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

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Introduction

"How does Shakespeare create tension and dramatic interest in Act 2 Scene 2?" In Act 2 Scene 2, Shakespeare uses tension and dramatic interest to illustrate how Macbeth, with Lady Macbeth influencing him to do so, commits the murder of King Duncan, and the after effects. Shakespeare's language helps create this theatrical picture in the previous scene with Macbeth's soliloquy about the dark in the "black night," and the evil he associates with it prepares the audience for the murder scene. In this scene, the audience know what Macbeth is doing is wrong and that he will suffer terrible consequences, but there is something inside of everyone that either propels him on out of fascination or wills him to stop. Shakespeare helps create this feeling with the previous scene, which makes the right atmosphere. When Lady Macbeth is on her own waiting at the beginning of the scene, she is very tense. Shakespeare helps create this tension by making Lady Macbeth's character completely on her own and waiting. She is straining to hear anything, as she wants to hear if Macbeth has done the deed and hesitant of it because he was so unsure about it before. As she thinks that something has gone wrong tension is created because we wonder what will happen next. Will they be caught or not? The audience will want to know what happened so they will become involved in the play and will look forward to learning what really did happen. ...read more.

Middle

This is effective in the drama of the play as it can be done in different ways. In Lady Macbeth's first speech, she tells us about how she drugged the guards and how "that which have made them drunk, hath made me bold." This is of dramatic interest because she needs to be made bold and is not naturally bold. Before she acted very fearlessly in front of Macbeth, yet on the inside she says that she isn't, and that drink has to make her brave. This is shown clearly when there is an owl shriek as she is very shocked at first "Hark, peace!" When Macbeth says, "Who's there? What, ho!" she thinks they might of woken up and found out her plot: "Alack, I am afraid they have awakened, and 'tis not done. The attempt and not the deed confound us." (Lines 9-10) This builds interest in the audience as it makes them think will they be caught or not? Who is out there? When Lady Macbeth says "If he not resembled / my father as he slept, I had done't" (line 13) she must have been in Duncan's room earlier and seen him to able to say this. This is interesting because why was she in Duncan's room earlier? When Macbeth first appears after just killing Duncan, he is obsessed by his inability to say Amen and by a voice crying "sleep no more: Macbeth does murder sleep." ...read more.

Conclusion

This gets the audience more active in the play and creates anticipation because the audience want to know if they answered the questions correctly: "I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?" (Lines 14-15) This creates a lot of keenness because the audience are wondering 'what if someone did hear a noise, what would happen to Macbeth'. The questions Shakespeare uses during the play are very significant because these create a lot of expectation with in the audience and the play. In Shakespearean times, the plays were all done in an amphitheatre around mid-day. This was done because it was the best time for light, while now there is electricity so light doesn't come of accustom to us. For the audience then everything had to be explained in the drama of the play, as there were no backgrounds or many props. This is the main reason why Shakespeare has to extenuate in his language, to get the image across to the audience so they could understand without the surroundings what was going on. Shakespeare crates tension and dramatic interest throughout this scene and does it in a number of different ways through drama and language. In my opinion he does it very well and gets the audience involved within the play. During this we have seen how Lady Macbeth and Macbeth react in different ways and learnt more about their characters. This is the most important scene in the play and is done clearly and is well explained. Emily Gascoyne-Richards L5B ...read more.

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