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Examine the dramatic importance of Act 2 Scene 2

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Introduction

Adam Burrows Examine the dramatic importance of Act 2 Scene 2 Scene two starts off stage with Macbeth murdering King Duncan. Lady Macbeth's soliloquy at the start of scene two helps us to visualise the scene of the murder, she tell us "that which hath made them drunk hath made me bold. " The audience should be on the edge of their seats by now, wondering if Macbeth will actually have the nerve to murder his king. Lady Macbeth drugs the guards and takes their daggers. She then lays them ready for Macbeth. She would have murdered Duncan herself if he had not resembled her father. Macbeth returns having murdered Duncan. Shakespeare's use of language and structure manages to create tension right up to the murder of King Duncan. He manages to gradually build it up and then release it a little, and then increase it until finally the act of regicide takes place. His use of dramatic irony, the supernatural and indecision all combine to keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout these scenes. ...read more.

Middle

"When" "Now" "As I descended?" "Ay" "Hark, who lies in the second chamber?" "Donalbain" This suggests that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are extremely anxious. Each word is just one syllable long suggesting tension. These quotes are stichomythia. Half way through act 2 scene 2 Macbeth cannot sleep because of guilt. Beforehand in the scene, sleep was mentioned 7-9 times; this shows that guilt is taking its toll on Macbeth. "Wash this filthy witness from your hand" This is ironic, the blood symbolises guilt. "Go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood." "Ill go no more," Macbeth is showing fear at this point and lady Macbeth is in more control. There is a knocking within the castle; Macbeth is getting worried because he thinks he may get caught. "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood away from my hands?" Macbeths thinking irrational will ever get the blood from my hands, he is spreading his guilt by washing the blood away. These questions Macbeth keeps asking himself are Rhetorical. Another knocking within the castle, the knocking is more rapid. ...read more.

Conclusion

action reaction We now have a pattern the thought leads to the action, the action leads to a reaction. Lady Macbeth notices that Macbeth has not left the daggers and asks him to take the daggers back, he refuses, and he states that he is afraid to think what he has done. She takes control and tells Macbeth to give her the daggers, this implies that she is exasperated with him. When she returns the pair hear knocking, this suggests, tension and judgement, they would have been asking themselves, who is it? who could it be at this time of night? Remembering it is the early hours of the morning. Finally, when Macbeth hears the knocking again he says, "Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou couldst!" This means, Wake Duncan with your knocking: I would if I Could, this suggests an enormous amount of guilt on Macbeth's part and it is clear that he shows regret for what he has done. I think that the one thing that creates dramatic tension is the way language is written, and depending on how it is supposed to be produced makes a big difference comparing to the speed and what tone it is spoken in. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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