macbeth essay notes

Submitted By sappir928
Words: 500
Pages: 2

Macbeth is a feast of a play; by that I mean that it has, as with all Shakespearean plays, a multitudinous amount of things that can be analysed—for starters one of the things we looked at was the role of the witches at the beginning of the play. I found it interesting that they could be played up two ways: firstly as the ones manipulating Macbeth’s future into fruition, or they can play a more symbolic role as ungendered women (which comes into play later with Lady Macbeth). Moreover, the play is wrought with these sorts of double meanings and alternative modes of performance—while the audience of the time most certainly would have picked up on, and preferred the paranormal version of the witches’ significance. Nevertheless, I think it is important to realise how the blending of theatre and reality worked in the period. As we’d read before in the reading from the beginning of the semester regarding audience participation in the play (and although there was some disagreement about whether or not the groundlings would shout at the actors), Macbeth is a treasure trove of this sort of metatheatre. My favourite part in the whole of the play is the “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” soliloquy in Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28. This quintessentially demonstrates the metatheatre that I will be writing about in my extended essay; not only do I find the idea quite captivating that the actor breaks the 4th wall addressing the audience, but I also enjoy the modernity of the philosophy encapsulated within Macbeth’s message. The nihilistic image of the actor coming forward to the audience and essentially saying to them that they too are all actors in life, and that it all signifies nothing. What’s more interesting than that is the way that the actor can alter the audience’s perception of a character, the words on the page can remain the same—yet the way they are read can totally