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Chose a Play Where Your Attitude Towards the Main Character Varies as the Play Progresses

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Chose a Play Where Your Attitude Towards the Main Character Varies as the Play Progresses

Chose a play where your attitude towards the main character varies as the play progresses.

Show how the dramatist causes your attitude to change.

In your answer you must refer closely to the text and to at least two of the following: characterisation, language, key scene(s) or any other appropriate feature.

A play which my attitudes towards the main character varies as the play progresses is William Shakespeare's ‘Macbeth'. It is a dramatic play set in Scotland, in which the main character is destroyed by his ambition to become King of Scotland and descends to evil. By referring closely to characterisation, theme and language it is clear to see why my attidtude towards the main character, Macbeth, varies.

At the beginning of the play the dramatist causes us to have a positive attitude towards the main character. We see that he is spoken about in glowing terms, such as: ‘brave Macbeth' and ‘Bellona's Bridegroom'. The alliterative ‘b' highlights his purity and loyalty to the monarchy. He is referred to this by his peers which shows us the respect and dignity he held in Scotland which causes us to regard him highly. It is clear that he is thought of as very strong, and undefeated as he was described as the God of War. He is also praised by the King of Scotland, Duncan, for his loyalty to him the battle: ‘O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman'. Thus creating a brave, and noble impression of him, causing our attitude towards him to be respectful. We thus envisage Macbeth as the last man to have dealings with the witches who are obviously evil. The witches are the cause of Macbeth's descent to evil, which changes my attitude towards the main character as the play progresses. They do not force Macbeth to perform any action, instead they stir his imagination and ambition. Macbeth persuades himself that he will not have to do anything drastic to achieve his dream to be king:

‘If chance will have me King, why chance may crown me

Without my stir.'

It is clear that at this point in the play Macbeth is still unaffected, or destroyed by evil. Instead he remains noble and prosperous. We begin to see Macbeth being affected by the witches prophesies in his soliloquy after realising the obstacle of Malcolm becoming Duncan's heir. He makes reference to his cruel and evil motives:

‘Stars, hide your fires,

Let not light see my black and deep desires.'

It is clear that he wants to appear loyal, therefore he wants to be secretive in his actions. This soliloquy is and example of the theme of appearance versus reality in the play. The words ‘black' and ‘deep' illustrate his changing character which changes my attitude towards him in the play. The dramatist develops a dark and mysterious side to the main character. In order to keep our sympathy for Macbeth Shakespeare does not show him committing the murder of Duncan. This murder has an immediate effect on his character, which reveals that this attitude was unlike his usual character, and therefore he is not completely taken over by evil. His character is spiritually effected: ‘could not I pronounce ‘Amen'? '. This is a sign of his alienation from God. Clearly before being involved with evil he was connected to God. This reveals his previous purity and truthfulness. He is also physically effected as his character loses the ability to sleep: ‘Shall sleep no more: Macbeth shall sleep no more.' His guilt and disturbed mind is revealed as he in unable to say ‘I', and instead refers to himself in the third person.

A turning

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