Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5

MACBETH EXTRACT 1 Greet: Good afternoon, sir.

. 1) Positioning the passage Extract 1 is taken from Act 1 Scene 3 of Shakespeares play, Macbeth. The scene is situated right after Macbeth and Banquo, two honourable soldiers of King Duncan, encounter the mysterious Three Witches.

2) Purpose of passage It is to introduce Macbeth as it is his first scene in the play Since the scene takes place right after the prophecies are revealed to Macbeth and Banquo, the audience gets to see and contrast their reactions to the prophecy and also see the difference between Macbeth and Banquos character. The scene shows that the Witches words are like fuel which ignites Macbeths ambition to be the King, but also throws Macbeth into a state of moral dilemma as he is stuck between being a loyal and bold servant of the king, and committing an unpardonable act of regicide. It is to show to the audience that Macbeth is a weaker character who is tempted to the prophecies while Banquo is evidently wiser. 3) Points I) I will be talking about firstly, the characterization of Macbeth, II) Then the characterization of Banquo, III) And finally, the extensive use asides in the scene, and its purpose. Point 1: The characterization of Macbeth Evidence Macbeths aside : Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor ; The greatest is behind [ in line 1 and 2 ] Point Elaboration / Explanation Macbeth He is musing over the witches words thinks highly after being enticed by the title of the of the kingship. kingship, and probably covets the titles. proves that Macbeth has been affected by the prophecies, and believes in them. He thus also wants to understand if Banquo is equally affected by the prophecies. For dramatic reasons, this reminds the audience of Banquos prophecies too. This will cause the audience to understand why Macbeth chooses to kill Banquo later on. Here, Macbeth equivocates and the statement is paradoxical, just like the witches. Cannot be ill because the witches have given him earnest of Link

His aside to Banquo [in line 4-7] : Do you not hope your children shall be kings, when those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me Promised no less to them

[Moving along] This supernatural soliciting/ cannot be ill, cannot be good

MACBETH EXTRACT 1 success, commencing in a truth. He thinks that since the witches tell the truth, hence it must be good. This once again shows he is too gullible. Cannot be good refers to the nature of the source, which refers to the Witches. The witches have horrid image which unfixes Macbeths hair and Makes his seated heart knock at his ribs. This refers to the disgusting appearance of the Witches and the general idea that witches are evil. The source is foul-appearing and hence not trustworthy.

However In line ____, Macbeth says Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.

Present fears in this case refers to the scary fact that Macbeth has just met Three Witches, who are unnatural and look foul. Horrible imaginings refers to Macbeths thoughts about killing the king. He is conflicted as he is in a dilemma between his ambition and his responsibility, which is to protect the King. His recent successes and shows of loyalty make it extremely hard for him to decide what he ought to do. He is clearly contemplating on whether or not to kill the king. He says to himself If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me without my stir He is clearly hesitant on taking action on his own He is not a stranger to killing people, as he is a warrior. But killing the king is an act of regicide. Furthermore, kingship was often thought to be god-given. Hence it would also be an act of crime against natures will. The theme of supernatural and natural is very evident here The theme of man vs fate is also very evident. The supernatural forces exploited Macbeths gullible nature and his ambition, to commit the act of evil. After all, they are the agents of evil. However, Macbeth himself chose to believe in the forces of darkness.

Nothing is but what is not

Come what come may, Time and the hour runs through the roughest day

There is a thematic contrast between fate and human choice here. - The murder may just be a mere thought and is not real - But every action starts with a thought - He is scared that of fulfilling his own prophecy - Statement is also paradoxical, Macbeth is equivocating. This foreshadows his action which is about to come, and also foreshadows his descent into evil Shows that It shows that the decision to kill a Macbeth is person, much less the king, is still ultimately difficult. Macbethd rather let undecided nature take its own course. The path is not straight; and is full of back-and-forth deliberations. Ultimately, it is under Lady macbeths drive that the murder

MACBETH EXTRACT 1 is completed. Macbeth also - When he was in fact pondering Macbeth is lies through about killing the king. characterised his teeth - He uses the lie that he was as a crafty innocently reminiscing past person. experiences, to craftily mask his true colors of contemplating betrayal. - This perhaps foreshadows his descent to evil in the later part of the play. - Throughout the extract, Macbeth is indecisive and talks to himself. - The very fact that his former soldier self was devout, upright and honourable proves to restrain him from directly turning into a traitor. - This natural reaction of moral predicament highlights the key conflict of guilt versus ambition. He is cynical about the prophecy of utter treachery, but yet is inspired with the aim of becoming king. - Macbeths righteous conscience forces him to consider the moral and social consequences of regicide, depicting the remaining humanity and reason within his ethical quandary. Macbeth is characterized as a nave, gullible person who is easily tempted by the supernatural forces. However, at this early stage before darkness encapsulates him, he is still portrayed as a very human person who would struggle to kill and betray. Even though he is tempted by the witches to do evil, he may not have been intrinsically evil.

