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GCSE Macbeth

could someone please mark my essay and give a rough estimation of the grade that i would get, also what do i need to do to improve. thank you

How is the theme of power presented in ‘Macbeth’

Throughout the archetypical Scottish play ‘Macbeth’, a great emphasis is placed upon competence and how it can allure the ravenous, in this case Macbeth and lady Macbeth, into committing treacherous sins. Shakespeare utilises usurpation in order to indicate the double side of it, which many people are unable to see especially those in the Jacobean era. There is also an incessant dynamic change when it comes to power which links back to one of Shakespeare’s lessons, that being to not take anything for granted.

To commence, in act 1 Macbeth is illustrated as an accustomed Scottish soldier, who bears various compliments by many for being “brave” and having the ultimate potence to “disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel”. The use of imagery portrays a very successful portrait of Macbeth as the illusion of him being almighty and prevailing is created amongst the audience. Macbeth has built a reputation of being “Brave”, this adjective demonstrates how he has gained acknowledgement from people who are more powerful than him implying that he is gradually snatching the power which he has aspired to have. Shakespeare conveys Macbeth as having the ability to “disdaining fortune”, emphasising that with his steel which “smok’d with bloody execution” Macbeth can change the future. This links back to one of Shakespeare’s lessons of greed being a malicious and menacing addiction, as Macbeth has lost the fundamental ability to feel thankful for every opportunity that he has been granted. The Jacobean audience is evoked with a sense of repulse, as they are repetitively shown the cruel nature of greed for power, which has clouded all of Macbeths senses making it impossible for him to feel grateful. The metaphor “smok’d with bloody execution” has been used by Shakespeare to imply that Macbeth has devoted his energy into perhaps receiving more praise from King Duncan than he already is in order to feel special and acknowledged. In the Jacobean era soldiers were illustrated as being pets for their leaders who only had the job to protect and fight, perhaps Macbeth feels deprivation and a lack of tribute, which was shared amongst many Jacobean soldiers. This is because soldiers were rarely awarded or acknowledged even after all the traumatic events that they had gone through. The adjective “bloody” could perhaps foreshadow the “gouts” of blood which will carry on being spilt due to Macbeths inability to control his voracity for dominion. Similarly, the magnanimous amounts of qualities which were present in Macbeth are also shared in lady Macbeth arguably hers being worse.

Furthermore, once lady Macbeth was presented with Macbeths letter where he was evidently conflicted lady Macbeth had carried onto emphasise how she had the multitude urge to rip the power that king Duncan had so that she could become the queen of Scotland, after reading the letter she commanded “come you spirits”, “unsex me here”. The aggressive verb “come” contradicts how lady Macbeth also shares the same greed for power that her husband had, however hers being worse. Partially, she is asking help from the supernatural, so that they can help her prepare for the veracious act of regicide which she is planning to commit. King James I being one of the many audiences to watch the play, grows a very strong feeling of spite towards lady Macbeth as king James I was know widely for his immense loathing towards the supernatural, which resulted in the law that anyone to be thought of being a witch would be persecuted. James I had also written the book ‘demonologie’ informing people of the supernatural and how they are the servants of Satan. The verb “unsex” could suggest that lady Macbeth wants the spirits to snatch away all of the human like qualities she has, as she doesn’t want to feel sympathy or remorse for those around her. This links back to another lesson of Shakespeare’s that being to never allow power to corrupt us. Shakespeare has perhaps used the verb “unsex” to also highlight the lack of feminine qualities which lady Macbeth carries, and she perhaps wants to think and act like a man. In the Jacobean era men were the ones who had all the power in a relationship due to inequality, and clearly lady Macbeth wants to be the ruler of the power which was initially awarded to Macbeth. The Jacobean audience is left feeling contradicted as the urge for supremacy which lady Macbeth is currently left feeling is quite diabolical and absurd for woman of that era. Conversely, as we read on Shakespeare illustrates how damaging the urge for ultimate power can be as is can rip someone’s soul out.

