In 1564 a law came into force making murder by witchcraft punishable by death in Scotland alone 8,000 witches were burned to death between 1564 and 1603. In 1604 an additional law was passed in Scotland, which declared that anyone found guilty of practising witchcraft should be executed James 1 himself became personally involved with witchcraft when he and his wife were almost ship wrecked on their return to Scotland from Denmark in 1590 Dr Fian and the “witches of Berwick” were found guilty of trying to kill them by raising storms at sea.
Jacobeans believed that the whole universe had an order to it, which was decided by Gog. Unnatural was against this divine order. Satan had rebelled against God directly, and he was responsible, through witches and evil spirits. In the theatre in Shakespeare day there would have been heavens, which is the roof above the stage where actors could be lowered to the stage during the play. There also would have been doors, which were used by actors. There would have been standing space where some of the audience would have been. There would be a gallery, which, would have been used for action on an upper level.
There would be Inner Stage Curtained area could be opened up to show a new scene The theatre would have been in the open, so if it rained you couldn’t do anything, you could leave at any time, you could watch without paying from a long distance off where the play is taking part. The stage effects like thunder would have sounded real. But there were no stage effects so you had to use your imagination. It was a very popular thing. Arrive an hour before the play started get food and drinks. They paid a penny to get in and another to get a seat.
There was no painted scenery they had to use their imagination. The actors had to speak very loud because there were no microphones and the audience could be very loud and enthusiastic. In Mac Beth Shakespeare effectively uses rhythm such as ‘When the hurlyburly’s done, when the battles lost and won’. This is iambic tetrameter is sounds unusual and makes the witches sound different it makes me think that the witches are saying a spell or a chant. Shakespeare also uses rhyming couplets such as ‘When shall we three meet again, in thunder, lighting or in rain.
This also makes the witches sound like they’re saying a spell or a chant. Shakespeare also uses the device of alliteration with examples such as ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’, which makes the witches sound evil because of the ‘f’ been a harsh sound. It makes them sound like they’re saying a spell or a chant. Shakespeare uses repetition in the play like ‘I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do. ‘ This suggests that the witches are confirming what they are saying. She will take revenge. The number 3 is regarded as a magic number.
Shakespeare uses the device of paradox with examples such as ‘Fair/foul’ this shows the presence of evil and the influence of Satan over the witches this also makes the witches sound unusual and different. Shakespeare also uses a metaphor with examples such as ‘When the battles lost and won’ which makes the witches seem like they can tell the future, there predicting what is going to happen. It is confusing and sounds negative. Shakespeare also uses extended metaphors such as “seed of time” which gives a figurative idea of growing up in time the seeds are representing the witches getting more power in the world.
The appearance of the witches for example “choppy finger” suggests that the witches are different and unusual The actions of the witches like conjuring storms are the witches unleashing of evil. When the witches vanish says that they disappeared because Satan called them or maybe they had to meet someone. In a modern society the play could be presented on terrorism and not witchcraft, the music be more quick and modern. The setting could be in the city like New York. When the witches meet it was in a baron place in the BBC version in act 1 scene 1 it could be in a flat in a modern version.
Shakespeare used language, like he predicted the future, rhyming couplets, which would have brought a supernatural effect. The witches vanishing would have been strange. The setting been baron would have brought a supernatural feel to the Jacobean audience. This has been effective because Shakespeare not only wrote he got a lot of detail and use effects like rhythm, rhyming couplets, alliteration, repetition paradox he has figurative, aural and Emotive effects which bring the reader more into the story.