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Macbeth - Act one scene three

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by

Karen Griffiths

on 6 January 2016

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Transcript of Macbeth - Act one scene three

MACBETH

ACT ONE SCENE THREE

THE PROPHECIES

Think back to the opening of the scene...
In what sense does the story of the sailor foreshadow the events of the play?
A sailor whose wife tempts the fates and upsets the spirits?

A captain who is blown by ill winds and tempests?

An act which murders sleep?
MACBETH'S ENTRANCE
Immediately reminds us of the witches with the equivocal phrase that he uses.
Consider how the witches are introduced
What are these?
Withered and wild
Look not like th'inhabitants o'th'earth
Live you?
Choppy finger
Skinny lips
Beards...
The witches speak certainties and uncertainties

Prophecy or catalyst?

How does Macbeth respond to the witches prophecies? How about Banquo?
Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear
Things that do sound so fair?
A KEY LINE IN THE PLAY - WHY?
Consider Macbeth's response to the prophecies:
he seems rapt withal:
Why do you start ...
Strange intelligence...prophetic greeting
THE GREATEST IS BEHIND
AS HAPPY PROLOGUES TO THE SWELLING ACT
Cannot be ill; cannot be good
If chance will have me King, why chance may crown me
Contrast this to Banquo's response:
Are ye fantastical?
...to me you speak not.
Have we eaten of the insane root?
What, can the Devil speak true?
The instruments of darkness tell us truths
Where Banquo seems uncomfortable and unwilling to accept the prophecies, Macbeth is questioning and doubting but 'rapt' and seeking to justify.
Macbeth is clearly confused - he is intrigued but appalled at the prophecy and seems confused and divided.
GOTHIC ELEMENT - THE DIVIDED SELF
So, what do we make of Macbeth?
In what way is he a tragic hero?
Definition:
The tragic hero is a man of noble stature.
He is not an ordinary man, but a man with outstanding quality and greatness about him.
His own destruction is for a greater cause or principle.

Usually of noble birth
Hamartia - a.k.a. the tragic flaw that eventually leads to his downfall.
Peripeteia - a reversal of fortune brought about by the hero's tragic flaw
His actions result in an increase of self- awareness and self-knowledge
The audience must feel pity and fear for this character.
To what extent is he a GOTHIC HERO?
REMEMBER OUR DEFINITION OF GOTHIC PROTAGONIST? DISCUSS HOW FAR YOU CONSIDER MACBETH ALSO TO BE A GOTHIC HERO?
ISOLATED?
REBEL?
OBSESSIVE?
TURNS NATURAL INSTINCT INTO TRANSGRESSIVE SIN?
ON YOUR TABLES, READ TO THE END OF THE SCENE.


BEST WITCHY VOICE WINS A LOLLY!!
Key features of a gothic protagonist:
What makes a gothic protagonist?
1.A tragic status (high social rank)
2.Foreshadowed by doom (social upbringing? Ambition?)
3.Decidedly influenced by the past
4.Polar opposite qualities within them – neither entirely good or bad
5.Wields power over others - controlling
6.Striking physical presence
7.Strong sexual element
8.Driven by all-consuming passion
9.Connections with the exotic
10.Associated with bestial or non-human images
11.Isolated or alone.
12.Supernatural powers
Full transcript