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The wildness of the scenery, the sudden shifting of the situations and characters, the bustle, the expectations excited, are equally extraordinary. From the first entrance of the Witches and the description of them when they meet Macbeth,

L" What are these
So wither'd and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants of th' earth

And yet are on't?”
the mind is prepared for all that follows.

This tragedy is alike distinguished for the lofty imagination it displays, and for the tumultuous vehemence of the action ; and the one is made the moving principle of the other. The overwhelming pressure of preternatural agency urges on the tide of human passion with redoubled force. Macbeth himself appears driven along by the violence of his fate like a vessel drifting before a storm: he reels to and fro like a drunken man; he staggers under the weight of his own purposes and the suggestions of others; he stands at bay with his situation ; and from the superstitious awe and breathless suspense into which the communications of the Weïrd Sisters throw him, is hurried on with daring impatience to verify their predictions, and with impious and bloody hand to tear aside the veil which hides the uncertainty of the future. He is not equal to the struggle with fate When the Queen attempts to disguise her motives for procuring the poison from Cornelius, by saying she means to try its effects on “.creatures not worth the hanging,” his answer conveys at once a tacit reproof of her hypocrisy, and a use. ful lesson of humanity

" Your Highness Shall from this practice but make hard your heart.”.

МАСВЕТН.

“ The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”

Macbeth and Lear, Othello and Hamlet, are usually reckoned Shakespear's four principal tragedies. Lear stands first for the profound intensity of the passion; Macbeth for the wildness of the imagination and the rapidity of the action"; Othello for the progressive interest and powerful alternations of feeling; Hamlet for the refined developement of thought and sentiment. If the force of genius shewn in each of these works is astonishing, their variety is not less so. They are like dif. ferent creations of the same mind, not one of This distinctness and originality is indeed the necessary consequence of truth and nature. Shakespear's genius alone appeared to possess the resources of nature. He is “ your only tra. gedy-maker.” His plays have the force of things upon the mind. What he represents is brought home to the bosom as a part of our experience, implanted in the memory as if we had known the places, persons, and things of which he treats. MACBETH is like a record of a preter. natural and tragical event. It has the rugged severity of an old chronicle with all that the imagination of the poet can engraft upon traditional belief. The castle of Macbeth, round which “ the air smells wooingly,” and where “ the temple-haunting martlet builds," has a real subsistence in the mind; the Weïrd Sisters meet us in person on “ the blasted heath;" the “ air-drawn dagger” 'moves slowly before our eyes; the “gracious Duncan,” the “ bloodboultered Banquo” stand before us; all that passed through the mind of Macbeth passes, without the loss of a tittle, through our's. All that could actually take place, and all that is only possible to be conceived, what was said and what was done, the workings of passion, the spells of magic, are brought before us with the same absolute truth and vividness. Shakespear excelled in the openings of his plays :

The wildness of the scenery, the sudden shifting of the situations and characters, the bustle, the expectations excited, are equally extraordinary. From the first entrance of the Witches and the description of them when they meet Macbeth,

-" What are these
So wither'd and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants of th' earth

And yet are on't ?"
the mind is prepared for all that follows.

This tragedy is alike distinguished for the lofty imagination it displays, and for the tumultuous vehemence of the action; and the one is made the moving principle of the other. The overwhelming pressure of preternatural agency urges on the tide of human passion with redoubled force. Macbeth himself appears driven along by the violence of his fate like a vessel drifting before a storm: he reels to and fro like a drunken man; he staggers under the weight of his own purposes and the suggestions of others; he stands at bay with his situation ; and from the superstitious awe and breathless suspense into which the communications of the Weïrd Sisters throw him, is hurried on with daring impatience to verify their predictions, and with impious and bloody hand to tear aside the veil which hides the uncertainty of the future. He is not equal to the struggle with fate

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