• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    to say a prayer was thought of as a sign of being bewitched. Shakespeare continues with the idea of Macbeth's emotional turmoil once more, suggested by the use of caesura, which dramatises his erratic thinking and panic. Now, the audience are told he heard a "voice cry 'sleep no more'",

  2. Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1~2, How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    "Blood" appears on several occasions, a word which emphasises the horror of the situation. He also uses blood as a modifier, "bloody business", to again convey this image of terror and atrocious circumstances. It also gives the impression that Macbeth is deranged and full of violence.

  1. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension inAct 2 Scene 1 and 2?

    Alone now, Macbeth is so obsessed by thoughts of the murder that he starts to hallucinate. For the rest of this scene Macbeth talks to himself in a soliloquy. This gives us an insight as to what Macbeth is thinking.

  2. Write an Analysis of Act 2 Scene 2 of Macbeth. Discuss the Dramatic Impact ...

    She appears to be in a very uneasy and hesitant state, claiming to be bold and courageous yet jumps to the sound of an owl. Owls, are birds of night, and are recognised as ill omens. The owl is compared to a bellman, which is a person recognised as to ring the bell before an execution.

  1. "How does Shakespeare create tension and dramatic interest in Act 2 Scene 2?"

    It gives a different perspective on the views of Macbeth. This is effective in the drama of the play since Macbeth's character is playing the reverse of himself. Further on in the scene, Lady Macbeth notices that Macbeth has still got the daggers on him and tries to take them back: "give me the daggers" (line 56).

  2. What dramatic effect does Shakespeare aim for in Act 2 Scene 2, and how ...

    Lady Macbeth seems to have almost no conscience whatsoever in this scene, saying, "My hands of your colour; but I shame to wear a heart so white" and despite the knocking which causes alarm in Macbeth, she herself is able to continue: "A little water clears us of this deed.

  1. Macbeth - Discuss the dramatic significance of Act 2 Scene 2

    In Act 2 Scene 3 the porter has to answer the door while macbeth is still in shock. More tension is created here, will Macbeth get caught red handed or will he be able to disguise the murder so it looks like the guards did it?

  2. Discuss how Shakespeare creates a sense of suspense and dramatic tension in Macbeth from ...

    People thought they could communicate with the devil, that they could predict the future, make people ill, kill people from a distance or cause bad weather. They start chanting on stage like in a spell. `Fair is foul and foul is fair`, this means a calling upon evil to overturn

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work