Dramatic Techniques to Depict Shakespeare’s Macbeth Character

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What Dramatic Techniques Does Shakespeare Use To Create A Sense That Macbeth Is Not In Control Of His Own Thoughts And Deeds? During the 16th century the amazing writer, William Shakespeare, wrote the genius play Macbeth. There are many different uses of dramatic techniques in his work and I will try to identify them now. Act 1 Scene 7 Question 1 In the first few lines of his soliloquy, Macbeth says “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly;” I think what Macbeth meant by this, is that if the murder could be finished as soon as the deed was done, it would be good to have it finished quickly.

Clearly, such actions do have many consequences and aftermath and the rest of his soliloquy makes it clear that Macbeth already knows this. In my opinion, Macbeth did not want to kill Duncan but was too much of a pushover by his wife and was taken over by his devious ambitions. This is also his tragic flaw as he explains in his soliloquy. Macbeth mentions that he has “no spur to prick the sides of [his] intent” This is maybe failing to realise the obvious, as when his wife enters he is spurred on a great deal.

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Shakespeare also uses the metaphor of a horse to describe Macbeth’s ambition as “vaulting”. This is quite effective as its describing how Macbeth could “o’er-leap” himself and end up falling, shamefully. I think, throughout the scene, Macbeth avoids using the words “murder” or “death”. Instead, he uses euphemisms such as “surcease”, “assassination”, “the deed”, “taking off” and “great quell”. I suspect this is telling us that he wants to hide from himself the true meaning and the reality of his actions by not putting it as straight as that.

Macbeth tries to think of all the reasons why he should not be murdering Duncan, “First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host” because he knows that he has a duty to protect the king Duncan, both his kinsman and his host. Macbeth seems to know that by breaking this trust he would be breaking his own morals and principals. Macbeth however continues along the same lines, now considering Duncan’s kingship.

He asserts that Duncan “hath borne his faculties so meek” and this is very difficult to deny. Duncan has certainly been a fair and good king to him, rewarding him with titles, like when he turned Macbeth into a thane. At the end of the soliloquy, Macbeth compares Duncan‘s many virtues to “angels, trumpet-tongu’d”. The poetic language makes the ‘heavenly’ image all the more effective, while in contrast to the ‘demonic’ and ‘hellish’ language Macbeth associates with Duncan’s death, like when he says, “deep damnation”.

Question 2 When Lady Macbeth enters, Macbeth attempts to make a stand against his wife, saying “We will proceed no further in this business”. This comment must have come as a result of his soliloquy and it is clear that he does not want to go through with the plan. He tries to justify his ‘decision’ by explaining how Duncan has “honour’d me of late”. Again he uses this idea of honour to add to his argument and the fact that it is his vocation to protect the king.

Lady Macbeth retaliates by accusing Macbeth of breaking his promise and questioning his bravery and virility: “and live a coward in thine own self esteem, letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’. Macbeth then strikes back by telling Lady Macbeth that he dares to do “all that may become a man”. I think Lady Macbeth is very sure of herself, and so supremely-confident about what she wants to do, that she is blinded by the possible consequences of her actions. Consequences that we now know haunt the back of Macbeths mind as he realises the immorality of murdering the king.

But, however noticeable the reasons he gave to Lady Macbeth were, they were nothing like as powerful as the ones he tortured himself with a few moments earlier. This shows his difference in the manner of thought and speech he uses on his own and the manner when put up against his wife. We can see that Lady Macbeth is very manipulative of her husband and seems to be used to getting her own way-this is shown throughout her moments of speech, which just happen to be brimming with scathing accusations that reflect on her sharp, ruthless determination.

Question 3 In lines 59-64, Lady Macbeth claims she would have “dash’d the brains out” of a child she was breast-feeding rather than go back on such a promise, like what Macbeth was now doing. This is also stating that if she had a child and she had so sworn to kill the king, as Macbeth did, the she would easily rip her child away from her breast without a hesitation and perform the task in which she had set out to accomplish. Lady Macbeth maintains the view that it would be more wrong to break a promise that to commit a murder.

Question 4 Throughout the majority of the scene, we see that Macbeth is the doubtful one whereas Lady Macbeth is the one trying to force Macbeth to swing over to her side of the argument. The scene works especially well dramatically because the audience can compare Macbeth’s behaviour when he is thinking on his own and that with his wife. It is clear that Macbeth has the potential to make the ‘right’ decisions when he is not being affected by Lady Macbeth.

However, this is not the case, as Macbeth was easily manipulated while putting up a feeble argument to not kill the king. Even though it was blatantly obvious in Macbeth’s soliloquy that he was not happy with the thought of killing Duncan, he may have been more involved with his kingly ambitions than he let on. So when Lady Macbeth countered his argument, I believe that the reason why Macbeth was so easily swayed was because somewhere at the back of his mind there was a little voice telling him to stop arguing and accept what his wife was saying.

In my opinion, Macbeth was the one who was doing the planning at the end of the scene, because deep down he probably knew it was going to end like that anyway. He ends by finally saying, “Away, and mock the time with fairest show: False face must hide what the false heart doth know. ” Basically, telling Lady Macbeth and himself that they must pretend that this conversation never happened and go about their business as they usually would, keeping their evil secret to themselves only. Act 2 Scene 1 Question 1

The word “hallucination” comes from Latin and means “to wander mentally. ” The word hallucination has been defined as the “perception of a nonexistent object or event” and “sensory experiences that are not caused by stimulation of the relevant sensory organs. ” Something you can see or hear that isn’t actually there, but looks real. Question 2 We know that Macbeth is hallucinating out of fear, because he says, “Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. This tells us that Macbeth is experiencing visual hallucinations of a dagger, which is what he is planning to kill Duncan with. I think Macbeth is a vulnerable character when it comes down to the religious and moral side of things. We already know how much of a frightened chicken he was, not even being able to stand up to his wife. His tragic flaw, as it seems, always wins him over. Ambition drives him on but it does not make him immune to his worries and doubts. They penetrate the holes in his ambitious immunity and gradually force him to hallucinate.

The dramatic technique of ______ is used to create a sense of the unknown, and mysteriousness. When Macbeth sees the dagger, it is using the dramatic technique of illusion. 3. Macbeth seeing a dagger uses what dramatic technique? 4. Why do you think Macbeth is seeing a dagger? Make reference to one of the quotations 5. Why do you think that Shakespeare has chosen to use these dramatic techniques at this stage in the play? 6. Do you think that the witches are involved here? If so, explain how they are involved

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Dramatic Techniques to Depict Shakespeare’s Macbeth Character. (2018, May 02). Retrieved from


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