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Explain why Act 2 Scene 2 is a turning point in the play for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

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Introduction

Explain why Act 2 Scene 2 is a turning point in the play for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth On the way home from a courageous battle the play begins with Macbeth and Banquo's noble and victorious return. During their journey they are greeted by 3 witches whom prophesize Macbeth's rise to power as King. Macbeth is very curious about these strange beings and their message and starts to wonder if it really is quite possible to find himself in such a kingly position. He soon shrugs off the idea however as he realizes there is nothing that he could do as Duncan - the king already and dear friend to Macbeth - is still in his position and will most likely stay there for the next couple of decades. Macbeth also realizes that any attempt to thwart Duncan's reign would be highly dishonorable and ruin his noble and dignified reputation and respect. I would imagine that King James and the Shakespearian people of that age in time would have greatly recognized this act of loyalty and appreciate Macbeth's worries that any action he could take would object with the Divine Right of Kings - a view that treason is sacrilegious and a sin against God - and therefore damn him to hell. ...read more.

Middle

As the two exchange words over Macbeth's untidy approach I would again direct Lady Macbeth to be the demanding and over-powering figure, while Macbeth would be nervous and frightened, almost as if he were a meager child. I would then have him glimpse the daggers he is still clutching and immediately become riddled with panic and fear. As we move on to line 28 we can see how Macbeth is already becoming paranoid and nervous. He is shaken because as he entered Duncan's chamber he heard the bodyguards praying and could not say "Amen" when they finished their prayers. He takes this as a bad sign. Lady Macbeth counsels him not to think "after these ways; so, it will make us mad". Unheeding, Macbeth goes on to tell her that he also thought he heard a voice that said, "Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep . . . Glamis (Macbeth) hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor (also Macbeth) shall sleep no more". Lady Macbeth warns him not to think of such "brainsickly things" but to wash the blood from his hands. Seeing the daggers he carries, she chastises him for bringing them in and tells him to plant them on the bodyguards according to the plan. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth has begun sleepwalking because her conscience weighs too heavily on herself. She tells about her crimes and the murder of the king, unaware that her doctor and waiting woman are watching her. She later commits suicide. The invaders from England come to defeat Macbeth. The soldiers carry boughs from Birnam Wood in order to camouflage themselves. So, the witch's prophesy of defeat when "Birnam forest comes to Dunsinane" starts to become true. Macbeth also then hears of Lady Macbeth's death but is unmoved and shows no form of mourning. We can obviously see that the relationship between the two has come to a diminishing end and affection had died long before Lady Macbeth did. Macbeth then faces Macduff, but is not fearful, as he has been told that he will not die from anyone woman born. But then Macduff tells him that he was not woman born; he was "from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd". When Macbeth realizes that he has been tricked, he gives up and is killed. Macduff decapitates him and King Duncan's son becomes the new king of Scotland. I think in conclusion King James and the Shakespearian audience would have been very pleased with the outcome of the play, as the would have appreciated the Divine Right of Kings and understood that justice must prevail. "Sacrilege must, and will, be punished by God". Jonathan Nelson 10O Mr. Brown English ...read more.

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