Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, is a complex tragedy driven by the relationships of its characters. While it can appear that Macbeth decides his own actions, staging of this production greatly influences the audience’s perception of Macbeth as a character. Is Macbeth inherently disposed towards evil, or do the witches possess him to do these wicked deeds? In stage productions, the relationship of Macbeth to the three witches influences readings of Macbeth and his status as a sympathetic character. This paper will analyze the link between the witches and Macbeth through the relationship identifiers of verbal similarity and costume in three productions of the play and demonstrate how these two elements define the character of Macbeth for an audience. Relationships define Macbeth and its titular character, and it is the relationship he has with the three witches that casts the most light on his disposition. This relationship is based in Shakespeare’s text and built on repetitive words and poetic devices that appear in the language of both parties. Interpretations of this relationship impact the kind of message the audience receives and the kind of performance they view, ranging from a private supernatural war to a close-to-home struggle against human nature.
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"Sounding and Dressing the Part: Understanding Macbeth through Language and Costume,"
Conversations: A Graduate Student Journal of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology: Vol. 2
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.acu.edu/conversations/vol2/iss1/2