Dramatic Techniques in Macbeth

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DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES IN MACBETH

Dramatic techniques are used throughout Shakespeare’s Macbeth to explore Macbeth’s relationship with the women in the play. The drama techniques are used as tools by Shakespeare to manipulate the plot and characters, to express fundamental concepts and themes and dictate the actions of the characters. They also create suspense and keep the audience aware throughout the play of the relationship between Macbeth and his wife as well as his interactions with the Weird Sisters through techniques of foreshadowing and dramatic irony. They particularly highlight the change in Macbeth’s character from the hero he is first perceived as, to the perverted, oppressive and disillusioned tyrant he becomes.

Dramatic irony is employed from the beginning of the play. The repetition of the paradox “fair is foul and foul is fair” (Act 1 Sc 1) by the Witches introduces the theme of the disruption of the natural order. Macbeth echoes similar words just before his first encounter with them, “so foul and fair a day I have not seen” (Act 1 Sc lll). This draws to the audience's attention the relationship that will form between Macbeth and the Weird Sisters. Dramatic irony is employed here, since Macbeth is unaware at this stage of the importance of his words. The audience though are able to see the connection, which creates dramatic suspense. His words highlight the contribution of the Witches to the events and outcomes of the play. Foreshadowing is one of the first dramatic techniques to be used in the play. In his meeting with the witches in Act 1 Sc lll, Macbeth learns of the prophecy. It plants the idea of treason in his mind. It is Macbeth's ambition that compels him to commit regicide. Without the deliverance of the prophecy by the Witches, Macbeth would not have considered becoming king. Macbeth at this stage of the action considers the witches insignificant, lowly and evil. He is initially fearful of them and approaches them...
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