Macbeth - Setting

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  • Created by: eh_knight
  • Created on: 31-01-16 14:40



  • Act 1 Scene 1 - Pathetic fallacy: thunder and lightning. Dark and ominous opening foreshadows dramatic events. Nature is not in harmony, thus what is about to happen will not be in harmony. 
  • Violation in natural order (which the witches represent) symbolises political and social unrest; e.g/ terrible storms rage on the night of Duncan’s murder.
  • “Fog and filthy air.” (1.1.13) - liminal state. Inability to see clearly, deception, everything is not as it seems.
  • Thunder = always associated with the witches. Uneasy, dark side to nature. Banquo states that the witches are elemental (of the earth) because when they disappear he says “The earth hath bubbles.” (1.3.77)
  • As in other Shakespearian tragedies, Macbeth’s murder spree if accompanied by a number of unnatural occurrences in the natural realm.
  • Act 4 Scene 1, witches enter with thunder and a cauldron. Uneasy setting, ominous and dark. Cauldron…




Here are a few notes on Setting in Macbeth, I hope they can come in handy!



Really helpful, thank you!

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