Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in the rain of King James the 1st to support him as king and let the people of his time know the natural order of things to happen if his kingdom where to be disturbed, which was an inevitable disaster for those who challenged him.

Back then, everything had its place in society. This could be seen in old systems of hierarchy such as feudalism and the concept of the Divine Right of Kings. Shakespeare tries to show in his play that when these ideologies are disturbed or changed, the consequences are fatal. This developing a sub-conscious notion for the people watching the play to believe that what Shakespeare portrays, is true. This would make the king happy as there would be less tension in society and fear of someone overruling the king, and as long as the king is happy Shakespeare can continue to write and perform his plays.

In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, he uses many features of language and dramatic devices in his plays to convey ideas and give the audience members another way of understanding what’s happening in the play. For instance, Irony is an important linguistic device in the play, because it has the ability to make the protagonist seem even more villainous or the downfall of his rain seems even more tragic. Another important linguistic device you can find throughout the play is symbolism, with the predominant symbol of blood being used as an effective method to describe the theme of the play. Not only does blood in this case symbolize bravery, but if can also be used as a means of showing treachery or treason, which is also seen throughout the play, and most importantly, guilt. A good example of this technique being used to show bravery is when the captain says “For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name-/Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,/Which smoked with bloody execution” However, soon after in the play, the word blood changes to relate to treachery, such as when another important character, Lady Macbeth says “Make thick my blood,/ Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse” where she is asking the ‘spirits’ to take away any compassion in her body and fill her mind with remorselessness for the crimes she is about to commit. This use of the language feature can be seen again when Ross asks, “Is’t known who did this more than bloody deed?” where he is trying to figure out who had committed the unholy crime of killing the king. Blood can also be seen in the play as an expression of characters guilt-ridden consciences. For example, Macbeth says “What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine own eyes!/ Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash the blood/ Clean from my hand?” where he is showing regret. This symbolism is shown throughout the play in many sense, most significantly with the bloody hands, but also with the dagger scene in Act 2, scene 1. Shakespeare uses the dagger as a symbol of guilt for Macbeth as it represents the murder with the daggers that he used. However for Lady Macbeth, her guilt was found later in the play for aiding her husband in the murder, this is seen where she dreams of a blood stain on her hands that she can not wash off. Though for Macbeth, his thoughts about the murder that created the bloody dagger hallucination did the opposite, as it pointed towards the king’s chamber, leading to him committing more crimes where lady Macbeth’s stopped her doing any worse. Uses of Metaphors are used a lot by the main characters as well. ”Look like the innocent flower/ but be the serpent under it” said lady Macbeth before they went to meet there guests at the dinner. ”O/ full of scorpions is my mind,/ my dear wife”  he replies. This could be seen as an emphasis towards lady Macbeths mindset in the beginning to middle of the play where she sees herself ‘strong’ and her husband, Macbeth to be ‘week’. However we later see that the result of these feelings lead to her insanity as the guilt of what they have done eventually gets to her, while Macbeth makes a conscious decision to eventually stop caring about the consequences of his actions. This paired with the witch’s trickery leading him to a false sense of security give him too much confidence


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  1. Hi Olly,

    Let’s have a conversation about the best pathway forward with this piece.

    1) You may have an extra period due to having lost a section of your work.
    2) There are some intrusive errors in spelling that we will need to develop a way for you to address
    3) The essay must explore the features of language and dramatic devices that Shakespeare uses to get his ideas across. The material you’re offering at the moment is interesting, and shows a unique insight, but on it’s own it doesn’t answer the question fully.

  2. Missed days:
    The day the play was on
    A section of work did not save

  3. Achievement Achievement with Merit Achievement with Excellence
    Develop and structure ideas in formal writing.

    Use language features appropriate to audience and purpose in formal writing.

    Develop and structure ideas convincingly in formal writing.

    Use language features appropriate to audience and purpose with control in formal writing.

    Develop and structure ideas effectively in formal writing.

    Use language features appropriate to audience and purpose with control to command attention in formal writing.

    Not Achieved

    Incomplete: Some very strong ideas, however this essay lacks a coherent paragraph structure and formal conclusion.


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