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Explore the dramatic impact and significance of Act 2 Scene 2 within the context of the whole play in macbeth

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There are many horrific and grave scenes in Shakespeare's Macbeth but act 2 scene 2 is by far the most intense in the whole play. As we don't see how King Duncan is murdered, more attention is given to Macbeth's reaction to the murder and it also focuses on the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The setting of this scene is also important as the darkness suggest a sinister feeling - and everything revolves around this scene. The stage lighting increases suspense as it would be dark and the only light on the whole stage would be focuses on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The audience would be dying to know what happens next and if Macbeth does murder his own king in the end. If there wasn't enough tension created through lighting, it increases by Lady Macbeth nervously walking on the stage but there is a hint of excitement present in her body language. Lady Macbeth says 'had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't.' ...read more.


Macbeth kept revisiting the murder in his thoughts. He is horrified and emotionally distressed by the fact he had just killed his own king because the king had treated Macbeth with respect. In a demeaning way, Lady Macbeth she claims that Macbeth is 'infirm of purpose.' He disagrees when Lady Macbeth tells him to 'Go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hand.' Macbeth says 'will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?' by which he means no amount of water will wash away his sin, and he will never be forgiven in God's eyes. Lady Macbeth is upset with him so she talks to him in a derogatory way e.g. she says 'a little water clears us of this deed,' which is very ironic. She also attempts to comfort him by saying 'my hands are of your colour but I shame to wear a heart so white,' but she's also suggesting he's a coward simultaneously. ...read more.


As the knocking continues, Lady Macbeth grows ever more anxious at the fact this murderous act could still be discovered, she appears more agitated than before. She orders her husband to his chamber - again taking control of the situation- where they can eradicate signs of this heinous murder. The tension fluctuates during the next part of the scene as Shakespeare gradually builds it, releases it and builds it again for a bigger impact on the audience towards the end of the scene. The many uses of drama including irony and indecision heighten the anxiety and kept the audience wanting more. These uses of drama made the characters more believable. In conclusion, Act 2 Scene 2 is a rollercoaster of tension, suspense and apprehension. It is by far the most crucial and imperative part of the whole of the play and the rest of the play revolves around this one scene. ?? ?? ?? ?? Explore the dramatic impact and significance of Act 2 Scene 2 within the context of the whole play in macbeth ...read more.

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