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The Prophecy of the Witches and the Plot to murder a King - Essay Example

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August 1605: Our Staff Correspondent attended the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare and here is the report on the impressions of the play, the people and the atmosphere in the theatre, based on the first Act.
A candle-lit stage decorated with the hues and colors of gold…
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The Prophecy of the Witches and the Plot to murder a King
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The Prophecy of the Witches and the Plot to murder a King A Review of the first Act of William Shakespeare's Macbeth August 1605: Our Staff Correspondent attended the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare and here is the report on the impressions of the play, the people and the atmosphere in the theatre, based on the first Act.
A candle-lit stage decorated with the hues and colors of gold. A packed audience witnessing a new play by William Shakespeare. The very first eerie scene happening in a deserted place with lightning and thunder at the background promises to develop into a macabre story with the introduction of three witches and their words hinting at animal rites and other things suggestive of the supernatural.

The groundlings, who have paid a penny each, a day's wage for some of them, to stand at the pit under the open portion of the Globe, are totally thrilled. The middle class who can afford to pay a penny more to sit in the galleries jostle with each other taking care not to crush their best clothes.
Having paid a penny more than them to sit on a cushion in the gallery, at a separate door, I settle down to watch the play. The rich and the titled sit at the Lords' rooms and Ladies rooms in the covered galleries, having paid as much as half a crown each and enjoying the privilege of being spotted by their peers at the theatre.
The groundlings are largely from the working class and you can see butchers and tanners, millers and iron workers, seamen and servants, glovers and shopkeepers, bakers and wig-makers- in short tradesmen of every description along with their families. So boisterous is their conduct that you anticipate their throaty shouting, smiling and winking in scenes that cater to their taste.
The shoving and fighting amongst them even as the play is staged form another interesting sight from the higher level at which I sit, having paid twice as much as they have done. The hissing and mewing noise from the groundlings at totally unpredictable moments of the play add colour to the atmosphere. After all they have chosen to watch the play instead of bear baiting or cock fighting elsewhere in London.
But William Shakespeare captures the entire audience, the illiterate and the educated alike, with a tragic play which promises to become even more of a success than his previous tragedies such as King Lear, Hamlet and Othello. Shakespeare, part owner and playwright at the Globe, has played the minor part of King Duncan himself while giving other actors of the company more substantial roles. Taking his inspiration for the story from the real history of Scotland he has breathed life into the characters.
Macbeth was the cousin of Duncan, the King of Scotland. In the year 1040, Macbeth usurped the throne after killing Duncan. Malcolm, the deceased king's first son, avenged his father's death by killing Macbeth in 1057. These are the historical facts Shakespeare has built the play upon.
As the tragic story of Macbeth the Scottish General unfolds on the stage, the very first scene makes the viewers sit up and take notice. With a foreboding of the nature of things to come, the scene jolts the viewers enough to stop the noisy conversations in the pit and lake everyone sit up and take notice.
The atmosphere sets a new trend in thrilling the audience with the right mixture of the supernatural and psychological. As the witches speak the lines, "When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain When the hurlyburly 's done, When the battle 's lost and won", the audience roar their approval of the macabre. We all sit up with the pleasurable anticipation of even more terrible scenes!
In the second scene at a camp in Forres we see Macbeth being made thane of Cawdor. One of the witches' prophecies has come true already! Staged in honour of King James I, the play promises to cater to his active interest in the study of witches and sorcery
In the third scene, the 'weird sisters' appear again in a heath near Forres amidst claps of thunder. Macbeth and Banquo arrive When the witches make a prophecy that Macbeth will be King one day and predict that Banquo's children will rule in the future, the seeds are sown in Macbeth's mind for a bloody rise to power. When the witches vanish, Banquo speaks fearfully, "Whither are they vanish'd" an
eerie atmosphere with hints of ghosts is created and the audience waits with bated breath! Macbeth adds, "Into the air; and what seem'd corporal melted As breath into the wind." The scene sets the tone for a thrilling story and the audience watch spellbound. The morbid curiosity of the audience is aroused.
In Scene V Macbeth is tempted to aspire for the kingdom when he sees how the other two prophecies have come true! The fast-paced development in the story leads to a plot being hatched to murder the king. When Lady Macbeth plots to murder the king saying "Come, you spirits/That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, /And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full /Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;' the audience is horrified!
When the king's entourage is welcomed in the sixth scene, the audience knows the cruel fate awaiting the king. What a nail-biting suspense! In Scene VII when Lady Macbeth says the terrible words, "How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:/I would, while it was smiling in my face,/Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, /And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you/Have done to this" and incites him, the audience gasp with shock! Her cruelty in plotting the murder and her clever ideas to escape the accusations keep the audience's horrified interest alive.

The very first act makes us look forward to the rest of the play, especially when Lady Macbeth talks of smashing an innocent baby to its death! The audience's horrified interest is kept alive. The first Act of the latest tragedy Macbeth thrills with pictures of ghosts, blood and gore. Readers, we strongly recommend you not to miss Shakespeare's Macbeth! Read More
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