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 in 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 >
"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 >
"Macbeth" is considered a tragedy because of the dark themes that the Shakespearean play explores. Greed, lies, betrayal and murder all occur in the story and serve to tear a family, and consequently an entire kingdom, apart. Although the title of the play refers to the Scottish general Macbeth, the character of Lady Macbeth is widely considered the most-memorable and tragic figure in the story.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 >