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How does Shakespeare create tension and excitement in Act 2 Scene 2?

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Macbeth Assignment 4 . How does Shakespeare create tension and excitement in Act 2 Scene 2? Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth' is set in the heart of Scotland. The king at the time is Duncan, a noble honest king. He has two sons and many nobleman's and thanes, 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 changes all that and puts evil into the heart of an otherwise noble and loyal man. 'Macbeth' was written in a period where there was a high interest in witchcraft and the supernatural, so the sign of three witches already tells the audience that the play will be full of evil and lies. We learn from the beginning scene of the witches and their predictions, this immediately begins the tension build up right through to Act 2 Scene 1 and the following scenes when the "will he? Won't he?" thought is displayed to the audience- "Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee: I have thee not, and yet I see thee still" Act 2 scene 2: It is a dark night and Lady Macbeth is impatiently waiting for Macbeth to return. ...read more.


Did not you speak?" Crickets were also associated with death and this is why she mentions it because death is in the air and she is afraid someone will discover the doings of their terrible deed. From here on Lady Macbeth and Macbeths relationship dramatically changes, they begin to drift away from each other and continuing, Macbeth's state of mind and realisation of reality begins to deteriorate. Continuing their conversation it becomes very rushed, they are both very tense and on edge, about hiding the evidence of the murder, this in turn puts the audience on the edge of their seats when thinking about weather they will be caught or not. The Macbeth's begin to throw short snappy sentences at each other. This keeps the audience's attention for longer, making them pay more attention at the same time building tension for them. "-Did you not speak?" "When?" "Now?" "As I descend?" Macbeth begins to talk about the voices he heard, once again building up some tension and excitement "One cried 'God bless us!' and 'Amen' the other, as they seen me with these hangman's hands" Hangman's hands are hands that are covered in blood and this creates excitement for the audience because it perhaps implies that they have been found out. ...read more.


"The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures; 'tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil." As the scene carries on Macbeth gets more and more appalled at what he has done. Everything he does, hears and says disgusts him Knock Within "Whence is that knocking? How is't with me, when every noise appals me?" When the Macbeths finally retire to their chamber after getting too nervous about the knocking Lady Macbeth says "A little water clears us of this deed" Also explaining to him how he should act as not to draw attention to them being out and about. The audience are now on the edge of their seats because they know Duncan's body will be discovered in the next scene and if the Macbeth's will be found out and what will happen to them and also whether Macbeth's behaviour will last. Part of Macbeth's last line of the scene is "Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou couldst." This proves that Macbeth is definitely regretting killing the king. The line says that if Duncan were still alive he would wake him with the knocking if he could. The tension is very high at the end of this scene into the next because we aren't able to see Lady Macbeth's reaction to Macbeth's closing line. ...read more.

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