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Just asking if someone could give me feedback on my Macbeth essay on violence. I really struggled back in year 10 english but now after many hours of revision, Ive tried to write my best essay.
Its based on the 2019 AQA Macbeth question.
-Starting with this speech, explore how Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a violent character.

This is my response:
In 'Macbeth' Shakespeare explores the punishment of violence. Macbeth is a cautionary tale about the use of violence in evil, malicious ways, acting as a warning to the audience on committing the act of violence to kings and how that will interrupt the natural order of chaos. All this is shown through the character of Macbeth, once a loyal thane to the king, a deadly killer on the battlefeild, using that power to betray his king, fueled the need of desire, manipulation and hope. This then leads to his ultimate hamartia, showing to the Jacobean audience that if you loose control of violence, commiting 'rebel' acts of betrayal to the recentley crowned King James will end up with punishment just like Macbeth.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is described as a 'brave' character as he goes to war with the Norwegians, 'unseaming' their men from the 'nave to the chaps'. This suggests how Macbeth's killing is brutal and savage, showing to the audience Macbeth's heroic, noble character, fighting for his king in the battle. This conveys conventional ideas of a patriarchal man in this society, a man fighting for his country which is ultimately subverted towards the end as Macbeth is only fighting for himself, and his survival. The verb 'unseamed' further emphasises Macbeth's violence for killing, describing it as almost he enjoys being out on the battle field where he can show his power and capability to be fierce and violent. This can also suggest the reasons why the witches picked on Macbeth to be manipulated. The fact that he acts upon immense and graphic violence shows to the witches how capable Macbeth will be at murdering the king and further the thanes later in the play.

Furthermore, Macbeth's violence on the battle field is also presented as ruthless and unscrupulous for, the fact that the battle is seen as a 'bloody execution' shows to the audience how the Norwegians did not have any chance against him. As if it was only an execution that Macbeth could enjoy. This could be seen as a recurring motif throughout the play as Macbeth almost 'executes' anyone that would get in his way of him, showing how much of a vicious killer he is. The imagery of 'unseamed' also shows the speed at which Macbeth is killing his enemies, showing signs of power and professionalism. Making his downfall as a whole more effective as him, a thane very close to Duncan, ends by betraying him in a horrific manner.

Furthermore, in the soliloquy of Macbeth's dilemma, he describes his brain to be 'heat oppressed' as if he is being controlled by an unspoken force. The connotations of 'heat' shows how Macbeth's mind is almost being remolded in result of the witches, giving him justification of his 'vaulting ambition' to commit regicide wanting to become the king, even though he still has some sense of him to go against his thoughts that the witches have planted in him. Shakespeare is trying to show how that even the power of the supernatural is not to be played with, indicating a Jacobean audience and King James himself of the power and influence of supernatural, fueling violence in a person.

However, some may argue that Macbeth's violence is fueled by his wife, Lady Macbeth as she uses power from the 'spirits' to 'unsex' her, giving her violence that she can express through Macbeth. The imperative statement 'be the serpent' shows how Lady Macbeth is demanding Macbeth to be evil and malicious, fueling him to build the courage to kill the king. The word 'serpent' shows how connotations of the devil that consumes Macbeth like a disease, ultimately foreshadowing his crimes he commits later in the play. This statement could be a catalyst to Macbeth's hamartia, leading to his tragic downfall.


