MACBETH & dramatic irony The story of Macbeth written by the infamous William Shakespeare is an excellent storyline known and taught as a great piece of literature. Even after the creation of this tale almost 400 years ago, this wonderful written work is still admired and known all over the world. It is an adventure of a noble and truthful hero who is overcome by the lust for power and by greed. His aroused hunger for authority and supremacy leads to him losing his path and turning to the way of malice.
The play progresses, as this character plays deeper and deeper into Satan’s evil hand. Through the growth of this malevolent character, the story grows and develops as well. Each and every move this character makes affects someone directly or indirectly, making him the centre piece of the play. Shakespeare uses many literary devices in the play including dramatic ones to contribute to the advancement of the story and its characters. One of the most used dramatic devices in this play is dramatic irony. This mechanism predicts the events that are to occur by giving the audience a foresight of something that has not yet taken place but will eventually be fulfilled.
Through the audience’s knowledge of trials and tribulations for different characters, the story becomes even more mysterious and interesting. Dramatic irony is used so often in the play that almost every major event like war and death is foretold, the theme is further developed and the audience is kept in suspense and anxiety. Such events occurred when Macbeth was crowned Thane of Cawdor, when regicide was committed against King Duncan by Macbeth, when the porter of Macbeth’s home pretended to be the gatekeeper of hell and also when Macbeth ordered his servants to kill Macduff. These parts not only grow the characters’ roles but also make the story even more exciting and leave the audience hungry for more action. They also introduce us to the themes of the play such as the deadly strength of unbridled ambition and even differences between brutal tyranny and fair monarchy.
Macbeth, an exciting and suspenseful drama written in the seventeenth century by William Shakespeare, still engage modern audiences. The three universal themes of Macbeth are the supernatural, the conflicts of order and ambition, which are still relevant today. This is demonstrated through the original play and Roman Polanski’s film of Macbeth produced in 1971. Shakespeare’s theme of supernatural ...
Every one of these scenes is significant because they develop Macbeth’s character and expand the storyline and theme of the play. Power is a very important factor of everyday life. Throughout the ages, from kings to presidents, and even before that mankind has always been the thirst of power. They always wanted to gain more control over respect, authority and strength. This never- ending battle even happens today throughout the world. If you look at the crises in Serbia where different Serbs are fighting to gain power and even in Sudan where Arabs are slaughtering the blacks to gain control.
These events prove that mankind has not completely evolved to a higher status than that at which it was at before. In the play through dramatic irony, the audience is aware that the King pronounces Macbeth thane of Cawdor. Ross is shown in the story as a nobleman of the king who announces Macbeth “an earnest of a greater honour, he bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor,” (I, iii, 109-110).
This dramatic irony showed that Macbeth was promised thane of Cawdor even before he knew about it and his power grew even more. Even the witches in their first encounter with Macbeth welcome by “all hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor,” (I, iii, 51-52).
These pieces of dramatic irony back up the theme of ambition and control.
By showing that once Macbeth has a taste of more power, like the Serbs and Arabs, he will become obsessed with it. He will hunt for power as a vampire hunts for blood under the blanked of the night sky. Here dramatic irony shows his increase in power and growing ambition, which leads to a complete change in his lifestyle and results in his final doom. In this story, most characters seem very sure of themselves and their power. This makes the story very exhilarating because in almost every part of the play, when characters are at full control, they get completely washed away by fate’s cruel actions. In the beginning of the play, Malcolm was declared heir of Duncan and future King, but fate had different plans.
1. OedipusI know you are all sick,yet there is not one of you, sick as you are,that is as sick as I myself.Your several sorrows each have single scopeand touch but one of you. My spirit groansfor city and myself and you at once. (lines – 68-73)All of you are ill,even as ill as you are, there is not one of you,ill like me.your grieves only have one focusand touch yourself. I cryfor not only the ...
Duncan was on top of his kingdom but Macbeth’s actions completely changed the empire and a new king took control of the throne. These changes in ranks of characters are hidden in some scenes in which certain objects camouflage truths and secrets. One such object was Macbeth’s castle that hid the dreadful destiny of King Duncan. Duncan thought of the castle as if it had “a pleasant seat.” He added that “the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself” into his gentle senses,” (I, vi, 1-3).
