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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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?

    Verbs associated with pain and terror are spoken by Lady Macbeth, these are "scream" and "cry", which fits once more with the lexis of evil. The language has a 'deadly' affect on the audience. Shakespeare uses a dramatic technique in the scene called stycomythia, which involves the playwright 'cutting' up lines and staggering them the page.

  2. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension for his audience from the beginning of Macbeth ...

    The language used is quite horrific and the deaths of Macbeth´s victims are explained in all their gory detail. This may not have shocked the audience but it would tell the audience that such horror so early on in the play would ensure much more gore to follow.

  1. How does shakespeare create a sense of evil and disorder in act 1 of ...

    "Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more." They blur their sense of morals during the closing lines of scene 1, saying "Fair is foul, and foul is fair!" This would disturb the audience greatly, as the witches have unmistakably crossed the line between right and wrong.

  2. Show how Shakespeare uses the witches to create a mood and effect on an ...

    "Thunder, lightning". There is a technique used called pathetic fallacy which means the writer is using weather to indicate the mood of events. This scene tells us that the three witches are going up on the heath to do evil, and then they will meet Macbeth.

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