Any moment in the play "Macbeth" when the audience is privy to more pertinent information than one or more characters onstage is an instance of dramatic irony. An example is when King Duncan exhibits a positive outlook upon arriving at Inverness, where the audience already knows he will be murdered. Shakespeare Online posits that this play is exceptional for its pervasive use of dramatic irony.Know More
Another example of dramatic irony with King Duncan is when he expresses trust for Macbeth in act one, scene four, having no idea that Macbeth is going to kill him. This same scenario elicits dramatic irony from the character of Lady Macbeth when, two scenes later, she affects a genteel and formalized language in welcoming the king, after the audience has just heard her ruthlessly plotting his death with Macbeth in the scene prior.
In this way, Shakespeare throws his characters' flaws into sharper relief. The errors the characters make along the way stand out all the more when the audience is aware of their impending doom. Knowing what is coming when the characters do not creates feelings of suspense, sympathy, fear, disbelief or even anger in the audience. This heightens the emotional experience of the play and creates dramatic irony.Learn more about Plays
Although opinions differ in the analysis of character roles in William Shakespeare's tragedy "Macbeth," one primary view states that Macduff is a heroic antagonist because he is opposed to the tragic protagonist Macbeth. However, a case can be made that Macbeth is both a protagonist and an antagonist.Full Answer >
Scholars believe Shakespeare wrote "Macbeth" to entertain and win the approval of King James I. Shakespeare's troupe, originally "The Lord Chamberlain's Men," changed its name to "The King's Men" to honor the new Scottish king upon his ascension to the throne. They first performed in this work in 1606 at Hampton Court Palace for James and his guests.Full Answer >
"Macbeth" follows the title character's ill-fated journey from a comfortable position as a prominent soldier to that of a murderous king who is killed shortly after taking the throne. This is a classic tale of greed, ego, morality and the dangers of lust for power.Full Answer >
Events in "Macbeth" like the prophecy of the witches, floating dagger and the ghost of Banquo are supernatural in nature. These supernatural events serve as symbols in service of the larger themes of the play of ambition and masculinity.Full Answer >