Monday, 30 May 2011

ENG3U1- Play Study: Macbeth (Quest)

Character Analysis: Fleance

FLEANCE: He is the son of Banquo, who ends up surviving Macbeth's attempt in killing him. The Three Witches created a prophecy that he would be the first in a line of kings. Macbeth wanted to kill Fleance and Banquo so that they cannot take the throne away from him. However, his plan fails when Fleance escapes. Though he had escaped, inside lies revenge for his father's death.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Character Analysis: Malcolm

MALCOLM: He is the elder son of King Duncan. He first comes across as a weak character and unsure of his power/position after being saved by sergeant. He eventually challenges Macbeth, who murdered his father, Duncan in the middle of the play. Malcolm's sudden reaction of fleeing after the death of his father was a surprise. He seems to lack the experience to make him confident or capable of taking over. It's only when he meets Macduff, who complements him in courage and experience, do we start to see the potential power in Malcolm.

Character Analysis: Lady Macduff

LADY MACDUFF: She is Macduff's wife. Lady Macduff, unlike Lady Macbeth, is a strong, honest, loving wife and mother. It is noticeable that she has a close relationship with her son, especially when she tells him that his father had died. She was one of the examples that show "high tragedy" in the play of Macbeth. Lady Macduff was killed by the murderers sent by Macbeth. Her characteristics differed a lot compared to Lady Macbeth. She was a completely innocent character who faced a tragic death.

Character Analysis: Macduff

MACDUFF: He was a Scottish nobleman. In the very beginning he is against Macbeth's rule. He ends up becoming the leader of a crusade designed to place Malcolm as the king. After the events of Macbeth murdering his wife and son, Macduff was in search for vengeance. He ends up being the only one able to defeat Macbeth. He is loyal and can be trusted, and when he hears about the deaths going on around Scotland, such as the first of King Duncan, he becomes angry and at the same time expresses honest.  grief/sorrow. He showed signs of being strong and courageous throughout the play, especially towards the end (Act 5) when he knew he was the only one who would be able to stop and kill Macbeth. He is known to be a real man who expresses emotion, even in times of chaos. He is the most attentive in regards to Duncan's death. 

Character Analysis: King Duncan

KING DUNCAN: He was the original and good King of Scotland, whom Macbeth murders so that he could take the throne. Duncan is an honest and caring ruler. His death would signify the start of destruction and continuous acts of murder throughout Scotland. He is well known in the play for being a ruler with high standard morals/virtues. After his death, Malcolm (his son)became an important role at the time, for he would have to be the one to occupy the throne. He valued trust amongst his noblemen, but this would sooner or later be broken by Macbeth, his own cousin. He was completely deceived by the intentions of Macbeth, which quickly lead to irony. 

Character Analysis: Banquo

BANQUO: Banquo is a general of the King's army (like Macbeth), whose children are said to take over the Scottish throne according to the prophecies coming from the witches. His ambitions, unlike those of Macbeth, did not lead to murder. Banquo's ghost haunts Macbeth and is a representation of Macbeths guilty conscience. Though Banquo is known to be ambitious, he doesn't set out to take action and use of violence. Though he is compared and related well to Macbeth, he is represents the character that chose the path which Macbeth had not taken. This was a the type of path in which ambition did not lead to murder and betrayal. Banquo also seems to be more cautious and aware of the situations he is put in, such as when him and Macbeth meet with the witches for the first time. He shown doubt on the prophesies that had been made by the witches, unlike Macbeth who was too caught up and believed foolishy of their words. Macbeth kills Banquo.

Character Analysis: The Three Witches

THE THREE WITCHES: These three mischievous witches are the ones accountable for using charms and spells to show Macbeth prophecies of his future. They trick him into beleiving he is immortal which sends him on his murderous path throughout the play. Later they reveal the prophecy that would bring him to his downfall. They are servants of Hecate (the goddess of witchcraft, who helps the three witches achieve their plan). The witches predictions would eventually be a factor in leading Macbeth to murder Duncan, to order the deaths of Banquo and his son, and to believe in his own immortality, when really it was all false sense of security.

Character Analysis: Lady Macbeth

LADY MACBETH: Lady Macbeth is known to be one of the most famous and frightening female characters in Shakespeare's time. She is Macbeth's wife, and is a really ambitious women (just like Macbeth), who looks to achieve power and high political position. She uses Macbeth to help get her there. Lady Macbeth tells him to listen and do what it takes to over throne Duncan and become King of Scotland. This all lead to the murderous events which occurred due to Lady Macbeth successfully tempting/persuading Macbeth to kill Duncan. In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth seemed to be a very powerful and demanding person.  She would make her own decisions and follow through. Towards the last Act of the play, Lady Macbeth seemed to have fallen apart.  Not only was she weak and not in power as she was before, she was also considered mentally ill.  From being the strongest woman, to becoming a weak ill woman, Lady Macbeth suffered through the nights. She was consumed with endless guilt for the violent acts that had happened, which affected her emotionally and mentally. For example; the visions she had of blood stained all over her hands. 

Character Analysis: Macbeth

MACBETH: Shakespeare uses a lot of  various qualities and characteristics on Macbeth that help show that character development is important especially in plays like these. Macbeth plunges from heights, where he is admired and respected as one the generals of the King's army, to the lowest point, where he is cursed and faces unfortunate events. The main focus of Macbeth's character is his fierce, overpowering ambition. In the beginning he is seen as a brave hero after the battle in Scotland, however, once we see Macbeth interact with the three witches his qualities soon change. He is easily tempted to commit murderous acts to fulfill his ambitions to take out Duncan, and be crowned King of Scotland. After this occurs he embarks on further violence that creates high tragedy throughout the play. One other characteristic that stands out for Macbeth is self-doubt. He lacks confidence within himself and his abilities. This causes him to believe and follow everything that the three witches said to him. As several of the prophecies come true the more Macbeth is unknowingly getting closer to his death. He lacks the skills necessary to rule as King and his only power would come in the form of illegal/violent acts. Macbeth was tempted and cheated by the witches and his own ambitions and passions deceived him into changing his virtues.