Moreover, in act 5 Shakespeare utilises lady Macbeth to portray how too much of anything including power can be damaging to someone’s soul as it rips all the senses a regular human has leaving behind a dead human, lady Macbeth is a victim as she at last goes crazy talking while also sleep walking “Out damned spot out I say”. The repetition of the aggressive verb “out” implies how the feeling of guilt and remorse has catched up to her, even through all her attempts to enable herself from carrying any human like qualities. Here lady Macbeth is trying to scrub away a spot of blood that she believes has been left there since king Duncan’s death, conveying that she has finally reached the understanding of how repulsive her past actions were. Some could say that this is Gods revenge to Lady Macbeth, as in the Jacobean era committing regicide was seen as the worst sins of all. Partially, because kings were thought to be divine creations of God which were created and sent to earth to rule over a kingdom. The Jacobean audience feels immense loathing towards lady Macbeth as only a true maniac and sociopath would go to the great extent to kill a king for personal gains and power. Shakespeare is left trying to demonstrate how every sin which a human commits in the aim to gain power will one day come back as karma, just like when Macbeth had stated “blood will have blood”. Shakespeare uses juxtaposition when lady Macbeth is left questioning why “all the perfumes of arabia will not sweeten this little hand”. There is an evident contrast between the adjective “spot” and “little”. Lady Macbeth is trying to paint an image of her being destitute and submissive, however the “spot” of blood on her hands are left exposing her bitter truth. To contrast, there is an evident shift in power as while towards the end of the play lady Macbeth becomes a coward and submissive, Macbeth changes completely into a impassive juggernaut.

To add on, towards the end of act 4 and onwards Macbeth starts to gradually change becoming the powerful and destructive husband which lady Macbeth had always wished for, as he passively replies to lady Macbeths attempts to manipulate him and highlights how he is ”like a rugged Russian bear”. Shakespeare has used this simile to perhaps convey the deep desires that Macbeth has, as it is evident that he is none of the things which he describes himself as being. The adjective “rugged” has connotations to soldier Macbeth rather than king Macbeth, as Macbeth has never been able to show the amount of determination and resilience in his personal life that he has showed on the battle field. Shakespeare has used the nouns “Russian Bear” to perhaps imply how Macbeth is turning into and ill-natured and aggressive man, just like the classical Jacobean era gentlemen. During the Jacobean era many men carried a strong persona trying to convey themselves as being dominant and assertive, for the sake of being seen as a true man. The Jacobean audience feels unease as such a sudden such in Macbeths personality implies that he I gradually losing every bit of humanity in him. Macbeth viewing himself as being an animal especially a “bear” which is known for being one of the most menacing and cruel animals implies how, he knows the amount of power that he has and that he is ready to abuse it to make those around him fear him. However we are shown a glimpse of Macbeths fear when he goes on to talk to the three witches “I conjure you by that you wish to profess”. Macbeth is trying to find out his future in order to eliminate those who risk his power, such as the sons of Banquo, this indicates how even after he has gained the power which he had begged for he still isn’t at peace with himself. This implies how dangerous and sinister power is for those who can not control it, such as Macbeth and lady Macbeth.

To conclude, the theme of power throughout ‘Macbeth’ is utilised in many ways, such as the power dynamic in a relationship and the power difference in a hierarchy for example between a soldier and a king. One of Shakespeare’s aims is to teach the audience how dangerous the nature of power can be, as it is like a drug perhaps an addiction. Both Macbeth and lady Macbeth has been caught up on this addiction as a result dricing themselves to their own deaths.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by abc-2006
could someone please mark my essay and give a rough estimation of the grade that i would get, also what do i need to do to improve. thank you

How is the theme of power presented in ‘Macbeth’

Throughout the archetypical Scottish play ‘Macbeth’, a great emphasis is placed upon competence and how it can allure the ravenous, in this case Macbeth and lady Macbeth, into committing treacherous sins. Shakespeare utilises usurpation in order to indicate the double side of it, which many people are unable to see especially those in the Jacobean era. There is also an incessant dynamic change when it comes to power which links back to one of Shakespeare’s lessons, that being to not take anything for granted.

