed you were appointed by God and no one else.

It made people think badly of Macbeth before he even started his kingship, People were suspicious as to how Macbeth gained the crown. It cost Banquest his life; he had heard the witches’ prophecy and did not trust his former friend. People felt that Macbeth was dressed in “borrowed robes” and therefore could never be a loved and respected king. The Elizabethan audience would have been very aware of this and would have recognised the significance straight away. Shakespeare’s language is very deep and meaningful.

He describes everything fully with hidden meanings, which really make you think about what he has written in the play. “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it” This echoes the recurring theme of appearances being deceptive. Most of the language is dark, heavy and symbolic “Fair is foul and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air” Here we see Shakespeare using language that configures up images of mystery and evil.

There are hardly any happy parts of the play apart from a few moments of light relief with the porter at the gate to Macbeth’s castle. I’ll devil – porter it no further” There is a strong feel of evil in the way Shakespeare writes and uses darkness and evil in his similes and metaphors. The evil is very strong with the witches and murders throughout the play. “Like a rat without a tail” As Macbeth gains power and control, the evil increases. Macbeth loses his sense of goodness and his conscience as the evil takes over his life. “Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond which keeps me pale” Here Shakespeare shows us that Macbeth is aware that he is sacrificing his goodness and conscience in order to be wicked and evil.

The ending of the play is a bit obvious. Macbeth deserves what he gets and from the right person. It shows that you should think about what people tell you and that everything is not always what it seems. Macbeth did not think carefully about what the witches told him and put too much trust into the three witches, he was warned by Banquot but lost all reason through his lust for power. What he gained was not worth what he lost; this play has a message that can still be relevant today.

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