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The First Scene of Macbeth

The first scene is very short, but full of impact. The thunder and lightning alone give it a dramatic opening, which grabs the interest of the audience, as it is representative of evil. These dramatic sound effects help to set the eerie and supernatural atmosphere that Shakespeare wanted to create along with the witches. Instead of seeing Macbeth, Shakespeare’s audience is faced with three weird-looking women. The witches introduce us to a dark, dangerous play, in which the theme of evil is central. The witches say little but we learn a lot about them.

The mood of the play is set here, although the action doesn’t start until the next scene. The presence of supernatural forces in the opening of ‘Macbeth’ provides for much of the play’s dramatic tension and the mounting suspense. ‘When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or rain?’ This is the opening line. It immediately draws the audience and captures their imagination, as the supernatural world fascinated people in Elizabethan England. At the time the play was first performed and at the time that Shakespeare was writing it, witchcraft was a great enemy, people became captivated by these peculiar, suspicious witches. Witch – hunts took place and many people were convicted of being witches and were executed. The witches fit in with the stereotypical perception of witches of that time, including use of familiars like Graymalkin and Paddock.

The use of the paranormal occurs at the beginning, with three witches explaining that they will meet Macbeth. ‘When the battle’s lost and won.’ The audience have yet to find out what the battle is, however they know that the battle is won by one side and lost by another. Macbeth’s fate is that he will win the battle, but will lose the battle for his soul. We have come in at the end of the witches meeting, just as they are arranging their next appointment before their familiar spirits call them into the fog and filthy air.

From the beginning we can tell that the witches can foretell the future, and are creating some unpleasant magic, which is to involve Macbeth. This creates suspense for the audience, wandering what is going to happen next. The fact that the witches want to meet Macbeth should raise some suspicion in the audience. The witches first mention Macbeth in the eighth line, when they explain that they will meet Macbeth upon the heath.

Free Grapes of Wrath Essays: Steinbeck’s Style

Analysis of Style of The Grapes Of Wrath

John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath is a moving novel, full of richly metaphorical language. His writing style often evokes deep emotions, as it does in the passage reprinted below, by creating a clear picture in your mind of what he’s trying to say. In this selection, he enforces a strong image in the reader’s mind: you cannot escape your past, which will be with you no matter where you go or what you do. This message is enforced through a combination of wit and style in his writing that is rarely found among literary works.

But you can’t start. Only a baby can start. You and me—why, we’re all that’s been. That anger of a moment, the thousand pictures, that’s us. This land, this red land, is us; and the flood years and the drought years are us. We can’t start again. The bitterness we sold to the junk man—he got it all right, but we have it still. And when the owner man told us to go, that’s us; and when the tractor hit the house, that’s us until we’re dead. To California or any place—every one a drum major leading a parade of hurts, marching with our bitterness. And some day—the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they’ll all walk together and there’ll be a dead terror from it. (ch. 9, p. 11)

An important point that Steinbeck tries to deliver is the significance of memory. “The bitterness we sold to the junk man—he got it all right, but we have it still.” Despite having rid themselves of the physical presence of reminders of past woes, the mental image and pain still remain. Just because there isn’t anything around to provide evidence of something happening doesn’t mean that it will go away. “You and me—why, we’re all that’s been,” he wrote—people are defined by their experiences as memories, not by what is around them. One’s character is shaped from within, by his mind and his thoughts, not what he surrounds himself with in the external world.

Steinbeck’s word choice has a very significant impact on the effectiveness of his writing. By using words and phrases like “junk man,” “dead terror,” and the repetition of the words “bitterness” and “dead,” he drives his point home in a very matter-of-fact sort of way.

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