To commence, in act 1 Macbeth is illustrated as an accustomed Scottish soldier, who bears various compliments by many for being “brave” and having the ultimate potence to “disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel”. The use of imagery portrays a very successful portrait of Macbeth as the illusion of him being almighty and prevailing is created amongst the audience. Macbeth has built a reputation of being “Brave”, this adjective demonstrates how he has gained acknowledgement from people who are more powerful than him implying that he is gradually snatching the power which he has aspired to have. Shakespeare conveys Macbeth as having the ability to “disdaining fortune”, emphasising that with his steel which “smok’d with bloody execution” Macbeth can change the future. This links back to one of Shakespeare’s lessons of greed being a malicious and menacing addiction, as Macbeth has lost the fundamental ability to feel thankful for every opportunity that he has been granted. The Jacobean audience is evoked with a sense of repulse, as they are repetitively shown the cruel nature of greed for power, which has clouded all of Macbeths senses making it impossible for him to feel grateful. The metaphor “smok’d with bloody execution” has been used by Shakespeare to imply that Macbeth has devoted his energy into perhaps receiving more praise from King Duncan than he already is in order to feel special and acknowledged. In the Jacobean era soldiers were illustrated as being pets for their leaders who only had the job to protect and fight, perhaps Macbeth feels deprivation and a lack of tribute, which was shared amongst many Jacobean soldiers. This is because soldiers were rarely awarded or acknowledged even after all the traumatic events that they had gone through. The adjective “bloody” could perhaps foreshadow the “gouts” of blood which will carry on being spilt due to Macbeths inability to control his voracity for dominion. Similarly, the magnanimous amounts of qualities which were present in Macbeth are also shared in lady Macbeth arguably hers being worse.

Furthermore, once lady Macbeth was presented with Macbeths letter where he was evidently conflicted lady Macbeth had carried onto emphasise how she had the multitude urge to rip the power that king Duncan had so that she could become the queen of Scotland, after reading the letter she commanded “come you spirits”, “unsex me here”. The aggressive verb “come” contradicts how lady Macbeth also shares the same greed for power that her husband had, however hers being worse. Partially, she is asking help from the supernatural, so that they can help her prepare for the veracious act of regicide which she is planning to commit. King James I being one of the many audiences to watch the play, grows a very strong feeling of spite towards lady Macbeth as king James I was know widely for his immense loathing towards the supernatural, which resulted in the law that anyone to be thought of being a witch would be persecuted. James I had also written the book ‘demonologie’ informing people of the supernatural and how they are the servants of Satan. The verb “unsex” could suggest that lady Macbeth wants the spirits to snatch away all of the human like qualities she has, as she doesn’t want to feel sympathy or remorse for those around her. This links back to another lesson of Shakespeare’s that being to never allow power to corrupt us. Shakespeare has perhaps used the verb “unsex” to also highlight the lack of feminine qualities which lady Macbeth carries, and she perhaps wants to think and act like a man. In the Jacobean era men were the ones who had all the power in a relationship due to inequality, and clearly lady Macbeth wants to be the ruler of the power which was initially awarded to Macbeth. The Jacobean audience is left feeling contradicted as the urge for supremacy which lady Macbeth is currently left feeling is quite diabolical and absurd for woman of that era. Conversely, as we read on Shakespeare illustrates how damaging the urge for ultimate power can be as is can rip someone’s soul out.

Moreover, in act 5 Shakespeare utilises lady Macbeth to portray how too much of anything including power can be damaging to someone’s soul as it rips all the senses a regular human has leaving behind a dead human, lady Macbeth is a victim as she at last goes crazy talking while also sleep walking “Out damned spot out I say”. The repetition of the aggressive verb “out” implies how the feeling of guilt and remorse has catched up to her, even through all her attempts to enable herself from carrying any human like qualities. Here lady Macbeth is trying to scrub away a spot of blood that she believes has been left there since king Duncan’s death, conveying that she has finally reached the understanding of how repulsive her past actions were. Some could say that this is Gods revenge to Lady Macbeth, as in the Jacobean era committing regicide was seen as the worst sins of all. Partially, because kings were thought to be divine creations of God which were created and sent to earth to rule over a kingdom. The Jacobean audience feels immense loathing towards lady Macbeth as only a true maniac and sociopath would go to the great extent to kill a king for personal gains and power. Shakespeare is left trying to demonstrate how every sin which a human commits in the aim to gain power will one day come back as karma, just like when Macbeth had stated “blood will have blood”. Shakespeare uses juxtaposition when lady Macbeth is left questioning why “all the perfumes of arabia will not sweeten this little hand”. There is an evident contrast between the adjective “spot” and “little”. Lady Macbeth is trying to paint an image of her being destitute and submissive, however the “spot” of blood on her hands are left exposing her bitter truth. To contrast, there is an evident shift in power as while towards the end of the play lady Macbeth becomes a coward and submissive, Macbeth changes completely into a impassive juggernaut.