Thank you :smile:
Original post by Secky
Just asking if someone could give me feedback on my Macbeth essay on violence. I really struggled back in year 10 english but now after many hours of revision, Ive tried to write my best essay.
Its based on the 2019 AQA Macbeth question.
-Starting with this speech, explore how Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a violent character.
This is my response:
In 'Macbeth' Shakespeare explores the punishment of violence. Macbeth is a cautionary tale about the use of violence in evil, malicious ways, acting as a warning to the audience on committing the act of violence to kings and how that will interrupt the natural order of chaos. All this is shown through the character of Macbeth, once a loyal thane to the king, a deadly killer on the battlefeild, using that power to betray his king, fueled the need of desire, manipulation and hope. This then leads to his ultimate hamartia, showing to the Jacobean audience that if you loose control of violence, commiting 'rebel' acts of betrayal to the recentley crowned King James will end up with punishment just like Macbeth.
At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is described as a 'brave' character as he goes to war with the Norwegians, 'unseaming' their men from the 'nave to the chaps'. This suggests how Macbeth's killing is brutal and savage, showing to the audience Macbeth's heroic, noble character, fighting for his king in the battle. This conveys conventional ideas of a patriarchal man in this society, a man fighting for his country which is ultimately subverted towards the end as Macbeth is only fighting for himself, and his survival. The verb 'unseamed' further emphasises Macbeth's violence for killing, describing it as almost he enjoys being out on the battle field where he can show his power and capability to be fierce and violent. This can also suggest the reasons why the witches picked on Macbeth to be manipulated. The fact that he acts upon immense and graphic violence shows to the witches how capable Macbeth will be at murdering the king and further the thanes later in the play.
Furthermore, Macbeth's violence on the battle field is also presented as ruthless and unscrupulous for, the fact that the battle is seen as a 'bloody execution' shows to the audience how the Norwegians did not have any chance against him. As if it was only an execution that Macbeth could enjoy. This could be seen as a recurring motif throughout the play as Macbeth almost 'executes' anyone that would get in his way of him, showing how much of a vicious killer he is. The imagery of 'unseamed' also shows the speed at which Macbeth is killing his enemies, showing signs of power and professionalism. Making his downfall as a whole more effective as him, a thane very close to Duncan, ends by betraying him in a horrific manner.
Furthermore, in the soliloquy of Macbeth's dilemma, he describes his brain to be 'heat oppressed' as if he is being controlled by an unspoken force. The connotations of 'heat' shows how Macbeth's mind is almost being remolded in result of the witches, giving him justification of his 'vaulting ambition' to commit regicide wanting to become the king, even though he still has some sense of him to go against his thoughts that the witches have planted in him. Shakespeare is trying to show how that even the power of the supernatural is not to be played with, indicating a Jacobean audience and King James himself of the power and influence of supernatural, fueling violence in a person.
However, some may argue that Macbeth's violence is fueled by his wife, Lady Macbeth as she uses power from the 'spirits' to 'unsex' her, giving her violence that she can express through Macbeth. The imperative statement 'be the serpent' shows how Lady Macbeth is demanding Macbeth to be evil and malicious, fueling him to build the courage to kill the king. The word 'serpent' shows how connotations of the devil that consumes Macbeth like a disease, ultimately foreshadowing his crimes he commits later in the play. This statement could be a catalyst to Macbeth's hamartia, leading to his tragic downfall.
Thank you :smile:
Good job and also did u do this in timed conditions under 50 mins without your notes and without looking at the question beforehand as the literature papers are very time restricted especially paper 2.

My Feedback:-

I really like your introduction. However, you have spelt wrong, you've written 'recentley' and 'battlefeild', this is probably a typo but make sure your spelling is perfect as AO4 is easy marks for SPAG. So, I would recommend proof-reading your answer if you have spare time left.

Paragraph 1 - Why might Shakespeare pick Macbeth to be fooled by the witches, What does this show about his masculinity and violence. So more patriarchal context, shakespeare's view and how it makes the audience feel could come up in that too.

Good use of key terms, more context could come.
EBI - Pls reference the extract of Captain, you could use quotes like 'Brave macbeth he deserves that name' from the extract and link to violence
WWW- a lot of students forget evaluation if necessary and forget thinking a little bit about this question as almost language paper 1 question 4. You have demonstrated that Macbeth is violent. AND in your last paragraph, you explored the extent of this and how maybe he's not that violent as he follows Lady Macbeth so she's more violent and manipulative. For that, think about why Shakespeare had done that giving a lady power patriarchy could come in again, and how audience would feel about this.

AO1 - 8/12. 'reference extract more and Shakespeare's purpose'
AO2 - 10/12 focus on 'meanings for everything you say'
AO3 - 3/6 'more context on some of your points with audience in mind'

Overall - 21/30 Grade 7 (level 5)
Hey, you can easily get a 7 or 8 in this just reference extract more, context and meanings of AO2, and audience's response.
Reply 2
Thank you so much for the feedback, yes I did do it under timed conditions it took me around 57 minutes to complete so I might need to work on my speed a little more. I did go through all my flashcards and analysis beforehand, but i didnt know extactly what the question was going to be about. The typos were just typos though 🤣
Thank you again, this really helped 🙂
Original post by Secky
Thank you so much for the feedback, yes I did do it under timed conditions it took me around 57 minutes to complete so I might need to work on my speed a little more. I did go through all my flashcards and analysis beforehand, but i didnt know extactly what the question was going to be about. The typos were just typos though 🤣
Thank you again, this really helped 🙂

No problem If you need any help with your 19th century novel, I'm happy to help
Reply 4
Original post by revision52
No problem If you need any help with your 19th century novel, I'm happy to help

Hi, Im not sure if you will get this reply, but I have just practice a question on christmas carol. Its this 2019 question again on how Dickens uses the ghosts to help scrooge change his attitudes.
Do you have any feedback?

