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How does Shakespeare Create Atmosphere using the Language

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March 29, 2000 Tommy Gunn How does Shakespeare Create Atmosphere using the Language? Most of the play is written in Iambic Pentameter, which affects how it feels and the atmosphere because it sets the fast tempo of the play. If the play had been written with, for example, more a flowing style then it would seem less urgent and more secure because Iambic Pentameter is very choppy which gives it a sense of urgency because it moulds the tone voice to sound urgent. This is effective for many parts of the play such as Act 5 scenes III and IV when Macbeth is just waiting for the soldiers to come to the castle before his nearly certain death. Iambic Pentameter has the stress every second syllable so it is not very flexible because there is not much room to be creative because the stress is so frequent. I think that it is used because it gives the sense of urgency. This is because it makes people feel unstable and unsettled. This is good for the play because the plot is about a murder that is totally wrong and the murderers cannot come to terms with it and so they suffer and die as well, this is not supposed to make the audience feel reassured and settled! ...read more.


'MACBETH: The Thane of Cordor lives: Why do you dress me in borrowed robes...? BANQUO: New honours come upon him Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould...' The image of warm milk turning to sour vinegar is another example of imagery working very effectively. 'LADY MACBETH: ...Come to my woman's breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murth'ring ministers, Wherever, in your sightless substances, You wait on Nature's mischief.' Act 1 scene V This image makes us think about a woman's breast milk soothes a helpless baby, this makes us feel that the milk is soothing and calming. This means that when we think about the milk transforming into vinegar and the baby drinking it, it makes us feel that this is unnatural and this is the objective of the image. Image patterns link in very well with Shakespearean plays because the stage was traditionally bear with very few props so Shakespeare relied on images and the audience had to imagine what was happening more than nowadays. This is probably why there are so many image patterns in the play. They work especially well with this play because it is such a mysterious play the mind has to make images to make it seem real. ...read more.


As well as Iambic Pentameter the play is written in prose, which makes the play easier to follow because if it is all written in a rhythm then it seems less natural. The other type of rhythm used in the play is the chanting seesaw rhythm of the witches. The thing that makes this special is that only the witches speak like this so it seems unnatural which adds effect to the witches speech. 'ALL: The Weird sisters, hand in hand, Posters of the sea and land, Thus do go about, about, Thrice to thrine, and thrice to mine And thrice again to make up nine.' Act 1 scene III From this quotation we can see that all the words at the end of the line rhyme and this gives a chanting and mysterious effect because all the other language in the play is either very choppy (Iambic pentameter) or just usual language (prose). This sets the witches apart from everyone else in the play and gives the effect that they are different or supernatural. The language is used to create the mysterious, unsettled atmosphere of the play and because of the many styles and techniques used it does its job very well. ...read more.

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