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Discuss the importance of Act 2, Scene 2 to the play Macbeth.

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Introduction

*Shakespeare Coursework...* *Discuss the importance of Act 2, Scene 2 to the play...* Having killed Duncan, Macbeth is standing in his courtyard with Lady Macbeth. He is in as state of shock at the heinous crime he has just committed. In the era which Macbeth was set in, loyalty to your King, guests and kinsmen is very important. He proved to be disloyal in all three relations. Lady Macbeth tries to console him as his shock turns to hysteria; she firsts praises him and when that fails she taunts and insults him. Macbeth ignores her and continues to be lost in the thought of his deed. In lines 47 and 48 Lady Macbeth praises Macbeth for being a "worthy Thane" and having "noble strength". She does this in hope to revive him back to reality. This is also said to build his confidence and encourage him to forget what he has done. This implies that Lady Macbeth approves of the murder . She then becomes impatient with his stubbornness and starts ordering him about. She uses imperatives such as; "Go get some water..." and "Go carry them...". ...read more.

Middle

In line 59 Lady Macbeth makes a nervous joke, saying she will "gild the faces of the grooms... for it must seem their guilt". The reason behind this comment maybe because she is trying to hide her agitation or uneasiness. She then leaves to place the daggers by the "sleepy grooms". In line 60-66 there is a knocking at the gate. This a significant event in the scene especially for the audience . It creates a tense atmosphere because there is a risk of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth being discovered. The knocking, from a dramatic point of view, could come in a little later after Lady Macbeth's departure when Macbeth is on his own in complete silence; it could therefore be used to break this and add even more tension to the scene. The knocking also startles Macbeth, indeed "every noise appals him". He is also shocked at the sight of his hand. He questions: "What hands are here? Ha: they pluck out mine eyes"; he believes that his hands are so hideous to look at that they blind him. This shows a characteristic in Macbeth that is not perceived before. ...read more.

Conclusion

He clearly regrets the murder and believes that at the thought of his crime it was better that he didn't know his past; he was Thane of Cawdor and Glamis, a brave soldier and loyal servant to the king. This all makes the crime more ghastly because he knew and respected Duncan. Then after the last knocking Macbeth says "Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou couldst." This line could indicate Macbeth's hysteria if it were spoken loudly. It would then appear to the audience that Macbeth is unaware of the consequences of their capture. In this scene we learn a lot about Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's character and their relationship as husband and wife. Already we can see that Duncan's murder has had a negative effect on them especially on Lady Macbeth. She insults Macbeth and loses all respect for him. The consequences of their act also affects them in the long run; Lady Macbeth becomes mentally unstable which influences her death and Macbeth becomes so eager to keep his title that it leads him to the murder of his bests friend; Banquo. This scene, therefore, has huge significance to the rest of the play; it is where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth commit a crime which has a horrendous impact on the rest of their lives. ...read more.

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