Planning kind of??:
IDEA 1: Shakespeare uses the character of Macbeth and to get across his idea of Dire Ambition and the detrimental effects this can have on people if they have ambition without character or conscience. Macbeth begins the play as a soldier and a good man who has done some outstanding things in battle and because of this is rewarded by the king. However, Macbeth comes across some witches who prophesy to him that he will one day become the king. He is suddenly filled with murderous thoughts about killing Duncan to get to the throne, and he says that he really has no motivation or reason to kill him, but now that the witches have prophesied to him he feels like he has to fulfill that prophesy. to do it apart from “vaulting ambition”. This ambition was spurred on by the witches, even though they never made him do anything, and Macbeth allows this ambition to overwhelm him. He changes into a murderous maniac with no conscience or morals. Throughout the play Macbeth, the idea of ambition on its own and how it negatively affect people’s state of mind will be explored, as well as how Shakespeare uses language and literary techniques to present this idea in his play “Macbeth”. The cruelty that Macbeth gains after committing his first act of murder is a side affect of this ambition, and this will be explored also.
IDEA 2: The theme of fate is a big one in many of Shakespeares most famous plays. Shakespeare presents the idea of fate in the play Macbeth through the witches and the prophesies they make, because these predictions make the characters in the play feel like they have to fulfil the terms of the prophesy on their own terms.
QUESTION: How does Shakespeare use language and theatre techniques to present the idea of cruelty, and why is this so important to making Macbeth known as “The Scottish Play” because of all the superstition around it? (I think)
I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’ other.” – Macbeth about killing Duncan. I have no motivation to get my intent moving, but only vaulting ambition, which leaps over itself and falls on the other side.
Throughout the play Macbeth, Shakespeare conveys the idea of dire ambition through his use of metaphors, and he shows the destructive effects this can have on a person if they have ambition without morals, conscience or character. He shows these effects through the character of Macbeth, who demonstrates what can happen if you let dire ambition overwhelm you. Macbeth, after hearing a prophesy from a trio of witches that he will one day be the King of Scotland, is immediately filled with murderous thoughts about the current king. He feels as though he must fulfil the prophesy on his own terms, by killing King Duncan so that he can gain the throne. In Act 1 scene Macbeth says “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’ other.” Shakespeare, in this phrase, uses metaphor to present Macbeth as a horse, and Ambition as the spur, or the force which makes the force move.
USING 4/5 LANGUAGE TECHNIQUES – not necessarily chronological, but how 4 or 5 language or theatrical techniques present the idea of ambition.