In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the opening sequence is very effective because it shows numerous techniques which helps to understand the text further on in the play. Shakespeare uses many different contrasting characters, imagery, themes and a different style of language. The play also holds the readers attention well.
The characters in the opening sequence re contrasting and have a relationship between each other. The first characters the audience is introduced to is the three witches. The witches are dark, evil, supernatural characters. We can tell that they are evil and supernatural by some of the dialogue. When Banquo says "Live you, or are you aught that man may question?" he fears that these beings are evil spirits yet they are associated with evilness. Duncan, the king of Scotland contrasts greatly from the witches. The king, associated with God because in the sixteen hundred when this play is set they believed that God chose and placed the king on earth. King Duncan who is old and frail has not gone to battle with his men. This can show that he is feeble and also a weak king. This contrasts again from Macbeth, who is already mentioned in the first scene by the witches and also again in scene two by the captain. The first impression we get from this is that Macbeth is "Brave" and later "Noble". This makes the audience believe that he is loyal to his country and Duncan which we find out is ironic and also foreshadowing.
Imagery plays a big part in the opening sequence as well. The imagery of clothing is used. The first sense of this clothing imagery is when Macbeth says "Why do you dress me in borrowed robes?" This imagery is used because it shows the audience how the prophecies made by the witches are laid out for him. When Macbeth is given the title "Thane of Cawdor" by the king for is good deeds he asks the messenger why because the "Thane of Cawdor" title does not belong to him, but to someone else and has been borrowed and he has to wear that title, which can be substituted for the clothing imagery in this case a robe.