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

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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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Ross and Angus are directed to convey this news to Macbeth. This news later, when conveyed, has a dramatic effect on Macbeth.
Importance:
The audience has not seen this great warrior, but they are made aware of his heroism, courage and determination…so much that they are excited and are waiting to meet him in great anticipation. This is depicted with phrases such as ‘velour’s minion’ and ‘Bellona’s bridegroom’ which means, servant of courage and husband of war. These phrases exemplify Macbeth’s Super heroism. The scene also makes us aware of the glorious heights Macbeth was in at the beginning of the play…. and later in the play, makes his fall that much more tragic. It also shows the affection that Duncan had for his favorite warrior and makes his murder, later in the play that much more treacherous.
Duncan is also shown to be a mere figurehead of the country, not directly involved in the battle…his valiant soldiers fight for him.
Duncan’s awarding Cawdor’s title to Macbeth makes the audience wonder whether Macbeth will also follow in his footsteps and turn traitor and betray the king.
So, we can say that these initial scenes are very vital to the play and play a crucial role in steering the audience’s attention in the right path and also building tension, interest and anticipation for the coming scenes.
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