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Scene Analysis: Macbeth Essay


'All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter'. This is the turning point for Macbeth in which his greed mutated into death and violence. From here on after the great character that is Macbeth, diminishes rapidly.

Just at the end of Act 1 Scene 7, this scene takes place prior to the murder of King Duncan. Throughout the duration of the scene, an indomitable Lady Macbeth persuades her heroic husband not to burdon his doubts and to carry out the execution. From this scene i believe that it is an important section in the play because it gives the audience a chance to understand a portion of the two main characters thoughts and feelings, throughout both the soliloquy and the subsequent interchange. The range of language is used to show the contrast between the two characters.

Right from the beginning of the scene, the audience are clear of Macbeth's uncertainty about the murder. Shakespeare uses soliloquies to show the characters inner thoughts as he did in Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 1. By using soliloquies the audience achieve a better idea of the characters objective.

Througout the first few lines of this soliloquy, Macbeth contemplates "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well / It were done quickly;" by this Macbeth means that if the affair of the murder could be finished as soon as it had been commited, it would be better to have it finished hasty. On the other hand, these actions would have many cosequences and the rest of the speech shows that Macbeth is clear of these. If he is to do it then he must does it immediately before he changes his mind.

Macbeth refers to "bloody instructions", from this we notice that he realises what a sinful and pecant deed it is to murder. From my viewpoint, the visualisation of these "bloody instructions" coming back to haunt "the inventor" is distinctly graphic and ironic as later in the play, this also happens to Lady Macbeth and him.

Throughout the soliloquy, Macbeth stays clear of the words "murder" or "death". result of this, he uses euphemisms such as "surcease", "assassination","the deed" and "taking off". By doing this he is trying to hide from what he is actually doing.

Macbeth's domestic dispute continues and he therefor looks for reasons against the murder: "He's here in double trust; First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host"

Macbeth realises he has a duty to protect Duncan, both as his kinsman and as his host. He notices that to break this trust would be to break his own moral code. Obviously he should not really need these 'extra' reasons - the reason against him murdering Duncan is not because he has the duty to protect him, but because to commit a murder is against the law and it would haunt him for the rest of his life.

However, Macbeth continues similarly, now considering Duncan's kingship. He claims Duncan "hath borne his faculties so meek" and finds it very difficult to deny. Duncan had been a fair king. He rewarded those who were good to him with titles

In the final few lines of the soliloquy, Macbeth acknowledges that he has no motive to act, except for the over-riding one of his own ambition. Shakespeare has used the metaphor of a horse to describe Macbeth's ambition as "vaulting". This is particularly effective in describing how Macbeth could "o'er-leap" himself and so end up falling. The use of the actual word "o'er-leap" is likewise interesting. Macbeth has used it previously in the play - when, in Act 1 Scene 4, Malcolm was named as heir to the throne, Macbeth remarked to himself :

"The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step

On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap"

In line 25, Macbeth mentions that he has "no spur / To prick the sides of my intent" This is perhaps failing to realise the obvious. With the entrance of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth will certainly be spurred a great deal.

Indeed, as soon as Lady Macbeth enters, the mood and the pace of the scene changes. She immediately launches into Macbeth:

"Why have you left the chamber?"

Her tone is scolding, as if she were talking to a young child. She is clearly angry with Macbeth for what she considers irresponsible actions. By leaving the table he has unnecessarily drawn attention to himself.

Macbeth is unaware of Lady Macbeth's concerns and his reply : "Hath he ask'd for me?" shows this clearly. He does not think of the implications of his decisions and it is this which annoys Lady Macbeth so much. Now however, Macbeth attempts to make a stand against his wife, saying "We will proceed no further in this business". This is a very forthright comment and the audience is aware that it comes as a result of his soliloquy. He tries to justify his 'decision' by explaining how Duncan has "honour'd me of late". Again he uses this idea of honour to convey his argument. However it is noticeable that the reasons he gives to Lady Macbeth are nothing like as powerful as the ones he tortured himself with a few moments earlier.

Lady Macbeth is certainly not swayed by this argument, in fact she is incensed that Macbeth is trying to avoid carrying on with the plan:

"Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dress'd yourself?"

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