A 'Christmas Carol' is a political diatribe, highlighting the needs from poverty to live a healthy, fair life. Dickens uses Scrooge as a construct for Capitalist Society in Victorian England. Through the help of the Supernatural, Dickens highlights the importance of equality across Victorian London, treating the poverty like a 'second father' instead of ignoring their existence, eradicating the idea of Malthusianism and the poor law and otherwise helping the destitute through charity, understanding, and kindness.

At the beginning of the novella, Scrooge views the poor to be a waste of space and that they should be sent to 'prisons' and 'workhouses'. While talking to the portly gentlemen, Scrooge finds that he would rather watch the poor 'die' and 'decrease the surplus population', juxtaposing massively with Dickens view on society. The emotive language shows how Scrooge has been influenced by capitalism that every man should look after themselves, treating the poor as inhuman creatures that he has no responsibility over. Due to Scrooge's miserable, closed view on society, Dickens uses the supernatural to act as a opportunity to redemption. The gothic genre of the ghosts conveys to readers how if your attitude is similar to Scrooge's, you may well be punished by the supernatural, putting fear into a capitalist reader, encouraging them to change their ways just like Scrooge did.

Furthermore, Dickens uses Marley's Ghost as a warning to Scrooge, showing eternal punishment he would receive if he does not change. Marley is described as 'wearing chains' he 'forged in life' which as a reader we know he did selfish deeds just like Scrooge because he was his business partner. The noun 'chain' symbolises all of Marley's moral crimes that he committed during life that might not have given him punishment then, but has now made him suffer now. The fact that they were 'full and heavy... seven Christmases Eves ago' emphasises to Scrooge that his chains will be heavier, weighing him down in the afterlife more than Marley. Dickens is trying to teach the readers how change and appreciation is important to everybody, including the poor, conveying how moral crimes will haunt you for the rest of eternity, being trapped by your own arrogance and guilt later in life.

In addition, Dickens uses the Ghost of Christmas Past to shine light on Scrooge's old memories, making him view himself from different perspectives, trying to get him to feel remorse. The Ghost shows Scrooge's broken engagement with Belle and how that 'another idol has displaced' her. An idol for money and greed that Scrooge worshipped as a God. As Scrooge watches himself he finally sees the magnitude of sadness Belle received, acting as Scrooge's turning point from romantic love for people, to materialistic love for money and power. Showing his ultimate desire and Freud's idea of want. Making him choose wrong decisions, affecting his future massivley. Dickens wants us as a reader to realise how people need to start being aware of society more, protesting & sympathizing with others and being self-aware of your actions that may well impact your life. This could be through by not ignoring the poor and helping the poverty.

Dickens also uses the apparition of two young malnourished children, 'Ignorance' and 'Want'. Representing how society has failed to protect the most vulnerable group in society, children. Ignorance is shown to Scrooge highlighting how the capitalist society is blind to the struggles of lower classes, and he is only benefiting the wealthy like Scrooge. Dickens wants to eradicate the ignorance of poverty, bring better attention to it, highlighting the terrible conditions they have to withstand in a wealthy orientated society. This ignorance creates want, symbolizing a lack of basic needs for a person like Food and Water. Connoting how society is diseased in such a way that people believe that food cannot be spread equally.

