Sunday, April 22, 2012

In Class Lecture Notes: Macbeth

Day I

Simple play
-no big themes
-very straightforward plot
     -Acts I-III all chronicle Macbeth's rise to glory & IV, V follow his fall
     -character driven play; less psychology & intricate relationships
          -Macbeth doesn't confide in the audience (like Hamlet) he doesn't show any sign of humor or              
           humanity, just painstaking character development

Macbeth as a tragic hero
-Beginning of play: indirect characterization telling us he is well thought of, noble, honorable, etc.
-end of the play: stands alone to be killed by an entire army
-Every thing that happens in the play is the function of Macbeth's own decisions
     -not influenced or compelled by any outside force

Murder of Duncan
     -Act I, scene vii, lines 25-28…glimpse of an idea but too early to take for truth
     -Macbeth seems to be in the grips of something bigger
          -his first reaction to the witches was weariness; it seemed unjust to him at first
          -tension between immorality (consequences?!) & his ambition to be/stay king
               -he knows that he will have to violate his morals…he knows the consequences…he doesn't 
                convo (Hamlet)
          -he struggles with knowing that to act on his desires will lead to his own destruction (he then 
           decides not to kill the king(
                -swayed, however, by his imagination of the prospects

Macbeth & Lady Macbeth
-She is the agent of evil in the beginning
     -tells him to man up and keep the prospect of being king alive
-total animus (masculine personality) influence
     -lacks regard for emotions, scruples, values, nurturing, etc.
     -urges him to be more manly when he comes to her with things
-Both characters experience a surreal feeling
     -Macbeth is fearful & horrified, but he hallucinates and it's as if he is compelled to or drawn to do it
     -Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking
-With help of Lady Macbeth allowed evil to infiltrate his imagination.  He knows what's going on.

Courage & Fear
-Courage is abundant when it comes to outward enemies but can't handle the inner fears.  Becomes fearful as soon as he kills the king
     -deals with it by continued killing to allow himself to plow through and come to a solution
-Lady Macbeth can't handle the inner strains….Macbeth goes off without her.
     -guilt for lack of inner will destroy her
          -feels like Duncan looks liker her father
          -she decays into craziness (for lack of a better word) until she commits suicide

Day 2

Lady Macbeth
-A representation of pure force
-After the banquet, Macbeth & Lady Macbeth's relationship becomes strained
     -They used to have a healthy relationship/marriage but now they have their own plans

-Macbeth's throne is safe, no one suspects him, but he has a guilty conscience
-Act III, Scene iii shows Macbeth still knows the difference between right and wrong
-Now he's murdering his way to peace of mind
     -is becoming less & less human
-Loss of physical relationships --> loss of feeling
     -Makes Macbeth care less & less for what life has to offer
-Act V, scene iii explains why Macbeth accepts the news of his wife's death with a horrifying calm
     -exemplifies the empty mockery his world has become

The 3 Witches
-Macbeth's driving force
-Plant the ideas in Macbeth's mind
     -he is then unable to control himself
-a symbol of fate
     -It inevitably would have happened
-Exist to tempt & torment people
-After becoming thane of Cawdor, Macbeth believes the witches prophesy to be ture
-The 3 Witches seem to be the heroes of the entire piece

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