To add on, towards the end of act 4 and onwards Macbeth starts to gradually change becoming the powerful and destructive husband which lady Macbeth had always wished for, as he passively replies to lady Macbeths attempts to manipulate him and highlights how he is ”like a rugged Russian bear”. Shakespeare has used this simile to perhaps convey the deep desires that Macbeth has, as it is evident that he is none of the things which he describes himself as being. The adjective “rugged” has connotations to soldier Macbeth rather than king Macbeth, as Macbeth has never been able to show the amount of determination and resilience in his personal life that he has showed on the battle field. Shakespeare has used the nouns “Russian Bear” to perhaps imply how Macbeth is turning into and ill-natured and aggressive man, just like the classical Jacobean era gentlemen. During the Jacobean era many men carried a strong persona trying to convey themselves as being dominant and assertive, for the sake of being seen as a true man. The Jacobean audience feels unease as such a sudden such in Macbeths personality implies that he I gradually losing every bit of humanity in him. Macbeth viewing himself as being an animal especially a “bear” which is known for being one of the most menacing and cruel animals implies how, he knows the amount of power that he has and that he is ready to abuse it to make those around him fear him. However we are shown a glimpse of Macbeths fear when he goes on to talk to the three witches “I conjure you by that you wish to profess”. Macbeth is trying to find out his future in order to eliminate those who risk his power, such as the sons of Banquo, this indicates how even after he has gained the power which he had begged for he still isn’t at peace with himself. This implies how dangerous and sinister power is for those who can not control it, such as Macbeth and lady Macbeth.

To conclude, the theme of power throughout ‘Macbeth’ is utilised in many ways, such as the power dynamic in a relationship and the power difference in a hierarchy for example between a soldier and a king. One of Shakespeare’s aims is to teach the audience how dangerous the nature of power can be, as it is like a drug perhaps an addiction. Both Macbeth and lady Macbeth has been caught up on this addiction as a result dricing themselves to their own deaths.

I think this is a top tier essay that would grade highly. Without a mark scheme it is hard to grade but in my opinion it would get a minimum of grade 7 but possibly higher.

I think the structure is nailed on but I would reconsider the way you start and end paragraphs.

You have a clear theme in each paragraph which is clear to me as a reader. However you should start and end each paragraph with a little more focus. As an example;

Macbeth develops an understanding of power throughout the play. In act 5 he shows that a countinued pursuit of power.... Ect.

I think just using one connective word and getting straight into the analysis isn't the most effective way of structuring the paragraph as a whole. Try to lead into it slightly.

That is the only real criticism I have. Although mabye swap the final two paragraphs as that might make more sense as a reader.



Great use of language throughout as well! As well as relevant and useful quotes
Reply 2
Original post by nedflanders123
I think this is a top tier essay that would grade highly. Without a mark scheme it is hard to grade but in my opinion it would get a minimum of grade 7 but possibly higher.

I think the structure is nailed on but I would reconsider the way you start and end paragraphs.

You have a clear theme in each paragraph which is clear to me as a reader. However you should start and end each paragraph with a little more focus. As an example;

Macbeth develops an understanding of power throughout the play. In act 5 he shows that a countinued pursuit of power.... Ect.

I think just using one connective word and getting straight into the analysis isn't the most effective way of structuring the paragraph as a whole. Try to lead into it slightly.

That is the only real criticism I have. Although mabye swap the final two paragraphs as that might make more sense as a reader.



Great use of language throughout as well! As well as relevant and useful quotes


Thank youu

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