How does Shakespeare present human weaknesses and flaws through Macbeth

878 WordsFeb 1, 20144 Pages
Throughout Scene 1-4 Macbeth is portrayed as a heroic and valiant man, however with sly and manipulative characteristics brought out by the Witches. The use of structure and language allows Shakespeare to present both Macbeths flaws and weaknesses to the audience. Structurally scene 1 opens with the witches gathered together reciting plans about meeting Macbeth, establishing an occult malevolence which permeates the play. The choice of starting with the witches instantly creates a mood of terror and unearthly evil, setting an unnatural and deceptive atmosphere. The third witch says, ‘There to meet Macbeth’, this intertwining of Macbeth reflects the relationship which will be made between him and the witches, and the evil which is going…show more content…
“The service and the loyalty I owe, in owing it, pays itself.” Here Macbeth demonstrates reverence and devotion to the King, showing his faithfulness and commitment to all of the Kings actions. However, at the end of Scene 4 Macbeth contradicts himself through a small speech he makes aside from the main drama, “Stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires, the eye wink at the hand.” The use of light imagery represents Macbeth’s fear of exposing his internal wicked desires, and through the word “stars” we can depict that this is his true character, a fire he is trying to conceal and hide from others. Macbeth’s hypocrisy is a flaw accentuated by Shakespeare, and shows Macbeths changing from good to evil, due to the actions of the witches and their supernatural capabilities. Additionally, the rhyming couplets present in this short phrase create an inclination reminiscent of the witches, emphasising Macbeth’s connection with them, proving how the witches have lured Macbeth into their trap. In conclusion, through Scenes 1-4 in Act 1 Shakespeare presents Macbeth’s flaws and weaknesses through structure, language and other characters. Macbeth is set-up to be a tragic-hero by the heightening of his character in Scene 2, and the sudden change in his personality in Scene 4 due to the witches’ manipulation. The weaknesses explored by Shakespeare intensify the

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