Character, Language, Atmosphere and Irony in Macbeth
What kind of people are the characters in this drama? How can we decide? Characters in Shakespearean drama are judged by (I) their actions; (ii) what others say of them (iii) what they themselves say in public (iv) by what they say in soliloquy, i.e. when thinking aloud or in 'asides'. We tend to judge people by their actions and by what they say in public, but these are not always a true reflection of the real character; people do not always reveal themselves to others, so we can only accept this evidence with reservation. In 'Macbeth' we learn that Duncan has been deceived by the first Thane of Cawdor whom he considered to have been "a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust" yet who was guilty of treason. Again Lady Macbeth's words to Duncan, Act I, Sc. vi "Your servants ever Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt, To make their audit at your highness' pleasure, Still to return your own", are spoken shortly after she has decided that he will be murdered.
Only when they think aloud, (soliloquy), can we accept without reservation what they say. "In soliloquy lies truth". At the same time there are different interpretations of a soliloquy, and have the tone in which it is spoken. It all depends on the reader's attitude. It is a good approach to be open-minded, to attempt to look at both sides of the question, before arriving at a conclusion.
Language In Macbeth
Language is made up of words and sounds; it is concerned with creating effect by producing images and by placing words. It includes syntax, diction and even tone.
Imagery involves the working of the senses, the vivid description of an odour, a melody,