He did not anticipate the castle and it’s sweet setting to be nothing but a prop to foolishly guide him into Macbeth’s hand. Lady Macbeth also proved to be such an object when Duncan declared her “our honour’d hostess!” (I, vi, 12) without realizing that she would be the counselor in this crime.
This act of regicide by Macbeth was also foretold by dramatic irony when the sister witches greeted him with “all hail, Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter,” (I, iii, 53).
This scene is not only significant because of evidence from the play but also from events that occurred in reality. This play was first performed for King James I of England who about a year before the performance was involved in an incident where Catholics tried to kill him and destroy the English parliament, making this scene very important. The dramatic irony in the story supports the theme through Macbeth’s rising ambition, which leads to him murdering the king and gaining control over all others through the abuse of his deadly power. Shocking or unexpected news can often be mentally damaging on the person who receives it. When a husband dies, the wife is tormented and when a son dies the mother is besieged.
At some point in the life of every individual, certain events and changes occur that shape the person into how they will behave and appear in the future. The life of an individual either starts to blossom with opportunity or starts going through a consistent downward spiral. How does it work out perfectly for some and go wrong for others? Macbeth is a prime example of how one decision can alter ...
In the same manner in the story, when the nobleman and citizens found out that their king had been murdered, they began to shed tears. Although it was Macduff who first saw the dead body of Duncan, the king’s death was foretold in the beginning of the same scene through dramatic irony. When Macduff and Lennox were knocking on the gates, the porter of the castle was coming slowly and talking humorously towards the nobleman without knowing whom they were. The porter talked as “if a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the key,” (II, iii, 1-2).
He does not realize that he really was keeping a hell-like secret. When the characters realize that Duncan has been murdered, it is evidence that this was dramatic irony and it is realized that the porter actually was the porter of the hell gates. Similarly, there are several factors that determine if the reigning ruler is a good or evil person. Their deeds can be judged to figure out what he is thinking and what he will do next. There have been leaders throughout history who have caused nothing but torment among their people. Some of them continue their reign and others are taken over through some kind of rebellion.
Those who do prevail, take certain precautions to make sure the throne stays in their possession. Macbeth acted like such a king. After becoming the sovereign, he planned to make sure he stayed king. He hired murderers to kill anyone who would pose a danger to him and his throne.
One of the many people on his hit list was Macduff. He not only wanted to kill Macduff but also “his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line,” (IV, i, 167-168).
This was revealed to be another form of dramatic irony when the murderers that he hired reached Macduff’s castle and the son of Macduff cried out “he has kill’d me, mother; run away I pray you,” (IV, ii, 96-97).
This is another piece of dramatic irony because Macbeth had stated that he wanted Macduff’s family dead and now his wish was fulfilled. This also relates to the theme of unjust tyranny and fair monarchy because this act of cruelty showed that Macbeth was no monarch but a brutal heartless tyrant. Dramatic irony is used many times throughout the play to intensify the themes of the story.
Macbeth, there’s a passage in which the King is speaking with Banquo and Macbeth. They are in the King’s palace, commenting about Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor. One of the literary resources that Shakespeare constantly uses is irony. In this case, he uses dramatic irony, in which the audience is aware of a situation that the other characters are not familiar with. In this specific circumstance, ...
This dramatic device can be found when Macbeth was given the title thane of Cawdor, when Macbeth murdered the king, when Macbeth’s castle’s porter acted as if he was the porter of the gates of hell and also when Macbeth ordered his servants to kill Macduff. These dramatic ironies also support the themes of the play such as the deadly strength of unbridled ambition and differences between tyranny and monarchy. Through these scenes, foresight was given to the audience on events that were going to happen but it did not reveal how they would occur. This element made the story even more interesting and exhilarating by leaving the mind of spectators to imagine the events yet to occur and be surprised to see how they really occur in the play. As the character of Macbeth developed further, the story became much more fascinating and the audience was kept anxious. This is a wonderful work that is performed on stages everywhere and the name of William Shakespeare continues to be heard throughout the world..