Analysis of Act 1 Scene 7 from Shakespeare’s Macbeth
This extract is from act one scene seven. This is when Macbeth gives his soliloquy on stage, right after Duncan arrives and is invited into their house by Lady Macbeth. The setting is still in Macbeth’s castle at Inverness. He is confused as to whether to kill Duncan or not.
This scene is mainly about Macbeth giving his soliloquy where he shows his dilemma on whether he should kill Duncan or not. His wife Lady Macbeth accuses Macbeth of being a coward and that she herself would want to kill Duncan or at least pass on her evil ideas to Macbeth.
Macbeth feels very emotional about killing Duncan as he feels that they are kinsmen and that Duncan has high regard for Macbeth. He is also doubtful that they might be caught in the process and that they will be in a worse off situation. Lady Macbeth brainwashes him and at last gets him to listen to her.
There is a main theme in this scene that is that whether Macbeth should kill or not kill his king Duncan, who also happened to be his guest.
Macbeth’s conscience comes over him and he feels that he should not commit this horrendous deed while his wife teases him about his weakness and cowardice. This is when Macbeth decides once in for all that he will kill Duncan as Macbeth has nothing to argue with Lady Macbeth so he listens to her.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship is very strong. Macbeth is a very weak and cowardice man when compared to his wife as she is outgoing and is very strong. Macbeth is a brave and strong warrior but his emotions and his conscience make him very weak and frail. This causes him to have doubts on whether he should kill his king or not.
There is a lot of imagery in this scene of the play. First there is all the dark imagery which portrays the evil in the book. There is also Macbeth’s ambition which is portrayed as a horse in the statement “Vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself”. There is also some child imagery in the line “And pity, like a naked newborn babe”. There is once again the reversal of values in the last line “False face must hide what the false heart doth know”.
The dramatic effect in this scene is very high as in most of the other scenes. There is a heightened suspense of whether Macbeth will choose to kill Duncan or not. The audience is made to believe that Macbeth will not kill Duncan, but Lady Macbeth brainwashes Macbeth towards the end and he decides to kill Duncan and take the throne.
This scene should be enacted on a very dark and gloomy setting where there is a lot of echo. This gives the audience the effect of evil in the set. If this scene is performed well the audience will be struck by the seriousness and the suspense of the scene.
This scene is very important in the whole play as this scene shows the faithfulness of Macbeth towards Duncan. This scene also shows the good side of Macbeth. The audience is shown that Lady Macbeth was one of the main motives behind pushing Macbeth towards murdering Duncan.
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