Macbeth..Importance of Act 1, Scene 1 and 2. Essay

870 Words Jul 24th, 2011 4 Pages
MACBETH..Act !, Scene 1 and 2.
About the Play: In 1606, William Shakespeare wrote a play, Macbeth, which has gone down in history as one of the best tragedies ever written. It is known to be the shortest and bloodiest tragedies of Shakespeare. The simplest way of explaining the plot would be to say that it is a story of a man urged by his wife, and foretold by prophesy, to commit murder in order to gain power….a plan which fails, with tragic consequences. But more specifically, it is a classic tale of the down fall of a tragic hero, due to a flaw in his nature, that of overwhelming ambition.
Historical Context of the Play: It is believed that Macbeth was written for King James VI of Scotland. Shakespeare’s drama company enjoyed special
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When the 1st witch asks where they will meet, the response is ‘upon the heath’….another mysterious statement. The fact that they want to meet Macbeth in a barren lonely land doesn’t sound good.
The witches have obvious connections to Evil. They refer to Graymalkin and Paddock, cats and toads, which are animals associated to witchcraft and black magic.
But their most Paradoxical utterance ‘Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair/Hover through the fog and filthy air’…
It is an Alliteration describing the foul weather and foreshadowing the even more foul events to come.

Act 1, scene 2: Summary: We get an insight into the political situation in the country. Scotland’s King Duncan is waging a war, against rebellious subjects, the King of Norway and also the traitorous Thane of Cawdor. A wounded captain gives him detailed reports of Macbeth’s heroic efforts. However, he doesn’t know if the battle is won, until Angus and Ross bring in the news. Macbeth has killed the rebellious Macdonald, defeated the King of Norway and dealt with the traitor Thane of Cawdor. His captain also pays tribute to Banquo’s valiant efforts. Together the two of them have been instrumental in Scotland’s victory. They are described as “eagles and lions pursuing the timid Norwegians, who were like sparrows and hares”.
The scene ends with Duncan’s words ‘what he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won’…

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