Thank you 🙂
Original post by Secky
Hi, Im not sure if you will get this reply, but I have just practice a question on christmas carol. Its this 2019 question again on how Dickens uses the ghosts to help scrooge change his attitudes.
Do you have any feedback?
A 'Christmas Carol' is a political diatribe, highlighting the needs from poverty to live a healthy, fair life. Dickens uses Scrooge as a construct for Capitalist Society in Victorian England. Through the help of the Supernatural, Dickens highlights the importance of equality across Victorian London, treating the poverty like a 'second father' instead of ignoring their existence, eradicating the idea of Malthusianism and the poor law and otherwise helping the destitute through charity, understanding, and kindness.
At the beginning of the novella, Scrooge views the poor to be a waste of space and that they should be sent to 'prisons' and 'workhouses'. While talking to the portly gentlemen, Scrooge finds that he would rather watch the poor 'die' and 'decrease the surplus population', juxtaposing massively with Dickens view on society. The emotive language shows how Scrooge has been influenced by capitalism that every man should look after themselves, treating the poor as inhuman creatures that he has no responsibility over. Due to Scrooge's miserable, closed view on society, Dickens uses the supernatural to act as a opportunity to redemption. The gothic genre of the ghosts conveys to readers how if your attitude is similar to Scrooge's, you may well be punished by the supernatural, putting fear into a capitalist reader, encouraging them to change their ways just like Scrooge did.
Furthermore, Dickens uses Marley's Ghost as a warning to Scrooge, showing eternal punishment he would receive if he does not change. Marley is described as 'wearing chains' he 'forged in life' which as a reader we know he did selfish deeds just like Scrooge because he was his business partner. The noun 'chain' symbolises all of Marley's moral crimes that he committed during life that might not have given him punishment then, but has now made him suffer now. The fact that they were 'full and heavy... seven Christmases Eves ago' emphasises to Scrooge that his chains will be heavier, weighing him down in the afterlife more than Marley. Dickens is trying to teach the readers how change and appreciation is important to everybody, including the poor, conveying how moral crimes will haunt you for the rest of eternity, being trapped by your own arrogance and guilt later in life.
In addition, Dickens uses the Ghost of Christmas Past to shine light on Scrooge's old memories, making him view himself from different perspectives, trying to get him to feel remorse. The Ghost shows Scrooge's broken engagement with Belle and how that 'another idol has displaced' her. An idol for money and greed that Scrooge worshipped as a God. As Scrooge watches himself he finally sees the magnitude of sadness Belle received, acting as Scrooge's turning point from romantic love for people, to materialistic love for money and power. Showing his ultimate desire and Freud's idea of want. Making him choose wrong decisions, affecting his future massivley. Dickens wants us as a reader to realise how people need to start being aware of society more, protesting & sympathizing with others and being self-aware of your actions that may well impact your life. This could be through by not ignoring the poor and helping the poverty.
Dickens also uses the apparition of two young malnourished children, 'Ignorance' and 'Want'. Representing how society has failed to protect the most vulnerable group in society, children. Ignorance is shown to Scrooge highlighting how the capitalist society is blind to the struggles of lower classes, and he is only benefiting the wealthy like Scrooge. Dickens wants to eradicate the ignorance of poverty, bring better attention to it, highlighting the terrible conditions they have to withstand in a wealthy orientated society. This ignorance creates want, symbolizing a lack of basic needs for a person like Food and Water. Connoting how society is diseased in such a way that people believe that food cannot be spread equally.
Thank you 🙂

could you pls attach the extract? Also i have a tip for you and everyone doing the exam tomorrow. Write 4 paragraphs for Macbeth and 4 paragraphs for A Christmas Carol, so after the 1 hr 45 mins exam walk out with 8 paragraphs..
So, write 2 paragraphs on the extract for both your texts, and 2 paragraphs on the rest of the text.

So,
Macbeth - 2 paragraphs on given extract + 2 paragraphs on rest of the play
A Christmas Carol - 2 paragraphs on given extract + 2 paragraphs on rest of the novella

