The Spectacle In Macbeth

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Oxford dictionary defines the word “play” in relation to theatre as “a dramatic composition which is represented or performed in a theatrical performance or film” . Also known as drama, a play is principally meant to be performed on stage rather than be read as it brings a more active form of presentation. It also “provides an extra dimension of dynamism as the readers can visualise the characters enacting the dialogue and action of the play while the audience can see the actors perform live on stage” (Tutorial notes-Unit 1, 2017). As a short story or novel, a play especially tragedy, according to Aristotle (384-322 BC) contained six vital elements. It includes (in order of importance) the plot, character, theme, language, rhythm and spectacle . Though ranked as the least important element of theatre , spectacle comprises everything that is heard and seen in a play which greatly contributes to the enjoyment of the audience.

A key element of the spectacle is the décor. Also known as the theatrical scenery, it comprises of anything that is displayed on stage. In the Tragedy of Macbeth, by making use of castle, King, Queen and soldiers Shakespeare tries to reproduce on stage the actual scenery of the Elizabethan period along with its supernatural beliefs that existed at that time. It is supposed that in Act One Scene 1, the audience is introduced to the witches with “fog and filthy air [which] could have been created by burning resin below the stage” and that they would made
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