Macbeth themes and techniques with scenes

Ameenah Ahmed
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Ameenah Ahmed
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Elements of the Gothic, English Literature, AQA

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Macbeth themes and techniques with scenes
  1. Guilt
    1. Act 1
      1. When we have mark’d with blood those sleepy two Of his own chamber, and us’d their very daggers, That they have done’t? (1.7.76-78, Macbeth)
      2. Act 2
        1. One cried 'God bless us!' and 'Amen' the other, As they had seen me with these hangman's hands. List'ning their fear, I could not say 'Amen' When they did say 'God bless us.' (2.2.29-32 Macbeth)
          1. Macbeth refers to his own hands as "hangman's hands", which would be covered in blood from disembowelling victims of execution. When Lady Macbeth urges him to wash the blood off, he realises the impossibility of washing away his guilt. His crime is so wicked that the blood will "the multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green one red". His guilty hands will stain everything he touches with blood.
        2. Act 3
          1. Better be with the dead, Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace (3.2.19-20, Macbeth)
          2. Act 4
            1. Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo. Down! Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs. (4.1.112-113, Macbeth)
            2. Act 5
              1. But get thee back, my soul is too much charg’d With blood of thine already. (5.8.4-6, Macbeth)
              2. BLOOD
              3. Jealousy
                1. Act 1
                  1. Your children shall be kings. (1.3.86, Macbeth)
                  2. Act 3
                    1. To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings! (3.1.69, Macbeth)
                      1. -Repitition of 'kings' = resentment, -Macbeth's jealous remarks are often shorter than his guilty discourse. The length of his speech for each emotion implies his brashness in making decisions, this gives reason for the audience to suspect Macbeth's decision-making skills to be tinged with jealousy because of them being made quickly. -Highlights the irony of his ambition to be king as he cannot make thorough decisions. -The potential effect on the audience is their expectance of Macbeth's downfall. Although written as a tragedy, the tragic hero's downfall is enivitable due to the protagonist's own dimise, this has a gothic element very similar to other gothic literature. For instance in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the doctor Frankenstein brings about his own path of destruction when following head on in his pursuit of knowledge of the unknown (life and death). Both the consequence's of the protagonists illustrate the disturbances that occur when not confroming to the social order.
                        1. One of Shakespeare's reasons for writing the play was to illustrate the terrible consequences of murdering a king. The play was first performed in 1605, the year of the Gunpowder Plot, and this theme would be very politically acceptable to an audience composed of members of James I's court. Shakespeare shows the murderers of a king tormented by their own guilt and driven to their doom.
                          1. Shakespeare playing with the idea of conformity? = Gothic genre is scandalous due to exploring the fragility of socially accepted norms.
                    2. Act 4
                      1. Shall Banquo’s issue ever Reign in this kingdom (4.1.102-103, Macbeth)
                      2. Act 5
                        1. Why should I play the Roman fool, and die On mine own sword? Whiles I see lives, the gashes Do better upon them. (5.8.1-3, Macbeth)
                        2. Having a high position and being able to contiue that on down your blood line.
                        3. Ambition
                          1. Act 1
                            1. Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition (1.5.18-19, Lady Macbeth)
                            2. Act 2
                              1. ‘Gainst nature still: Thriftless Ambition, that will ravin up Thine own life’s means! (2.4.27-29, Rosse)
                              2. Act 3
                                1. I will to-morrow (And betimes I will) to the Weird Sisters: More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know, By the worst means, the worst. (3.4.131-134, Macbeth)
                                2. Act 4
                                  1. Come, go we to the King: our power is ready; Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth Is ripe for shaking (4.3.236-238, Malcolm)
                                  2. Act 5
                                    1. I’ll fight, till from my bones my flesh be hack’d. (5.3.32, Macbeth)
                                      1. - Gory imagery -False courage -Links back to the beginning when we are told of Macbeth's violent nature during warfare.
                                    2. Ambition and violence are linked together.
                                      1. Masculinity
                                    3. Night
                                      1. Imagery
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