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Discuss how Shakespeare creates a sense of suspense and dramatic tension in Macbeth from the beginning of the of the play until Act 2 Scene 2

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Introduction

Discuss how Shakespeare creates a sense of suspense and dramatic tension in Macbeth from the beginning of the of the play until Act 2 Scene 2 Shakespeare wrote Macbeth 400 years ago. The themes of, upset, false appearance and illusion, the riddles are caught up and reflected in the wording of the play to heighten and improve the total impression that Shakespeare gives off. He used dramatic tension in this play to make it more frightening and realistic. He used poetic language and rhyme to create this. It would stay in the audience heads, when it was in rhyme, and stand out as he could not use special effects in the fifteen hundreds, like we can today, so he had to do it through his writing. Shakespeare's uses appearance verses reality a lot through The Play Macbeth, to portray Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as being nice and courteous on top, but really be wicked underneath this is brought up a good deal throughout the play. He would use the super natural and violence instead of special effects. He used the super natural like witches in his plays because people then were very superstitious and believed that witches had great powers. When the actors would chant on stage for a spell, the audience might believe something could actually happen which would create tension. If something bad or evil was about to happen it would go dark which is scary and if it suddenly went light the audience would no someone good was coming e.g. Banquo. He would use very short and course language to shock the audience in the right places. King James was interested in witches, so he wrote something that would appeal to the king. Also it was about the murder of the king which James the 1st would of enjoyed, because it shows the consequences of what happen if you dare betray a king and in Shakespearean times it was known as killing someone who was appointed by god. ...read more.

Middle

`Come to my women's breast and take my milk for gall` means breast feeding is supposed to be a lovely natural thing for a women to do and is saying instead that she wants to feed evil. `Come thick night and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark to cry hold, hold`, this is saying she wants the dark to cover up hell and doesn't want heaven to show her dark thoughts he personifies heaven as a person in this quote. In this play Lady Macbeth is a horrible person, she uses very harsh words that would effect the audience and cause tension. They will think when lady Macbeth is calling upon evil spirits that she must be a truly evil person, as the supernatural was considered to be very dangerous and people took it really seriously. Shakespeare uses very sharp wording in this scene, that would shock an audience of that time. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are going to act nice and kind in front of other people so that no one suspects their evil thoughts. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth will appear nice, but in reality be plotting to kill Duncan. At the end of this scene Lady Macbeth says `To alter favour ever is to fear leave the rest to me`. This adds excitement and suspense as the audience wonders what she is going to do. In Act One scene Six Lady Macbeth is putting the plan of appearance verses reality into action. King Duncan arrives at the castle where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are kind and hospitable so not to show any hint of their plan. In Act One scene Seven half of this scene is a soliloquy, often when performing this in a theatre, the stage would be all around the audience, so the actor wouldn't have to speak so loudly and the audience can see his expressions. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience might reckon he is going to turn himself in and get excited. Next there is a knocking at the front door to the castle. This causes outstanding tension the audiences now thinks they are definitely caught and are on the edge of their seats with anticipation. The knocking continues `whence is that knocking? How is't with me, when every noise appals me? ` The suspense rises, as they are still in their clothes that are covered in blood `My hands are of your colour; but I shame to wear a heart so white. I hear knocking at the south entry. Retire we to our chamber. A little water will clear us of this deed` they quickly go to their chamber to change into their night-clothes. This causes dramatic tension, as they are so close to getting caught. In the end of this scene Macbeth says `Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would though couldst`, this just adds to the last of Macbeths lie and the audience are left in suspense till the next scene to see whether they get caught. Conclusion I conclude that out of all the evidence I have put forward, that Shakespeare's main dramatic techniques are his language, sentence and word structure that he uses very well throughout the play. This makes it more exciting for the audience, as they did not have special effects then, thus he has to do it through his writing, so the audience can understand and imagine, which he does very effectively in the Acts and scenes that we studied. Him using the supernatural was a really good idea, as that is what appealed to King James and the audience at that period of time. It also scared them and kept them on the edge of their seats. The witches and supernatural in this play make it what it is and is a very important part because most of the suspense and tension is based on that. ...read more.

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