If you have spare time, add your introductions and conclusions but not necessary
Original post by Secky
Hi, Im not sure if you will get this reply, but I have just practice a question on christmas carol. Its this 2019 question again on how Dickens uses the ghosts to help scrooge change his attitudes.
Do you have any feedback?
A 'Christmas Carol' is a political diatribe, highlighting the needs from poverty to live a healthy, fair life. Dickens uses Scrooge as a construct for Capitalist Society in Victorian England. Through the help of the Supernatural, Dickens highlights the importance of equality across Victorian London, treating the poverty like a 'second father' instead of ignoring their existence, eradicating the idea of Malthusianism and the poor law and otherwise helping the destitute through charity, understanding, and kindness.
At the beginning of the novella, Scrooge views the poor to be a waste of space and that they should be sent to 'prisons' and 'workhouses'. While talking to the portly gentlemen, Scrooge finds that he would rather watch the poor 'die' and 'decrease the surplus population', juxtaposing massively with Dickens view on society. The emotive language shows how Scrooge has been influenced by capitalism that every man should look after themselves, treating the poor as inhuman creatures that he has no responsibility over. Due to Scrooge's miserable, closed view on society, Dickens uses the supernatural to act as a opportunity to redemption. The gothic genre of the ghosts conveys to readers how if your attitude is similar to Scrooge's, you may well be punished by the supernatural, putting fear into a capitalist reader, encouraging them to change their ways just like Scrooge did.
Furthermore, Dickens uses Marley's Ghost as a warning to Scrooge, showing eternal punishment he would receive if he does not change. Marley is described as 'wearing chains' he 'forged in life' which as a reader we know he did selfish deeds just like Scrooge because he was his business partner. The noun 'chain' symbolises all of Marley's moral crimes that he committed during life that might not have given him punishment then, but has now made him suffer now. The fact that they were 'full and heavy... seven Christmases Eves ago' emphasises to Scrooge that his chains will be heavier, weighing him down in the afterlife more than Marley. Dickens is trying to teach the readers how change and appreciation is important to everybody, including the poor, conveying how moral crimes will haunt you for the rest of eternity, being trapped by your own arrogance and guilt later in life.
In addition, Dickens uses the Ghost of Christmas Past to shine light on Scrooge's old memories, making him view himself from different perspectives, trying to get him to feel remorse. The Ghost shows Scrooge's broken engagement with Belle and how that 'another idol has displaced' her. An idol for money and greed that Scrooge worshipped as a God. As Scrooge watches himself he finally sees the magnitude of sadness Belle received, acting as Scrooge's turning point from romantic love for people, to materialistic love for money and power. Showing his ultimate desire and Freud's idea of want. Making him choose wrong decisions, affecting his future massivley. Dickens wants us as a reader to realise how people need to start being aware of society more, protesting & sympathizing with others and being self-aware of your actions that may well impact your life. This could be through by not ignoring the poor and helping the poverty.
Dickens also uses the apparition of two young malnourished children, 'Ignorance' and 'Want'. Representing how society has failed to protect the most vulnerable group in society, children. Ignorance is shown to Scrooge highlighting how the capitalist society is blind to the struggles of lower classes, and he is only benefiting the wealthy like Scrooge. Dickens wants to eradicate the ignorance of poverty, bring better attention to it, highlighting the terrible conditions they have to withstand in a wealthy orientated society. This ignorance creates want, symbolizing a lack of basic needs for a person like Food and Water. Connoting how society is diseased in such a way that people believe that food cannot be spread equally.
Thank you 🙂

Hey, till I wait for the extract pls read through this thoroughly to maximise your mark in the exam tomorrow. It's what the Assessment Objectives are and what gains you marks, so you don't add irrelevant stuff.

AO1:-
*your essay should be around 500-750 words*

I generally recommend having a good structure for your essay. If you're good working in timed conditions, for example on the literature paper 1 exam (the extract paper), you get 1 hr 45 mins to answer 2 questions. So, that means you can spend 52 mins on Macbeth and 52 mins on A Christmas Carol. I recommend planning before u start writing your answer for 5-7 mins and 45 min writing time for both sections.

30 mark DREAM structure as follows:- Introduction (thesis statement), Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 (on extract), Paragraph 3 and Paragraph 4 (on rest of the play/novella), Conclusion. It's important to refer to extract (2 paragraphs) and rest of play/novella (2 paragraphs) to get a balance argument

It's important to be focused on the question throughout and not going into a different idea or theme which isn't relevant to the question as that will gain no marks even if it's amazing ideas but simply not what the question is asking. To avoid this, you can use wording of question at all times, for example if the question is on how Macbeth is a violent character Use the word 'violent' throughout. Also, this is sometimes similar to language paper 1 question 4 if relevant. So, if the question is on Macbeth being violent. Write extract and wider play paragraphs which show Macbeth is violent. But in your rest of the play paragraph you can argue the extent of this and how maybe Macbeth isn't as violent as maybe Lady Macbeth who manipulates him, and then talk about patriarchy and why Shakespeare did this and audience response.

AO2

Analyse language (similar to english language paper 1 question 2, or paper 2 question3), Structure (language paper 1 question 3) ,and form/structure

(If you're aiming for grade 7-9, do not start with the extract, write your essay chronologically, so if the extract is from Act 4. Write paragraphs from rest of the play first chronologically from the beginning and when you get to Act 4, reference the extract).

But to get marks you need to talk about how language and structural features create meanings. YOU always need to mention Why SHAKESPEARE/DICKENS is doing this , WHY is he crafting the play like this and has these characters in this way, how the AUDIENCE (the effect on audience, their response) will feel.

AO3

Context which is only worth 6 marks. But how does context influence Shakespeare's ideas and his writing.

AO4

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar and Terminology (e.g. using words such as antithesis or hamartia) and vocabulary (e.g. to describe Scrooge you could say words such as ostracisation instead of isolation)

Sorry, just saw this hope your Macbeth and A Christmas Carol answer went good today
Reply 10
Original post by revision52
Sorry, just saw this hope your Macbeth and A Christmas Carol answer went good today

The questions were brilliant, thanks for all the help !

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