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How does Shakespeare create a sense of unease for the audience, up to the death of King Duncan?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare create a sense of unease for the audience, up to the death of King Duncan? The play "Macbeth" was written approximately in 1608 by the famous play writer William Shakespeare. Shakespeare "Macbeth" with the new kind of story in mind. It was based on a true story. "Macbeth" was supposedly written for the King of this period, James I, James I himself was interested in witchcraft, and even wrote his book about them called "Demonology". King James also tried the witches of North Berwick who were eventually tortured to death on command of the king. In his reign of being King, James I killed more witches than any other king in the world. The play Macbeth is very much a morality play, which reflects the battler between good and evil. In the play we find Macbeth to be both good and evil, although the evil side finally dominates him. Macbeth is set in the heart of Scotland. The king at the time is King Duncan, a noble and honest king. He has two sons and many Thanes and noble men, one being Macbeth. Macbeth has fought his way up the ranks of the army to become one of Duncan's most trusted lords, but an encounter with three witches puts wickedness into the heart of an otherwise noble and loyal man. At the beginning of the play, three witches tell Macbeth, he will be Thane of Cawdor, and even the King of Scotland. ...read more.

Middle

Does not make sense because a battle cannot be lost and won, giving the audience a feeling of unease and tension. Then they decide to meet when the sun sets which is the time when evil thrives. Agreeing to meet "Upon the heath" creates tension and unease because the heath is the same as moor land and people in Shakespeare's time believed that witches and evil thrived in open areas. They say that they will meet Macbeth there, which automatically shows he is linked with evil giving the audience an idea that he will not be a very nice person. When three witches say the last line "...Fair is foul, and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air..." What the three witches are telling us is that what we expect might not be what we get, which could create a large amount of tension. The unknown of what's going to happen creates tension as the audience are worried about what's going to happen next as they do not know what to expect creates tension. The weather is eerie as it sets disharmony between heaven and hell. The opening chanting from the witches is chilling and the content suggests that it has everything to be strange and eerie play. The witches speak in riddles, which will make the audience feel uncomfortable, as they have to work out what is being told to them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeths uses violent imagery in her monologue. She uses images of blood and darkness such as, "...make thick my blood, stop up the access and passage to remorse.." This meaning how she make herself insensitive by blocking up all the pathways by which remorse can reach her heart. This language would seem very unwomanly to a Shakespearean audience. Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that Duncan is to visit their castle tomorrow night. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to leave everything up to her. "...This nights great business into my dispatch.." This creates anxiety, as the Shakespearian audience are shocked that a woman can be so evil and so witch like. Shakespeare also uses Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, deception, and murder to create a sense of unease in the play. He does this by using Lady Macbeth's ambitiousness and single mindedness, Macbeth's violence and dark thoughts, the witches and Macbeth for deception and blood suspicion for murder. Shakespeare's use of language and structure manages to create tension and unease right up to the murder of King Duncan. He manages to gradually build it up and then release it a bit, and then increase it until finally the act of homicide takes place. His use of dramatic irony, the supernatural, and indecision all combine to keep the audience on the edges of their seats. His use of the right language in the right places helps the characters and the play to become really believable. 4 ...read more.

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