• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Act 2 Scene 2 is packed with tension. Shakespeare creates this tension in a variety of ways. The first way in which Shakespeare does this is by opening the scene with Lady Macbeth's soliloquy.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

17/12/09 Heba Shaikh English Literature Coursework Act 2 Scene 2 is packed with tension. Shakespeare creates this tension in a variety of ways. The first way in which Shakespeare does this is by opening the scene with Lady Macbeth's soliloquy. This is one example of Shakespeare's techniques used to create tension and excitement, for he uses many other dramatic devices and dialogue. Shakespeare carries on the tension by having only two characters on stage because it amplifies and exaggerates on their emotion which creates tension. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both have a similar evil spirit, which is revealed throughout the second act. Lady Macbeth is much more wicked and cruel than her husband. The tension increases dramatically when we see Lady Macbeth pacing about in a nervous but excited state, awaiting Macbeth's return increases the tension dramatically. In Act 2, scene 2, the murder of King Duncan takes place. The audience should be on the edge of their seats by now, wondering if Macbeth will actually have the nerve to murder king Duncan. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth appears to be losing his mind, whilst Lady Macbeth remains evil, cold, calculating and in control. The audience is scared of what's going to happen to Macbeth when the thanes discover that king Duncan is dead. The close relationship between the audience and Macbeth makes us feel the anxiety that Macbeth is feeling. This scene creates anticipation and dramatic tension among the audience. In addition, tension is created by having the characters keep running on and off stage which creates chaos, agitation and anxiety. The effect of one person just being on the stage is the best way to allow the audience to discover someone's thoughts and feelings by hearing them tell about their inner feelings and motivations. This is true because no one can understand how someone is truly feeling or what someone is thinking without listening to that person. For this reason, William Shakespeare utilizes the tactic of dramatic soliloquies. For example in this quote "Who's there? What ho!" it symbolizes that Macbeth is scared that he might get caught which creates tension because everything was happening very quickly with a lot of chaos. ...read more.

Conclusion

It's given that in the quote "Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep. "It means the voice is telling the world to no longer sleep because it is unsafe - Macbeth is murdering King Duncan while he is sleeping. The voice is also foreshadowing that Macbeth will not be able to sleep in the future because of what he has done. This increases tension because the audiences are now wondering if Macbeth will ever be able to live without guilt. In conclusion, the audiences at the end are concerned for Macbeth. The audience wishes he hasn't killed King Duncan. The audience expects more tension in further scenes. In Act 2 scene 2 it is the most violent and intense part of Macbeth although we do not actually witness the murder of King Duncan. It is interesting that Shakespeare chooses to have Macbeth kill Duncan offstage which creates tension. The audience can only guess why he wrote the scene that way, Shakespeare wanted to focus not on the murder but on Macbeth's reaction to it; the bloody details supplied by the audience's imaginations will be much worse than anything that could be done onstage. In my opinion, making Macbeth unpredictable clearly made the audience more interested which again creates tension. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in act 2 scene 2 of Macbeth?

    5 star(s)

    This makes the audience apprehensive, because already they're wondering what will happen later on, which draws them in even more. Lady Macbeth is irritated and ridicules him for thinking seriously and exaggerating, she says "Why worthy thane, you do unbend your noble strength, to think so brainsickly of things...wash filthy witness from your hand".

  2. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    The uneasy atmosphere in the audience is dissipated when it becomes apparent that the mysterious figure roaming about in the dark is Macbeth. Banquo confides in his friend of why he cannot sleep~ "I dreamt last night of the weird sisters", meaning the three witches that prophesised he and Macbeth's futures.

  1. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in Act 2, scene 2 of Macbeth?

    One example is, "It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman which gives the stern'st goodnight." Shakespeare refers to the owl as the "fatal bellman" because it was the bellman's job to ring the parish bell when a person in the town was to be executed.

  2. In what ways does Shakespeare make the opening scenes of Macbeth dramatic?

    It could also be suggesting that even though Macbeth isn't aware, the witches are already in control of him. Either way, the echo of 'foul and fair' underlies a connection to the witches and their evil characteristics. This possibility of Macbeth being villainous only increases after the witches' prediction of him becoming thane of Cawdor comes true.

  1. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare creates tension and suspense in Act 3 Scene ...

    When Macbeth can see the ghost he obviously feels trapped as he says 'but now I am cabined, cribbed, confined.' This shows us his emotions and that he cannot cope with seeing the ghost as it is a reminder that he ordered his best friend to be murdered.

  2. Macbeth - Imagine you are the director of Act One, Scene Seven - Write ...

    his voluntary return to the witches and his reaction to his wife's death. The witches and their prophecies are the first major influence on Macbeth's actions. Macbeth, Thane of Glamis is content with his position, until the three witches tell him, "hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor, thou shalt be King hereafter."

  1. Macbeth. How Does Shakespeare create tension in Act 2 Scene 1? and Act ...

    Nevertheless, as in the earlier scene with his wife, Macbeth eventually goes mental . The urge to become king is now strong in him. In his final lines, as he ascends to the king's chamber, he imagines himself as Murder itself, cunningly making its way towards its victim.

  2. How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to highlight the state of mind ...

    Macbeth also worries about his own safety when he is king, fearing that he may meet the same fate as Duncan. Also, as he is already looked upon favourably by the lords of Scotland for his valour and courage, he is unwilling to risk his good name.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work