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Explain why Act 2. Scene 2. Is a turning point in the play for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. How should the actors playing these characters behave to show the audience what they are feeling?

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Introduction

Shakespeare Unit. GCSE. Sept 2002. Explain why Act 2. Scene 2. Is a turning point in the play for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. How should the actors playing these characters behave to show the audience what they are feeling? In the First Act we learn that Macbeth is thought of as a very noble, loyal, brave man. "For brave Macbeth ... O valiant cousin, worthy gentlemen!" Macbeth was victorious in a battle on behalf of the kingdom and gets lots of praise from the king, and the other soldiers, and unknown to him is soon be given the title, 'Thane Of Cawdor'. Banquo and Macbeth are travelling home and they came across 3 witches. These witches prophisize that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and that soon after he will become king. "All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! ...All hail Macbeth! Thalt shalt be King hereafter." Macbeth doesn't pay to much attention to them and continues on with his journey, when he returns home, he finds out that the King is coming to stay with him and Lady Macbeth in their castle. Macbeth then finds out of the title and tells Lady Macbeth of the three witches prophesies, and then Lady Macbeth starts to hatch a plan. Macbeth was so horrified of the idea of killing Duncan because in those days, people believed in something, which was called the divine right of kings. ...read more.

Middle

It reminds us that lady Macbeth still has some humanity because it might help the audience to understand why she does what she does at the end of the play. Lady Macbeth hears an owl screech while she is waiting for Macbeth and jumps, as she is clearly quite nervous even though earlier on in the play she says "That, which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold." This is obviously not the case. Lady Macbeth may say this half-jokingly and holding the cup up near to her face, which she drinks it. When Macbeth comes to meet his wife they are both nervous, yet they seem excited to, as they don't speak in full sentences, it's a short, sharp exchange of words. "When" , "Now" , "as, I descended" , "Aye". His shows the audience that they are worried, nervous etc. They will at this maybe looking around them to see if there is anyone coming, or looking at each other trying to see what the other is thinking. Macbeth also still has hold of the daggers, which makes the tension in the scene increase. Macbeth can't seem to believe he has committed such a crime as he says, "This is a sorry sight". He is also referring to his hands, which are covered in blood, Macbeth must have been putting his head in his hands at this point for him not to notice, therefore holding them up in front of his face. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas Macbeth is still in shock of the crime he had committed. Shakespeare conveys that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's relationship is slowly deteriorating, as Macbeth seems to be acting crazily and Lady Macbeth seems evil and calculating and in control of the situation. The knocking still carrying on, lady Macbeth appears annoyed and urges her husband, to his chamber, where they can hide and come across as innocent to the murder if it is discovered. Shakespeare has once again let Lady Macbeth take control. Shakespeare has cleverly used language and structure of sentences manages to create a lot of tension and excitement in this scene. He uses the right language in the right places to make the characters and the play really believable. Towards the end of the play Macbeth becomes overwhelmed by guilt and fear, he murders anyone he suspects might know. Eventually the heir to crown kills Macbeth, after Lady Macbeth has taken her own life as she is overcome by the guilt. King James and the rest of the Shakespearean audience would have wanted the murders and lies and drama, this is probably what they would have expected. Sacrilege was believed to have been punished by God. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were the murderers so this would have added excitement; the witches added some eerieness and supernatural theme to the play. These are good choices for the play at that particular time, and it still makes it good today. Charlotte Pooley 11L ...read more.

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