The dramatic quality in Macbeth

The order of sins are always strategically ordered :

In Act I scene 2, Duncan is told about Macbeth’s valorous qualities and Cawdor’s sins.

In act I scene 3, the witches call Macbeth successively “Thane of Glamis”, “Thane of Cawdor” and “King”.

It creates dramatic irony: we know something about the character that he still ignores. Moreover, the technique of using a prophecy, that is to say a prolepsis tends to add tension and suspense.

Violence is present throughout the whole play and is part of Shakespeare’s tradition of gore, like in all his revenge tragedy. It does not bother Shakespeare to show murders, blood or violence on stage, like in Titus Andronicus or Troilus and Cressida.

When a war is shown on stage, it is to embody disorder and a certain amount of chaos. The actors are then entering and exiting, fighting, and falling down. But the more violent scene for the audience remains the child murder. It was the deepest evil for the Elizabethans.

Macbeth’s tyranny was so huge that only a war could get rid of him. In Act V scene 5, Macbeth says that “life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player […]. It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing“.

It is a real breakthrough, which shows the ultimate inner disorder of Macbeth. The rhythm of the play totally changes at the end.

For instance, exits and entrances, alarums, and stage directions are much more frequent.

The end comes suddenly -when Malcolm is proclaimed King- and so is the re-establishment of order from the reader-spectator’s point of view.

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