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How does Shakespeare create a sense of unease in Act 1 of Macbeth

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  • Category: Macbeth

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The play Macbeth is about a soldier, who is very loyal to his king and fights every battle fearlessly but there are these three witches who tell Macbeth that he is soon going to be king. He tells his wife, who is a woman that is greedy for power and so persuades her husband to kill the king. Not only does Macbeth kill the king but he also kills his best friend Banquo after becoming king, so that Banquo doesn’t tell anyone about the witches, he also kills Macduff’s family, Macduff then wants revenge from Macbeth, so they have a battle and Macduff kills Macbeth.

Shakespeare uses superstition to create an uncomfortable atmosphere in Act 1. Superstition is believing in good luck or bad luck and that if you don’t do a certain thing then it will be bad luck or good luck. The witches are an example of superstition. In Elizabethan times, people were afraid of witches because the used to believe that witches could do bad magic, could kill people, could predict the future and turn invisible, so if people saw them on the stage of Macbeth in the beginning they would’ve been really frightened. The fact that they were very superstitious would make them feel very uncomfortable.

The language in act 1 scene 1 makes me feel uneasy an example of this is when the witches say “there to meet with Macbeth”. It makes me feel uncomfortable because it makes me think that the witches want to do something or say something to Macbeth it also makes me think that they will say/do something bad to Macbeth but I want to think/feel good things about Macbeth because he’s the main character and I don’t want the witches to turn him bad. This is how the language makes me feel tensed.

Act 1 Scene 1 makes me feel tensed because again it’s the language they use that makes me feel uncomfortable an example to do this is when the captain talks and he says “fixed his head upon our battlements” – this makes me feel uneasy because it’s bad enough that he slashed his head off but sticking it on a stick and bringing the head to the king with all the blood dropping everywhere makes me feel unsettled because

The character of Macbeth makes me feel uneasy, evidence to this is when in Act 1 Scene 3 Macbeth starts talking aside first to himself and then says to Banquo something different. This makes me feel anxious about his character because it shows that he is two-faced which means he isn’t a good person but the audience wants him to be good because the play is called Macbeth, so Macbeth is the main character which means he should be the hero. That is why the character of Macbeth makes me feel nervous.

King Duncan’s character makes me feel worried because it makes me feel that Duncan is a nice person who needs protecting evidence to this is when Macbeth uses a simile talking about Duncan saying “like a naked new born babe” his character makes me nervous because Shakespeare makes the audience feel sorry for King Duncan by making us think that he is vulnerable, sweet, innocent and can’t escape from things, so it makes me feel bad that Macbeth is planning to murder him because Duncan is such a nice person, he is really nice to Macbeth, Macbeth really likes him and Duncan can’t really do anything about if Macbeth kills him, when Macbeth says the word “naked” it makes me feel even worse because normally if you see a naked baby you would want to help him/her by clothing or feeding him/her because they are so helpless and just like a baby Duncan is helpless as well.

Shakespeare is using Lady Macbeth to create a sense of restlessness an example of this is when Lady Macbeth says in Act 1 Scene 7 “was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself” this is creating tension because Macbeth is having second thoughts about killing Duncan because he has realised what a nice person Duncan and that Duncan has done so much for Macbeth and also it would be wrong to kill such a nice person but Lady Macbeth wants power and so is trying to persuade him into killing Duncan and she is doing this by saying to Macbeth were you drunk when you agreed to kill Duncan, do you need Dutch courage, she is saying to him that you are not man enough and that makes me feel concerned in Elizabethan times the man would always be in control – his wife is meant to listen to everything he says but here Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth what to do, she is manipulating him – which makes the audience feel uncomfortable because they think a woman isn’t meant to do that. That’s why Lady Macbeth makes me feel panicky.

The thing I liked most about the play Macbeth was the fact that Shakespeare didn’t have the main character as a good person, which is different and the audience doesn’t expect it but I also liked the fact that Lady Macbeth turned mad and then died and that Macbeth died in the end as well because Shakespeare is trying to show here that what goes round comes round and that you shouldn’t do bad things because bad things will happen to you. I liked the way that Macduff brought Great Burnham wood towards Macbeth’s castle because the audience would think that it is impossible for Great Burnham wood to walk towards the castle but Shakespeare proves that it isn’t.

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