He says calmly, my dull brain was wrought with things forgotten


Point 2: The characterization of Banquo. Next, I will be discussing about the Characterisation of Banquo. Banquo is similar to Macbeth in the sense that both gentlemen received enticing prophecies. What separates Banquo from Macbeth is his strong and rigid character, which the audience sees through contrasting their reactions to the prophecies. Banquo acts as a foil of Macbeths actions. Example He says And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betrays in deepest consequence Point Banquo, unlike Macbeth, is more skeptical of what the Witches say and thus wiser. Elaboration / Explanation Link The aside to Macbeth can also be interpreted, in context, as: the Witches have told Macbeth 2 out of 3 truths, with the last, but most tempting one, being the title of Kingship which Macbeth has yet to possess. He warns that the instruments of darkness, which refers to the Witches, tell Macbeth a half-truth or an incomplete truth to entice, lure and bait him, to lure him towards darkness and his doom, which readers see is the case in later scenes. We understand that as Macbeth and Banquo are close friends and knights in battle, their

MACBETH EXTRACT 1 relationship is close. Hence, Banquo probably said this in the aside to Macbeth, warning him that evil is simply tempting him and he should be wary not to be tricked, and fall to his own doom. Maybe, he is in a way warning himself as well, as the witches also did prophesy that his children will be Kings. This is sound and wise advice given by Banquo, which shows that Banquo is not as gullible and naive to believe the witches wholeheartedly. However, Macbeth does not hear this, which can be the reason why he chooses to follow the path of darkness. By having a back-and-forth Macbeth-and-Banquo aside-conversation, Shakespeare brings out a dramatic contrast between Banquo and Macbeth. Banquo is wiser when compared to Macbeths wayward response to the prophecy, where he hopes it be true. There is dramatic irony situated in what Banquo said because what he said did come true the supernatural forces were playing with Macbeth s ambition so he would commit acts of evil and cause chaos and disorder to Scotland. There is the use of The use of clothing imagery here is used to suggest the garment that the new title does not fit Macbeth, and imagery. foreshadows that he will lose his titles altogether, because ultimately the garments do not fit him. To Banquo, the new title is unfamiliar However, to the audience, it is seen as supernaturally bestowed upon Macbeth. As Macbeth wants to be king, the Thane of Cawdor robes are not suitable for him. There is a play on the diction of strange here and it provides ambiguity.

Banquo also says : New honours come upon him like our strange garments

Point 3: The extensive use of asides and its purpose Definition of asides An aside is a technique characteristic of drama, and Shakespeare has used this to bring out the inner emotions in Macbeth and Banquo in a situation where both characters are in deep thought. The aside creates another dimension whereby the characters do not interact with each other, but reveal the true inner thoughts of the characters (in this case, Macbeth and Banquo), hence allowing them to understand the characters on both the mental and emotional plane. To create multiple levels of drama, reveal hidden conversations and show the difference in thoughts and character of both Macbeth and Banquo. It also creates dramatic contrast as both men receive

Why are there so many asides in this scene?

MACBETH EXTRACT 1 prophecies, but choose different paths and ultimately have different outcomes. The very nature of asides expounds on the theme of deception and appearance versus reality because the characters are not revealing their thoughts to other characters. For example, in the case of Macbeth, he lies about being wrought with things forgotten, when he was actually thinking about killing the King. The fact that Macbeth uses so many asides in this scene shows that he is not an upright person, and cannot freely express his thoughts in speech, unlike Banquo. The theme of appearance versus reality is evident as what is said is not really what is meant or thought in the characters. Also, in appearance, Macbeth can be seen as both courageous and a noble kinsman, but in reality, Macbeth is actually contemplating on plotting the murder. He is not as gentlemanly as he seems.

Theme of appearance versus reality and theme of deception

Conclusion: The scene from extract one has used asides to reveal and conceal. It reveals the inner thoughts of the characters to the audience, but also conceals their thoughts from each other. From this scene also, we can see that Macbeth has a hard time choosing between his responsibility (which is to serve the king humbly) and his ambition (which is to be the king). We can see the effects of the supernatural on the natural world as Macbeth is slowly being devoured into darkness. On the other hand, Banquo has been characterised as a wiser gentleman who takes little heed of what the supernatural forces say. The scene prepares readers for the murder of Duncan in Act 2 Scene 2 as we see his train of thoughts drift deeper and darker.