Act III Scene IV of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
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Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is a storey, which tells us about the downfall of ‘Macbeth’, who was a brave Scottish Warrior.
To become King of Scotland he kills his King as a result of the predictions witch the three witches had made to him.
The play ‘Macbeth’ represents power, evil, ambition and revenge. Macbeth’s paranoia later leads him to murder his best friend Banquo.
Act III scene IV, the banquet scene was probably the best and most dramatic scene in the whole play. It shows just how vindictive Lady Macbeth was and that ‘Macbeth’ was not really born to be a murderer.
Macbeth had just been crowned king and was holding a banquet in his castle, or, in the version that I was studying, ‘Macbeth on the Estate’ the banquet was presented as a party in a local pub.
‘Macbeth’ was just making everyone welcome when the first murderer enters the pub.
“There’s blood upon thy face.”
By now ‘Macbeth is certain that the deed has been done, but then to Macbeth’s disappointment the first murderer says,
“Most royal sir, Fleance is scaped.”
At this ‘Macbeth’ is very angry and lashes out at the murderer. Macbeth’s worries build up again and is scared about what might happen in the future.
“But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears.”
This means that ‘Macbeth’ is trapped in doubts and fears of what might become of him in the future and that he cannot get out of the situation that he has got himself into which leads him to make another visit to the witches to find out the answers to his questions.
‘Macbeth’ then returns to the party where he begins to allow the feast to begin. He announces that it is a pity that Banquo is not there. The mood abruptly changes when ‘Macbeth’ sees Banquo’s ghost sitting upon his chair.
“Which of you have done this?
Thou canst not say I did it; never shake
Thy gory locks at me!
Lady Macbeth who I believe is cold and calculating through this scene covers up for ‘Macbeth’
“Sit thy worthy friends. My lord is often thus,
And has been from his youth.”
She makes his out burst seem to be some kind of momentary fit, an illness, which he has had from a young age. She tries to calm him down by telling him that it is all in his mind. It seemed to have worked until Banquo returned.
“What man dare, I dare. Approach than like the
rugged Russian bear. Take any shape but that,
and my nerves shall never tremble.”
‘Macbeth’ feels frightened at the sight of the bloody ghost haunting him and proclaims that he could take any wild animal, but not that of Banquo’s ghost. At this stage of the scene he is feeling petrified and threatened by the ghost. Petrified because of the state that Banquo’s ghost was in and threatened because Banquo was in his seat, which could suggest that Banquo or one of his descendents should be sitting in Macbeth’s place.
When ‘Macbeth’ finally comes to his senses he explains to Lady Macbeth that he is simply not that man that she says he is.
“You make me strange, even
to the disposition that I owe,”
He also asks her how she can remain so calm while he is so distraught.
“You can behold such sights
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine are blanched with fear.”
This shows the audience that Lady Macbeth was the brains and evil behind the murders. It also makes Macbeth’s guests very suspicious of not only ‘Macbeth’ but Lady Macbeth also.
At this Lady Macbeth asks all the guests to leave and tells them that the feast is over to avoid ‘Macbeth’ from himself deeper and deeper into a hole while taking Lady Macbeth with him, although by now it is too late!